United Airlines is making it easier to avoid lines by offering a new dedicated bag drop area that it hopes will result in a far more efficient airport experience.
United Airlines Adds “Bag Drop Shortcut” To Hub Airports, With More Stations To Come
The process is straightforward.
- Check-in on the United app and select the number of bags you intend to check
- Pre-pay, if your ticket does not include complimentary checked baggage
- Find the bag drop shortcut location at the airport with detailed instructions available right in the app
- At the bag drop shortcut location, place your bag on the scale and scan your boarding pass at the kiosk
- A United team will check your ID, apply the bag tag, and they’re on their way!
While this concept has theoretically been available in the self-service check-in area for years, when the line is mixed with passengers who need to check-in or reprint their boarding pass, the process is slowed down tremendously.
Here, United hopes to achieve an assembly line-style efficiency in which boarding passes are scanned, tags are printed and applied, and passengers are sent on their way with very limited wait.
United originally tested this at Newark (EWR) last summer, receiving high praise and genuinely reduced waiting times in customer satisfaction surveys. Toby Enqvist, Chief Customer Officer for United, noted:
“Our initial customer data proves this free, simple-to-use process saves our customers time and energy as they get ready for their flight. We’re thrilled to be the first to offer this service to all customers who check-in on our award-winning mobile app.”
This service is free and now available at all of United’s U.S. hubs. United plans to expand “bag drop shortcut” to dozens more new airports this year.
Where this process could become truly revolutionary (and we’ve seen it in other countries like Australia) is by allowing customers to tag their own bags and drop them on a conveyor belt. Australia does not check ID on domestic flights, but new facial recognition technology that is in effect at many airports in the U.S. already could totally bypass the need to require an agent (except to control against weight shenanigans, like holding the bag slightly so the true weight is not registered). That may come at a later point, but today’s news should save many travelers several minutes of waiting at airports.
United Airlines is introducing a new “bag drop shortcut” aimed at saving passengers queuing time at airports by streaming the baggage check-in process. This is good news and long overdue: initial tests have revealed the concept works and the system is now available at all of United’s U.S. hubs, with plans to expand to downline stations in the months ahead.
Have you used United’s “bag drop shortcut” before your flight? Did it save you time?
images: United Airlines