China Eastern opens new check-in section with robots

China Eastern Airlines opened a new check-in area at Hongqiao International Airport on Friday with faster check-in services and hi-tech robots.
Ti Gong

China Eastern Airlines opened a new high-end check-in area at Hongqiao International Airport on Friday with faster check-in services and hi-tech robots.

The new check-in area, covering 1,286 square meters, is at the F section of the airport's T2 building. It mainly serves the carrier's platinum, gold and silver card holders as well as first- and business-class passengers. VIP passengers with the Sky Team alliance can also check in at the new section, the Shanghai-based carrier said.

The area, decorated with traditional Chinese flower and cloud patterns, incorporates ergonomic chairs and sofas. Each check-in counter has a screen for passengers to pick seats.

As a highlight, two intelligent robots, both named Dong Dong, debuted at the new area on Friday. They can tell flight information and guide passengers to the fastest check-in counters. English and other languages will be available soon, according to the airline.

China Eastern aims to serve various passengers at different regions to improve check-in efficiency, said Ye Yuquan, deputy general manager with the airline's ground service department.

As the new F section has been launched, the former C section at T2 will mainly serve business passengers on flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu. D section will serve group passengers while the C section will offer services to other economy-class passengers, according to Ye.

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Famous local actor Hu Ge becomes the first customer to experience the new check-in counter.

China Eastern has transported about 10 million passengers on 65,552 flights between January and June at Hongqiao Airport this year, accounting for nearly half of the airport's total amount.

Domestic airlines have been investing heavily to build or improve check-in areas or lounges in recent years in a bid to attract high-end customers. Air China launched its new V3 lounge at the T2 building at Hongqiao Airport in May. Last September, China Eastern officially opened China's largest VIP lounge at Pudong Airport, covering some 9,000 square meters.

Ti Gong
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