Paris Airports announced a deal to add 100 new auto bag drop machines (ABD) to its facilities in the coming months. The ABDs are built by Amadeus subsidiary ICM Airport Technics and will join the 360 machines already deployed at Charles De Gualle and Orly Airports. Notably, these systems cut down bag drop time significantly.
As travel continues to boom, Paris Airports (Group ADP) plans to increase the number of self bag drop machines available at the capital’s two airports: Paris-Charles De Gaulle (CDG) and Paris-Orly Airport (ORY). Officials hope more systems will ease passenger flow through check-in and allow travelers to breeze through to security for their flight.
There is data to back this claim up as well. Amadeus, in a statement, said that it had found the average bag drop on its machines to be just 37 seconds, an impressive figure. This is assuming you’ve managed to print out your tags successfully, and the machine reads the barcodes with no issues, of course.
CDG and ORY already have 360 machines deployed across several terminal check-in areas, and adding 100 more will only make things easier for passengers. Moreover, as the winter holidays draw closer, airports will be trying hard to prevent a repeat of this summer’s chaos and invest heavily in any new technologies that may help.
In a statement, Yannick Beunardeau, SVP Airport & Airline Operations, EMEA, Amadeus, said,“Airports and airlines have experienced significant operational challenges as they adapt to rapidly rising passenger numbers. At the airport, automation offers a proven route to reduce queues by allowing passengers to take control of their own experience. That’s why Groupe ADP is placing self-service at the heart of its passenger service strategy.”
Machines or humans?
With auto bag drops, airports are hoping that passengers will move away from going to the traditional check-in desk and switch to using only machines in the future. It is currently possible to print boarding passes and bag tags without human intervention, although many agents are usually on hand to assist with any difficulties. With more bag drop machines, no agents are needed for any step of the process, hypothetically.
Groupe ADP Deputy CEO, Edward Arkwright, noted that “while they will always have the choice between this automated service or a traditional experience at the airline’s check-in counter, we are seeing an increasing number of passengers choosing to check in their own luggage.” However, given growing queues at airports, auto bag drop will be a welcome change for most passengers.
In the coming years, we can expect to see the number of check-in desks (staffed by agents) fall as more bag drop machines enter service. However, airlines are likely to still keep some desks around for special assistance and premium passengers, some of whom may enjoy the privilege of interacting with staffers to discuss their flights, a key selling point of business and first class.