It began with customers checking themselves in online and at kiosks – indeed, airlines have pressured staff to require their customers to first try to check in at a kiosk and only receive human assistance if the machines fail.
Even the checked baggage process has become more automated, with customers printing their own bag tags as well as some airlines like Qantas offering permanent bag tags that work with RFID readers at the airport. You check in electronically and drop your bag at the bag drop and leave.
Credit: EVA Air
Some airlines let you scan your own boarding pass for lounge entry.
The federal government is now working on facial recognition technology which would presumably replace TSA document checkers except that the TSA is now represented by a government union.
Now Japan Airlines is eliminating massages in its Tokyo airport lounges and will be adding additional massaging chairs instead effective October 1. (HT: Rob F.)
From October 1, 2017, the relaxation service offered by massage therapists in the international lounge at Narita Airport and Haneda Airport will be discontinued, and 3S Takumi medical massage chairs will be increased to offer relaxation service to more customers.
There are some functions where machines are likely better than people. Massage isn’t likely one of those.