Today’s airline passengers are accustomed to self-check-in, but what happens if that flight is delayed or cancelled? The chaos caused by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland has put this issue into sharp focus around the world.

It is not a one-off problem either. According to a EuroControl CODA report, the average delay for departure traffic from all causes of delay was 27.2 minutes, an increase of 11% on last year. In addition, the percentage of flights delayed went up by 2 percentage points to 35.2% when compared to this time last year.

As a result, travellers want to be able to quickly and easily respond to these unanticipated changes through self-service, mitigating any further disruption to their travel plans.

Ultra Electronics Airport Systems and NCR have joined forces to help airports lower costs and to meet the growing passenger demand for self-service convenience.

Ultra’s portfolio of agent-facing common-use solutions, branded UltraCUSE, allows multiple airlines to share the same workstations and peripherals, making more efficient use of airport resources. Likewise, NCR’s common-use kiosk solutions, already deployed in more than 300 airports worldwide, optimise use of airport real estate while addressing passengers’ growing expectation to serve themselves.

These solutions from Ultra and NCR address the entire spectrum of common use passenger processing systems (CUPPS). The partnership will also create complementary services organisations capable of addressing the needs of virtually any airport, anywhere.

Through the combined portfolio of solutions and services, Ultra and NCR aim to help airports handle increasing complexities while making the travel experience as reliable and convenient as possible.

“Ultra’s goal is to provide best-of-breed solutions to airports, airlines and ground handlers worldwide, and we see the combination of Ultra and NCR as the perfect team for CUPPS,” said Tim Griggs, Head of Business Development at Ultra Electronics Airport Systems.

“One of the challenges of infrastructure projects is that they are extraordinarily expensive and difficult to execute. With the CUPPS environment, we can help airports make the most of their physical resources.” comments Owen Wild, NCR’s Vice President of Solution Marketing.

Airlines today must quickly adjust to frequent route changes, fluctuating load factors and unprecedented consolidation, while maintaining a superior passenger experience. A seamless and comprehensive self-service strategy can make it easier to meet these challenging demands by increasing efficiency and passenger satisfaction.