‘Ho’okipa’: not just a beach

The renewal of Hawaiian Airlines’ self-service hardware, supplied by Embross and fitted with eezeetags certified printers, is helping facilitate a seamless traveller experience at Maui Kahului Airport. By Ross Falconer

The Hawaiian Airlines self-service installation at Maui Kahului Airport (photo: B. Vrieling).

Ho’okipa beach, on the famous road to Hana on the Hawaiian island of Maui, is one of the world’s most renowned windsurfing destinations. It is here where local Maui hero Robby Naish at the age of 11 started a new sport, which has become the worldwide industry of windsurfing. This is a spot for pros, with strong winds, big surf, rip tides and shallow reefs.

With that, the place itself can stand as an acronym for the airline industry, where competition is harsh, regulations tough, and digitally-connected passengers on social media are able to make or break reputations and brands.

Ho’okipa is also a Hawaiian word meaning ‘host with love and compassion’. “Hawaiian Airlines strives from start to finish to provide its guests with a truly uniquely Hawaiian experience filled with a warm Aloha,” according to Jon Kim, Senior IT Manager Airport Operations, Hawaiian Airlines. “With this as the baseline, Hawaiian recognised that, as a start, long queues need to be avoided and the only way for this to be achieved is through new and evolving processes.”

One of the most underestimated details and processes is the tagging of passenger baggage.

Passengers tagging their own bags speeds up the process, but with a standard bag tag it takes passengers quite a while to figure out what to pull, what to keep, what to tear, etc, which creates unnecessary stress that puts the whole seamless travel experience at risk.

“Hawaiian Airlines has leveraged eezeetags, which requires no removal of any liner to expose the adhesive and as a bonus works with an adhesive that only sticks to itself, so it is possible to create an easy, fast and clean experience, as the tags create no waste,” Kim continues. “The process from beginning to end, on average, saves 20 seconds per passenger – ultimately providing our guests with a uniquely Hawaiian travel experience.”

The whole renewal of the Hawaiian Airlines self-service hardware, in this case supplied by Embross, is fitted with eezeetags certified printers, enabling a smooth and trouble-free operation.

“Hawaiian is the first US carrier to utilise these amazing tags,” says Kim. “Before Thanksgiving, all Hawaiian Airlines self-service installations at the Hawaiian islands will print out an eezeetag® bag tag, and we are planning to bring the same service over to the continent and other outstations in 2020.”

Ho’okipa beach, on the famous road to Hana on the Hawaiian island of Maui, is one of the world’s most renowned windsurfing destinations. The whole renewal of the Hawaiian Airlines self-service hardware, in this case supplied by Embross, is fitted with eezeetags certified printers, enabling a smooth and trouble-free operation (photo: B. Vrieling).

Borry Vrieling, founder, owner and Managing Director of eezeetags, is equally proud to have Hawaiian as its first US customer. “This customer fits us like a glove, since we developed the product not around the existing technology, but around the passengers and our customers process. This might even be seen as disruptive and has meant huge challenges regarding acceptance within the supply chain from a technical perspective. But we kept believing in our ultimate goal, making passengers lives easy and while doing that maximising terminal capacity and bringing down operational costs. We could not have done without the pitch perfect cooperation with our US agent Gateway Business Communications, Jon Sikorski the account executive who managed the customer through the whole POC process, together with Joey Campbell at the kiosk supplier Embross.”

He concludes: “Being a surfer myself, I always dreamt of being at Ho’okipa beach and this has now happened. But a far more beautiful thing has happened, my product has become my dream: eezeetags = Ho’okipa.”

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