Edinburgh Airport is continuing to invest in technology to help improve the passenger experience with the launch of its latest facility, a new multi-airline common bag drop which will reduce average bag drop time from almost two minutes to just 30 seconds.
In a UK first, Scotland's busiest airport has installed three SONIC Common Use Bag Drop machines in the check-in hall, enabling passengers to print their own luggage tag, weigh their bags and despatch them to their aircraft with minimal time and stress.
Other airports around the UK currently operate similar technology but this is the first to have more than one independent airline using it at the same time. These machines at Edinburgh Airport will be exclusively operated by easyJet and Flybe, with staff members from their handling agent Menzies taking on the day-to-day running of the kiosks.
David Wilson, Chief Operating Officer at Edinburgh Airport, said: "We are very excited to have introduced this ground-breaking technology to help improve our passengers' experience when they travel with us.
"We know that time is of the essence when checking in and we want to make this process as quick and stress-free as possible. These new self-service bag drop kiosks are very simple to use and will speed up the entire check-in and bag drop process. If we can reduce the check-in time to as little as 30 seconds then we will be demonstrating our unwavering commitment to providing the best service for our passengers.
"This project will be on-going and we're delighted to be working so closely with our colleagues from easyJet and Flybe on this."
These new Common Use Bag Drop kiosks work by allowing passengers to scan their boarding pass which they will have already printed. The machine will automatically assign the baggage to the
passenger's airline and ask for the bag to be placed on the belt in order to be weighed. Built in chip and pin card machines will enable passengers to pay for overweight baggage if necessary. Their luggage tag will then be printed which the passenger can attach themselves before their baggage is despatched through the main system to the waiting aircraft. A member of staff will be on hand at all times to ensure passengers have no issues.
Also commenting on the new technology, Flybe's Director of Marketing, Simon Lilley, said: "This is yet another way in which Flybe, together with our airport partner in Edinburgh, is adding benefit for our passengers and we congratulate the airport on being the UK industry trail-blazer by adopting this excellent service that will undoubtedly enhance our customers travel experience."
Chris Hurley, Chief Technology Officer of P5T Ltd, who devised the SONIC Common Use Bag Drop system, said: "SONIC is the first truly common-use bag drop application and I am delighted that Flybe and easyJet have demonstrated that intermingled passengers flying with two independent airlines can use the same processes and equipment without any differentiation in speed or customer service levels.
"Only by working with Edinburgh Airport and Menzies was such a milestone achieved and I would like to congratulate all the parties concerned.
"The positive experiences and feedback from passengers using the SONIC Common Use Bag Drop will no doubt shape the future of airport terminals in years to come."
Hugh Aitken, Head of Scotland for easyJet, said: "We're pleased Edinburgh Airport has invested in technology which will provide an additional quick and easy way for customers to drop off their bags. Last month easyJet introduced mobile boarding passes for passengers travelling from Edinburgh Airport and this is another example of how we're working together to make travel easier to and from Scotland."