Spirit Airlines, an ultra low cost carrier, has launched its biometric self bag drop at Dallas Fort Worth.
Passengers use self-service to check-in and print bag tags. They attach the tags to the bags and use the self-service bag drop which uses facial recognition biometrics.
Spirit already uses the biometric check-in system at New York’s La Guardia Airport (LGA) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD).
The self-bag drop system can analyse 50,000 forms of ID from nearly 200 countries that a passenger could potentially use when travelling in the United States.
Spirit passengers currently check between 400–500 bags daily at DFW and growing. Spirit says ‘Each of these means a face-to-face interaction that can be streamlined’ i.e. replace people with self-service.
How it works
What that means is Spirit can cut their costs by replacing people with self-service machines.
- Passengers check in at a kiosks, print their bag tags, attach them to their bags and proceed to the self-service bag drops (SBD)
- At the SBD, passengers scan their boarding pass and are then told they can continue if they agree to their facial biometrics being used
- If they choose not to use their biometrics, they have to go to an agent
- If they choose to use their biometrics, they have to scan their ID on the SBD unit
- The SBD unit takes a high resolution picture of the passenger, compares that picture with the one in the scanned ID along with comparing identification information with the passenger’s reservation details
- If the matches are OK, passengers can place their bags on the belt, it scans and weighs the bags and takes payment for any additional optional services
- Finally the bags can go to the plane!
Spirit says none of the data is transmitted to any government agency.
Spirit started an automated self-service bag drop system at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport in June 2019.
N.B. Image credit: Spirit Airlines