Considering the global aviation market growth, with the number of air traffic passengers skyrocketing in many cities worldwide, it is quite usual for airport managers to be confronted with a panoply of problems due to lack of capacity in different airport processes. These problems may arise from several angles, from queuing of departure flights to congestions on baggage handling, but it is important to keep in mind the main element that keeps this industry running: passengers.
When it comes to passenger processing, queueing issues and other problems related with capacity constraints usually start from the very beginning of the passenger experience: check-in. Furthermore, being the launch of the airport experience for a departure passenger turns it into an even more significant subject, as it will have a clear impact on the perception of the quality of service and it will settle the mood for the remaining steps of processing that passengers have to overpass until time for take-off.
Hence, airport managers cannot simply focus on finding efficient solutions to these capacity issues. As passenger experience is a hot topic for the aviation sector stakeholders, it is a key element that must be taken into consideration when approaching improvements for passenger processing procedures, such as check-in.
This is clearly a theme in mind for Geneva Airport managers. According to Jacques Morgenegg, Project Manager Landside at Geneva Airport, “Passengers (…) want to be in control over their journey and be part of the process”. Therefore, facing capacity restraints difficulties, Geneva Airport solution was to enlarge its Self Bag Drop facilities in order to simultaneously provide a better passenger experience and increase check-in capacity at the same time.
Most recent equipment and software are already being produced with this vision in sight: simple, easy to use for passengers and effective on problems solving. Thus, an investment on new technologies should always be considered when facing capacity problems, as it can be a clear path to kill two birds with one stone: addressing these capacity constraints while improving passenger experience.
However, it is necessary to take into account that every technology has a scepticism period in which its utilization is limited and passengers still stick to traditional procedures. This is closely associated with the reason why “Geneva Airport (…) offers the possibility of a combined Self Bag Drop process”. According to Mr Morgenegg, “approximately 50% of (…) passengers use Scan&Fly to print a bag tag and drop their baggage, while the other half uses Scan&Fly for bag-drop only”.
The Scan&Fly technology, which allows the Self Bag Drop system in analysis, has been installed in this airport for 18 months and afterwards this experimentation period, Geneve managers “are very happy with the successful results and the good passenger acceptance”. Alongside with the implementation of new technologies, there must be this period of attentive follow-up in order to ensure that new equipment not only is user friendly but also serve its purpose effectively, solving problems with high quality standards and leading to good levels of service.
VTM Global has developed different projects in the aviation and airport management area, including monitoring airport processes and assessing compliance of service level agreements in airport infrastructures. With its experience, VTM Global is well prepared to assess its clients not only on solving capacity problems but also on keeping alert during solutions implementation phase.
Presently, at Geneva Airport, the Scan&Fly technology is being used by seven Star Alliance airlines. In this group of airlines is SWISS, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines and one well-known to VTM Global for its positioning on Portuguese airports: TAP Portugal. Nonetheless, according to the article published on Airports International, Mr Morgenegg states that common-use Self Bag Drop is the airport’s next aim.