Spirit introduces its biometric self bag drop at Dallas Fort Worth

System already in use at Chicago O'Hare and New York La Guardia

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.

A Spirit Airlines passenger scans the boarding pass at the self bag drop unit

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

Internet links

Spirit Airlines (NK)

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