Airport Systems

Airlines and Airports are constantly in tension. One industry believes it ‘owns’ the passenger, both in the air and on the ground. The other firmly believes it owns the passenger on the ground.

The same battle rages over IT, particularly when it comes to check-in systems and common electronic processing (e.g. CUTE or CUSS)*

Historically airlines placed their own IT systems on the check-in desks at airports. Eventually this became a battle for space, so the common use terminal was invented. Traditionally either the dominant airline owned a CUTE installation and (reluctantly) shared their check-in desks with minor airlines. Over a period ‘clubs’ formed between airlines to share the cost of these systems.

Today Airports are forcing suppliers to sell them the CUTE or CUSS systems so they own the equipment and contracts. Hence they re-sell the overall service to their Airline tenants.

The continuation of this ‘landlord’ approach by many airports is changing the buying process in many airports around the world. Although the US airports system is different in that airlines tend to own their own gates, the landlord approach is gaining pace.

*Common User Terminal Equipment
*Common Use Self Service