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Spirit Airlines Rolls out First Automated Self-Bag Drop

Spirit Airlines Rolls out First Automated Self-Bag Drop
Jennifer Billock

Spirit Airlines has enacted an industry-first initiative for the airline as part of its Invest in the Guest plan—the airline introduced an automated and expedited self-service bag drop station at LaGuardia Airport and intends to open up the stations at all the airline’s major hubs around the country.

Spirit Airlines has introduced its first automated and expedited self-service bag drop at check-in counters in LaGuardia Airport. The airline plans to open the bag drops at the entire airline level, bringing them to all major hubs—an industry first in the United States for an airline.

“Adoption of self-bag-drop machines is high in Europe, Asia and Canada, and we see a bright future for this technology to improve the Guest experience in the U.S.,” Ted Christie, President and CEO of Spirit Airlines, said in a release. “New York is the perfect place to bring this innovative technology, giving our tech-savvy Guests more options during the check-in process and getting them to the gate faster.”


How Will It Work?

The new counters have a two-step process:

Step 1: After check-in, print your bag tag at a kiosk and attach it to your luggage.

Step 2: Next, go to the automated bag drop machine and scan your boarding pass. Then the machine will measure, weigh, and scan your bag, then route it through for your flight.

“Results from our self-bag drop equipment in service worldwide show each passenger averaging 1 minute 30 seconds at a traditional check-in counter,” Gary McDonald, President of Materna North America, the company that created the technology, said in the release. “Our Materna equipment shaves at least 30 seconds off that time depending on the local set-up, and when you multiply that time difference across hundreds of passengers each day, airlines clear their lobbies much faster and the passenger benefits from the queue reduction.”

What If I Need Help?

Granted, issues can arise during the process, just like any other time you’re checking a bag. If you end up needing to pay something for your luggage, the kiosks are payment enabled. And if something goes completely wrong and you need to speak to an actual person, an airline agent will be there monitoring the process in case anyone needs help.

“We are delighted to have Spirit Airlines implement this new automated and time-saving self-service bag drop system for its customers at LaGuardia Airport,” Tony Vero, Interim General Manager of LaGuardia Airport, said in the release. “As the airport undergoes a major $8 billion redevelopment, LaGuardia and its partners are continuing to find new and innovative ways to provide efficient and customer-friendly services to improve the customer experience.”


[Images: Spirit Airlines]

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