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Spirit Airlines is celebrating 30 years at Orlando International Airport (MCO) with the installation of carrier’s largest self-bag drop system with biometric photo-matching. The 19 new kiosks make up the largest self-bag drop section for the carrier at any airport (and almost three times the size of its next biggest baggage setup).
Self-bag drop allows travelers to check bags without working with an agent. The machines are also equipped with a biometric photo-matching capability that scans a government-issued ID with a photo of the passenger for verification. Spirit checks up to 8,000 bags a day and this will greatly speed up the process. Here’s how it works:
- Passengers start by tagging their own checked bags after checking in at the kiosk and then proceed to the self-bag drops.
- They are advised of the biometric option after scanning their boarding pass at the self-bag drop unit. They may either opt in and continue on their own or opt out for agent assistance.
- Once they’ve opted in, the unit instructs them to scan their ID.
- It then compares its scan of the photo on the ID with a facial scan captured by its on-board camera, along with comparing ID information with the passenger’s reservation details. None of the passenger data is transmitted to any government agency.
- A successful match initiates the rest of the bag check-in process. Bags are placed on the conveyor belt attached to the unit. It scans the bags, weighs them, accepts payment for any additional services, and sends the luggage straight into the airport’s checked baggage system without further action.
Mike Byrom, Vice President of Airports & Crew Services for Spirit Airlines, commented:
We’ve grown to become largest ultra-low-fare carrier at MCO, and adding this convenient, self-service option is a significant investment that gives our Guests more control over their journey while spending less time in the lobby. We thank the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority for their partnership as we celebrate 30 years in this community, and we appreciate the opportunity to provide More Go for travelers to enjoy all that Orlando has to offer.”
I didn’t know Spirit Airlines had even been around 30 years. Spirit began air service as Charter One in 1980. It offered charter flights from Boston, MA and Providence, RI to Atlantic City, NJ.
Anthony’s Take: Automation and simplifying baggage drops at such a busy airport is great for passengers. I’m all for anything that makes the process faster and simpler. Who would have thought that Spirit as a low-cost carrier would be so tech forward?
(Photo Credits: Spirit Airlines.)
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