Archive for August 8th, 2007

KLM – SITA CUSS kiosks

My heart was beating faster, when I read this article yesterday on ATW Online:

KLM became the first airline to offer self-service check-in to passengers at Kuala Lumpur International, using the SITA-installed CUSS kiosks now in operation there. Together with Malaysia Airports, SITA installed 12 CUSS kiosks with 24 more to follow over the next few months. SITA said CUSS check-in applications for both Malaysia Airlines and Cathay Pacific will be placed on the kiosks before year end and the option also will be available to some 40 other carriers using KLIA.

And why was it beating faster? Because Malev was the first airline to offer self-service check-in on SITA CUSS Kiosks at the Budapest Airport. And I was the unlucky project manager who had the chance to manage that project. What was the problem? I’ll try to sum it up:

– I start it with a fact we had no other choice but working with SITA, as they were our DCS provider and they did not want to give acces to the DCS to any other CUSS provider – good start.

This is what we saw:

The promised SITA kiosk

– this was the promised kiosk. It looks good, doesn’t it? There was no problem with the way it looked, however the hardware was provided by a third party supplier, so SITA had no clue how it worked. Therefore every time we had a problem with it, we had to wait more days to get an answer from them. And we had problems.

– First hardware problem was that the kiosks were delivered here after being put together. But here we had to drill them down to the floor and for that we needed to take almost everything out from the metal box and put them together again. For that we needed a special OK from the supplier company, otherwise we could have lost warranty.

– We had many problems with the different readers. we disabled the ATB ticket reader and used only the parrport reader and the credit card reader, however these 2 readers worked with about 50% precision.

– The project was also ridiculous. We had a contact – a Hungarian guy – who was an engineer, understood the software uite well and helped us defining our requirements. We agreed on everything, then suddenly he was “taken away” from the picture, because he gave us information he was not supposed to give out. (I still have no clue what it could be) After he left the project, an American lady took over, who was uncontactable for 2-3 weeks, when it turned out she left SITA or that department in the meantime, but nobody told us about it. In the meantime we were appointed a polish project managaer, who was far enough from the London project center and even further from the developers in Canada, so as we assumed, we always k ew more about the status of the project than him. Besides that his English was awful and he was completely new at SITA, so besides being far from the other project memebers, he did not know them.

– In the end kiosks were delivered after deadline, the software never worked properly, they were not able to correct some of the outstanding bugs even until now, although the installation happened last spring.

So here is what we got:

SITA kiosks in useSITA kiosks in use

By Szafi
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