South African Airways (SA) are the latest airline to launch a trial of self-service bag drop.
The trial is at Heathrow Terminal 1 and is in conjunction with Star Alliance and Heathrow.
The self bag drop uses the two step method:
Step 1: the passenger prints the tag at a kiosk and attaches it to the bag
Step 2: the passenger inserts the bag into the self bag drop ‘machine’.
The technique has also been under trial with Aegean Airlines (A3) at Heathrow Terminal 1. The trial was due to end on 31 January 2013. SA and A3 are Star Alliance members.
Qantas and British Airways are running a similar trial at Heathrow Terminal 3.
Self bag drop is probably the fastest growing trend in the fastest growing technology in the industry – self-service. At least eight technology companies offer a self bag drop solution.
There are two basic types of solution, called 1-step and 2-step. 1-step means that the tag is issued and attached and the bag inserted all at the same location. 2-step means the tag is issued and attached before taking the bag to the bag drop.
As well as the Heathrow trials a number of other airports offer self bag drop with a variety of airlines.
2-step examples – Montreal, Paris CDG, Paris Orly, Stockholm, Helsinki, most airports in Australia and New Zealand.
1-step examples – Amsterdam and Zurich.