Spirit Airlines installs self bag drop at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

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Spirit Airlines has installed new self-bag-drop systems from Materna IPS in its redesigned ticket lobby at Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport (DFW), offering passengers a contactless identification process when checking bags through the use of biometric technology. 

Materna IPS first partnered with Spirit in 2019 to develop the United States’ first biometric matching solution for domestic air travel. Combining it with the automated baggage handling systems allowed the airline to reduce face-to-face interaction and offer a smoother, seamless passenger check-in experience. Following a rigorous testing period with biometric authentication, the DFW system will replace the need for a manual ID scan by check-in staff.

During the 1:1 matching at DFW, the camera integrated into the self-bag-drop system scans the passenger’s face as well as their driver’s license or passport, and boarding pass data. The information is then sent to the biometric backend to immediately verify the passenger’s identity and start the bag-drop process. Materna IPS’s biometric solution can analyze key physical features on over 50,000 forms of ID from nearly 200 countries, and also detects fraudulent documents for an extra layer of security.

“We’ve been on a mission to find opportunities to continue improving every facet of the guest experience, to include investing in automation and self-service to streamline the travel journey so guests spend less time in lobbies,” said Mike Byrom, vice president of airport services at Spirit Airlines. “Our guests are tech savvy and they appreciate options. Also, limiting touchpoints and unnecessary face-to-face interactions is currently changing the way airports operate.”

Currently around 400-500 bags are checked in at DFW’s new self-service stations every day. Including the biometric authentication, the entire process only takes up to 70 seconds and in turn reduces the average passenger transaction time by 30%.

“Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport is committed to identifying and testing innovative solutions that deliver secure, efficient and frictionless customer experiences,” said DFW Airport vice president of innovation, Jodie Brinkerhoff. “We are excited to support our partner Spirit Airlines as it introduces a self-directed, biometrically enabled check-in and bag-drop process – which ultimately provides the customer with greater control and fewer requirements for face-to-face processing and document exchanges.”

“To revolutionize the passenger journey is engrained in Materna’s DNA; it is what we have lived for, for over 40 years,” said Materna IPS Americas president, Gary McDonald. “In the past few years, we have seen such incredible growth in innovative technology. It is an honor to lead from the front and assist every airport across the US in embracing this technology – and biometric self bag drops are just the beginning of the revolution.”

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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