Optimising passenger flow and streamlining the check-in process are two common airport goals, with the increasing prevalence of self-service bag drop solutions playing a pivotal role in the complete end-to-end process. Borry Vrieling, founder and Managing Director, eezeetags, spoke to Ross Falconer.
Airports are continually exploring and investing in the latest innovative technologies and processes that can help create a seamless travel experience for their passengers. The check-in and bag drop process is, of course, one of the key touchpoints, and here self-service is increasingly becoming the new norm.
“In our opinion, the hardware around a self-service bag drop solution is really important, but we strongly believe that the real re turn on in vestment is in the complete end-to-end process, and a central part of the process is the passenger tagging their bag,” says Borry Vrieling, founder and Managing Director, eezeetags. “If this is easy, intuitive, and with no mistakes, the whole process benefits.”
London Gatwick Airport opened the world’s largest self-service bag drop zone in May as part of its North Terminal transformation programme. Materna is the airport’s self-service bag drop partner, providing the kiosks and hardware, and developing and hosting the airline selfservice bag drop application. Meanwhile, eezeetags were selected as the preferred self-tagging bag tag.
“easyJet is the biggest user of the bag drop installation at Gatwick, and recently held its yearly Ground Operations Customer Conference,” Vrieling explains. “The conference was attended by over 250 people, consisting of ground handling partners and representatives from easyJet’s top 50 airports. They were all informed that the Gatwick installation will be seen as a blueprint for the near future.”
“Lean and mean tag instruction”
The latest eezeetags enhancement is its new language-independent instructions, which are designed to reflect the simplicity of the self-tagging process. “In the Scandinavian design thinking of less is more, just two red targets and one icon do the job,” Vrieling comments. “eezeetags will always be a bespoke product, but our customers will become convinced of this lean and mean tag instruction.”
Meanwhile, Vrieling also highlights some important potential security benefits of this self-tagging solution. “A senior investigations officer at an international airport made us aware that the fact that eezeetags can only be used once can overcome a common smuggling scheme whereby bag tags are swapped between bags,” he says. “Also the worldwide focus on landside security makes such a simple thing as a waste bin a possible hiding place for explosives. eezeetags do not create waste at the point of tagging, so there is no need for extra waste bins that nowadays must be made of special explosive-proof material, and these can be costly.”
Looking ahead, eezeetags plans to triple its production volume by the end of 2016, and triple it again in 2017, working on projects all over the world. “Of course, we are working behind the scenes to make improvements where possible, like the new instruction design we recently brought to market and which can be seen around airports in the months to come. We also just made a business plan that brings us into 2024 and we will be the preferred self-tagging solution in the world,” Vrieling concludes.