The day has finally arrived. Sun Country Airlines now offers kiosks.

Passengers can now check in for their flights at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport using self-service kiosk machines, much like they can at most other U.S. airlines, rather than standing in long ticket counter lines.

The kiosks went live Tuesday, the same day Sun Country announced its big new partnership with Amazon Air. 

"This is a big step for us because we've been talking about this automation since June," Sun Country Chief Executive Jude Bricker told the Star Tribune. 

The Metropolitan Airports Commission owns the equipment, and Sun Country leases it. Before the airline switched technology systems this past summer, it couldn't support self-service kiosks.

For now, MSP will be the only station where Sun Country has the self-service machines.

The airline last week also switched on a new feature allowing customers to check in for international flights online.

It couldn't come at a better time as the airline enters its busiest travel season with the holidays and then spring break when Minnesotans are taking trips to warm-weather destinations.

Sun Country struggled to keep pace with its heavy passenger load arriving at for outbound flights last March. Customers had to stop at the ticket counter for four different reasons -- all but one of which will be eliminated by these kiosks and procedural changes.

International travelers can now scan their passports at a kiosk and seat assignments can now be randomly assigned. Sun Country also moved the exit row age verification check from the ticket counter to the gate.

"The only folks that have to go to the ticket counter now will be bag checkers," Bricker said.

That's still a lot of customers, but the airline is expecting faster and shorter ticket counter visits without the other passengers clogging up the lines.

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