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Spirit Airlines Introduces Biometric Bag Drop Process

Spirit Airlines Introduces Biometric Bag Drop Process
Joe Cortez

Spirit Airlines is introducing a biometric check-in which would reduce face-to-face interactions between airline staff and passengers. The option allows flyers to self-check their baggage and pay for any additional options without the need for assistance throughout the process.

Despite their reputation as an ultra-low-cost carrier, Spirit Airlines is rolling out a high-tech option to reduce the amount of contact between flyers and airline employees. The Florida-based carrier announced a new trial for self-baggage drops at airports.

Biometric Self-Baggage Drop Starts in New York and Chicago

Under the new plan, flyers who are planning to check luggage can elect to start their check-in at home, and finish it at the airport. After an airline agent visually confirms the flyer’s ID, they will be directed to the self-baggage drop area.

Those who decide to opt-in will be asked to scan their ID, which is where the process begins. From there, facial scanning technology will compare the flyer with their identification, while connecting them with their identity. With a successful match, the traveler will do everything they need to check their bag. Setting it on the conveyor will weigh the bag, scan the luggage, and send it down the path to get checked on the aircraft. Flyers can then select any other additional add-ons they would like, before continuing through the TSA checkpoint and onward to their gate.

Passenger security is in the forefront of the project, as the biometric system is capable of scanning over 50,000 forms of ID from nearly 200 countries. The software can also determine a fake ID from a real, which will prevent those attempting to travel on fraudulent documents.

The self-baggage options are live at New York’s LaGuardia International Airport (LGA) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). While Spirit flyers currently check around 1,000 bags daily at each airport, Spirit says they anticipate that volume doubling as the demand for travel recovers. By encouraging flyers to go through the self-baggage drop, they say check-in time can reduce by 30 percent.

“We started looking at ways to improve the check-in experience in 2019 as part of our pledge to invest in the Guest,” Spirit president and CEO Ted Christie said in a press release. “We knew early on that automation and biometric photo-matching would make the check-in process smoother. Now in 2020, we’re realizing those same elements are just as valuable when it comes to helping people feel comfortable flying.”

New Technology Part of Spirit’s Path to Welcoming Flyers Again

The new technology is just one part of how Spirit is attempting to bring flyers back to the airport to travel once again. The airline also announced a plan to offer a new credit card to more customers, along with improving the number of benefits on their “$9 Fare Club” subscription service.

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1 Comment

  1. ruffio1

    September 8, 2020 at 2:53 am

    more technology taking somebodies job. like redundancies aren’t enough at the moment.

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