Check-in airport

Next time you book a flight, be prepared to check your own luggage at the Halifax airport. The only option now is self-serve. (Angela MacIvor/CBC)

Going to the ticket counter to have an agent check you in is now a thing of the past at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. It’s the first airport in North America to install a complete self-serve check-in system.

No matter what airline, passengers must select their own seat and tag their own luggage.

The $45-million project took a year and a half to construct. It became fully operational on Friday.

"Initially it was a little bit unnerving, but once we got it all figured out everything seems to work,” said traveller Mike O'Callaghan.

Michael Healy, the airport’s vice-president of infrastructure and commercial development, says other airports across the country are expected to follow suit.

"There are trials going on in several of the other airports now. Calgary is building a new terminal which will open up in 2015, which will use a similar model when they open. So it's the wave of the future,” he said.

To help passengers with the transition, each airline has agents standing by.

O'Callaghan questioned if the change means someone's job is gone.

“Maybe they took a job by making this a little more smoother. That's my only worry,” he said.

The airport authority believes that's not the case.

“Well my understanding from talking to airlines is that their staffing levels haven't changed much. The agents are assisting the passengers with the process more so than sitting behind desks. So similar staffing levels I understand,” said Healy.

Passengers flying out of Halifax are encouraged to print off their ticket before heading to the airport in order to make the process as easy as possible.