One of worst parts of travelling by air is the elaborate check in process that most airports have. It’s an  unnecessary hassle and a sheer waste of time. But Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore has found a solution to our problems. They’ve introduced fully automated baggage drop machines where the travelers are encouraged for self service. Currently, airport check in time is reduced to 45 and 60 seconds.

Materna Integrated Passenger Services Company has installed these machines. Currently there are only 16 of these uber cool machines that have reduced the airport check in time, which serve Air Asia India and Spice Jet. However, the same service will be rolled out to other airlines as well. Sunil Bhaskaran, MD & CEO, Air Asia India said, “It is a proud moment for us since we are one of the two airlines that are offering this first of a kind service to guests in Bengaluru. We will now be able to check in all guests on 30+ flights a day from BIAL using Self Bag-Drop.”

BIAL has deployed 16 fully-automated Self Bag Drop machines at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). (pic: BIAL)
BIAL has deployed 16 fully-automated Self Bag Drop machines at the Kempegowda International Airport to help reduce airport check in time

How does the automated machine save airport check in time?

The idea is to speed up the baggage transaction process and hence reduce the airport check time at counters. Normally an airport check in time takes a minimum of 5 -7 mins to be cleared at the counter and this facility will ensure a drastic reduction in that. The new system, called Air.Go, has been both designed and installed by Materna IPS.

With the help of these machines, the travelers would be able to issue their own boarding passes, get their own baggage tags, drop off their baggage at their respective machines and even kick start their airport check in process by scanning their boarding process.

Since these machines are fully automated, you wouldn’t really have to wait for manual processing of your baggage and boarding process. The machine does it for you. It scans and weighs your luggage, so that you don’t have to wait in lines and drastically reduces your airport check in time.

Also, the matter of excess luggage has also been taken into consideration. In case of excess baggage, the passenger will be directed to a ‘hybrid counter’ to complete the airport check-in and payment. However, this is just for the time being. This too will become fully automated eventually.

“India’s airports are being confronted with growth of up to 25 percent right now and have expansion plans to match. However, above all, they have to make the best possible use of their existing infrastructure as extensions and new buildings take too long. The self-service project at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru one of the most modern and attractive airports in India, is the first of its kind in the whole of India. We look forward immensely to improving the passenger experience and to mastering the challenges in this exciting growth market with established solutions together with our customers,” Shibu Mathews, Head of Materna in India, explains.

Interestingly, Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport is also planning to introduce facial recognition facility for passengers from 2019. The aim is to make the boarding process paperless and reduce the airport check in time. The move will help passengers complete their boarding via a bio metric self-boarding technology. Meanwhile, a Terminal 2 is also coming up at the Bengaluru airport, for which the contract for construction has been awarded to the Building & Factories Business of Larsen & Toubro.

Here are some reactions:

Manish Uppal, Director of Flight Operations at AirAsia.

Editor-in-Chief of Cruising Heights magazine, Mr K SRINIVASAN


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