Dropping off your checked baggage at the airport before a flight has often been a confusing — and even frustrating — process. It may be unclear which line you’re supposed to be in, and those lines can often be very long. It’s a process that’s needed a refresh for a while now.
One low-cost airline says it’s about to get a lot easier for travelers to check their bags, which in turn should make the overall check-in process a lot more streamlined.
Here’s what you need to know.
Spirit Rolls Out Self-service and Biometric Check-in Process
Spirit Airlines announced on March 30, 2022, that it is rolling out a “self-bag drop” at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which will allow travelers to check their bags without having to speak to an agent.
Spirit says its machines are equipped with a “biometric photo-matching system that compares a scan of government-issued identification with a photo” of the passenger. The system, Spirit says, will eliminate the need to hand over identification when checking bags.
The system is initially being tested with manual identification checks, and travelers can opt-in to the biometric check.
Spirit says its passengers check about 1,000 bags in Atlanta (ATL) daily, which the airline says can be streamlined. It claims that testing data shows that its procedure reduces average processing time to just 1 minute and 10 seconds per guest, lessening time spent at bag check by 30%.
“Our guests are tech-savvy, and they appreciate options for controlling their travel journey. Another reason why the technology is advantageous for guests is because it complements our staffing and helps preserve consistency of service,” said Mike Byrom, Vice President of Airport Services for Spirit Airlines, in a statement.
“Hartsfield–Jackson prides itself on its efficiency and safety,” said Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager Balram Bheodari. “Through advances in innovation, this project is designed to increase both, and we welcome such efforts.”
The program is already in place at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW), and New York-LaGuardia (LGA) airports.
United Airlines recently launched a similar program, making it easier for travelers to drop bags off for their flights using its mobile app. According to the airline, travelers should be able to check their bags in 1 minute or less.
The service is already available at several United hubs, including Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), and Washington, D.C. (IAD). Still, the airline said it plans to expand to other airports this year.
Hot Tip: Read up on everything you need to know about Spirit’s baggage fees and how you can avoid paying them on your next flight.
Atlanta is one of the world’s busiest airports, so anything that makes the overall check-in process easier is excellent news for travelers. If you have a Spirit flight from Atlanta (or any other of the airports at which Spirit offers this program), you might want to consider this new option to speed up the bag-check process.
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