Spirit Airlines has begun offering an automated self-service
bag drop at its New York LaGuardia ticket counter. Spirit says the service is a
first for the airport.
Spirit plans to install self-service bag drops across the
U.S. in 2020 and 2021 as part of its Invest in the Guest initiative.
“Adoption of self-bag-drop machines is high in Europe, Asia
and Canada, and we see a bright future for this technology to improve the guest
experience in the U.S.,” said Spirit CEO Ted Christie.
Spirit’s four LaGuardia units were manufactured by Materna,
which has also supplied self-service bag drop machines in Denver,
Minneapolis-St. Paul, London Gatwick, Toronto and other airports across Europe
Materna stations shave at least 30 seconds off the 1 minute
and 30 seconds it typically takes to check bags at a traditional counter, said
Gary McDonald, Materna’s president for North America.
In LaGuardia, Spirit guests who use the automated machines
start by printing a bag tag at a kiosk as they check in. Once they tag their
bags, they proceed to the bag drop machines, where they scan their boarding
pass to initiate the process. The machine then measures, weighs and scans the
bags to ensure that they are the correct size and weight, before automatically
feeding them into the baggage-handling system.
An agent is in the area to assist and to meet security requirements
that an agent manually verify that the person checking bags is the ticketed