Automated check-in features and an improved design are expected to streamline the airport jouney for Virgin Australia passengers in a major redevelopment of the airline’s Melbourne Airport T3 facilities over the next three years.
The airline announced the revamp in December but on Wednesday released images giving travelers an idea of the shape of things to come.
By mid-2019, the automated check-in process in T3 will include automated bag drop facilities, enhanced self-service kiosks, service pods offering human help as well as a service desk with traditional check-in and general inquiries.
The self-service kiosks will allow passengers to check-in, print boarding passes, add bags and print baggage tags.
The wider redevelopment will include a premium entry for business class and high tier Velocity loyalty program members with a dedicated check-in, bag drop and security screening. This will offer the same kerbside access available at the airline’s lounge in Sydney.
The premium entry will offer direct access to the lounge, which will offer better access to gates.
There will be a new internal ramp between T3 and T4 that enables repositioning of general security screening facilities and reduce passenger congestion in a more spacious area.
The redevelopment will also add two baggage carousels.
The airline and Melbourne Airport signed an agreement for the redevelopment in June and are working to finalize the design process.
“The airport experience is an important part of our guest’s overall travel experience,’’ Virgin Australia group executive Rob Sharp said in a statement.
“Virgin Australia runs a major operation at Melbourne Airport, operating up to 100 return flights each day. The redeveloped terminal will see Virgin Australia provide guests with a world-class experience on the ground, to match the unrivaled service we provide onboard.”
Welcoming the redevelopment, Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi said about two-thirds of the airport’s passengers were on domestic services.
He said the development was a boost for Melbourne, which is expected to overtake Sydney as Australia’s biggest city as early as 2029.