Gatwick Airport has fully opened the world’s largest self-service bag drop zone in its North Terminal.
The area is currently used by easyJet, Gatwick’s largest customer, and now contains 48 self-service bag drops. Phase One of the project opened last October with the installation of 28 self-service bag drops. Phase Two has opened and adds 20 more self-service bag drops.
The automated bag drop facility will help to reduce check-in queues. As a result of its introduction queue times have reduced by half and more than 90% of easyJet passengers will wait less than 5 minutes at the bag drop area.
The opening enables easyJet to move all its flights from the South Terminal to the North Terminal in January 2017.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will also switch their flight operations, with British Airways moving South and Virgin Atlantic moving North.
The overall plan means the check-in area has a better layout and more space, increasing peak check-in capacity from 3,000 to 4,350 passengers per hour.
How it works
To use the easyJet self bag drop, passengers have to check-in and obtain a boarding pass before going to the bag drop zone.
- at the entrance easyJet staff check their passports against their boarding pass
- if all is OK, passengers go to the kiosk and place their bags onto a scale
- a baggage tag is then automatically generated by the kiosk
- the passenger attaches the tag to their bag
- the tag is checked by scanners to make sure the information is correct and the label attached securely
- the bag is sent through the airport’s baggage system
Gatwick’s Chief Commercial Officer, Guy Stephenson said:
“As we prepare for the busiest summer the airport has ever had, the full opening of this new departure level will improve the experience our passengers have at Gatwick.
“This state-of-the-art facility is designed to eliminate queues by allowing passengers to check-in, drop off their bag and be on their way in less than two minutes.
“The continued investment we are making to transform the airport will help us to grow while we wait for a Government decision on a new runway.”
Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s UK Director, said:
“As our largest base Gatwick is of huge importance to easyJet both strategically and for the millions of our passengers who travel through the airport every year.
“We recognise that our customer’s airport experience is a crucial part of their overall journey and so we are delighted to have opened this new area for our customers flying from London Gatwick.
“Our vision is for Gatwick to be both our biggest and best airport and this opening enables us to further deliver on our ambition to make travel easy and affordable for all of our customers.
Gatwick has a number of self bag drop systems. For example British Airways and Norwegian have their own different systems.
There seems to be no plan for a common bag drop.
N.B. Image credit: easyjet.com