Apr 02, 2019 • 5 min read

Rise of the Machines

by Kirsty Tull

Airports globally have an opportunity to redefine the passenger experience beyond anything we have known. With technology acceptance currently at an all-time high, utilising digital solutions to creating a more seamless, integrated pathway for passengers will soon be the norm.

Rise of the Machines

Over the last twenty years, the aviation industry has experienced a surge in people traveling across the globe, with numbers rising from 1.467 billion in 1998 to 3.979 billion in 2017, based on figures from International Civil Aviation Organisation.^

And, there seems to be no end in sight, with numbers set to more than double in the next two decades to over 8 billion in 2037.

For a moment, putting aside how we create the super highway of the sky. How are airports gearing up for this phenomenal growth?

In response to this increase, the mandate among airlines and airports will be to create efficiencies throughout the passenger and baggage journey, while maintaining high levels of service and experience; through to security, tracking and delivery.

So how will it be done?

In today’s digital world, we are consistently presented with a multitude of applications and technological devices to make our lives easier. Therefore, it is no surprise that the adoption of technology within airports is on the rise.

Airports globally have an opportunity to redefine the passenger experience beyond anything we have known or experienced since the inception of air travel. With technology acceptance currently at an all-time high, utilising digital solutions to creating a more seamless, integrated pathway for passengers will soon be the norm.

In a recent survey conducted by SITA, it showed overall passengers rated their journey 8.2 out of 10, with figures increasing when mobile services or biometrics are used. These sentiments further cemented when looking at the percentage of passengers willing to switch from face-to-face to self-service. #

A passenger’s perspective

No longer do passengers want to wait in lengthy cues and are wanting more control over their time. An industry survey conducted by IATA indicated that over 50% of passenger worldwide want more self-service options to speed up their journey through airports*

In response to this, more airports are looking to increase the use of self-service technology to ease the strain of growing passenger numbers and are finding the gains are many.

A sample of self-service benefits, include:

  • Reduction in wait times
  • More efficient processes
  • Flexible and convenient operations
  • Puts the control into the hands of the passenger
  • Lower stress

The increased use of self-service

The use of self-service technology is not revolutionary. Banks first adopted this concept using ATMs in early 1967, when Barclays Bank in London first implemented the solution to reduce costs and provide better service to customers. Proven to be a significant benefit for businesses, and importantly, their customers, self-service technology has risen across a range of industries including retail and hotels to fast become part of our everyday urban landscape.

There are many factors contributing to the success of an airport, with the passenger processing operations being a significant contributor. It is essential for airports to provide ease and convenience, with much attention given to ensure a seamless flow of traffic and uninterrupted experience – the aim to avoid fatigue and frustration.

We took a look at the very front line of the passenger and baggage handling process; Self Bag Drop solutions, the key benefits, and things to consider.

Self Bag Drop solutions

For many airports, Self Bag Drop (SBD) solutions are now an integral part of the facilities offered, considerably enhancing the passenger experience.

Airlines and airports offering self-service have seen an increase in passenger satisfaction, with approximately 47% of all passengers using self-service tagging options on their most recent trip, an increase from 31% in 2016.#

Daifuku’s Self Bag Drop solutions offer an intuitive, clear guide through the simple three-step bag drop process.

Offering unprecedented efficiency, our technology takes a modern, flexible design approach to meet the unique physical requirements of airports worldwide.

While many early SBD deployments operated for a single airline, we understand that from an airport’s perspective, a ‘common-use’ solution is preferred which is why we are the only SBD solution certified for use on the world’s leading common-use self-service. This ensures multiple airlines can utilise the same SBD hardware, maximising passenger throughput within the terminal check-in area.

The benefits for implementing a self-service solution for baggage drop are vast; below we’ve included a few, just to get you thinking.

  1. Supports passenger growth and reduction of wait times within existing infrastructure and space without requiring large-scale redevelopments and capex expenditure.
  2. Increases passenger throughput.
  3. Solutions are always online and available, meaning a higher capacity is available.
  4. Processing time for bag drop solutions continues to decline, to now below 65 seconds on average for the entire process – scan, tag, and drop.
  5. Reduces administration work allowing airlines to mobilise staff to function as roving agents to assist with the check-in process and customer service, providing an add-value experience for passengers.
  6. Increase in retail spend throughout the airport as passengers are less stressed and have more dwell time.
As we become more mobile with accessibility to air travel increasing, the impetus for the industry to support greater global connectivity will be heightened.

To speak with one of our experienced business solution managers on how to create positive passenger experience and increase efficiency, contact us today.

^ https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IS.AIR.PSGR
* https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/passenger/fast-travel/Documents/Fast-Travel-Program-Strategy-V6.pdf, https://www.internationalairportreview.com/article/23211/passenger-processing-benefits-fast-travel/
# https://www.sita.aero/resources/type/surveys-reports/baggage-it-insights-2019/

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