On a recent trip from RDU airport (Raleigh-Durham), I had my first encounter with a Jetson-like restaurant, where you have no interaction with humans. I’ve visited plenty of fast food restaurants with the option of ordering from a machine, but when possible, avoid the machines at all costs.
I get the idea of reducing labor costs, but as a customer who avoids technology at any chance, I am not amused. Techno-idiots like myself don’t find it easy to navigate these self-service businesses, and imagine the frustration if your smart phone runs out of juice or just fails to function.
All in all, it took me 33 minutes to get a biscuit. That included 10 minutes of trying to figure out how to place my order, and 23 minutes more of waiting. I’d probably still be waiting it I hadn’t wrangled a staff member who just arriving at work for help. Thank goodness, I caught her before she disappeared behind the artificial screens where the humans go to hide from other humans.
Really…someone thinks this is an improvement? I’ve been through fast food hell before, but nothing like this. Since you have to pre-pay for your food, I can only imagine how hard it is to get your money back when you have to board your flight before your computerized food arrives. Typically, at the Raleigh-Durham airport, there are an array of choices, but this time, virtually every other restaurant had permanently closed. Someone on the airport staff responsible for this mess needs a wake-up call. If this is the future of air travel, I think I’ll be sticking closer to home a lot more.