Spirit Celebrates 30 Years in Orlando with New Self-Bag Option

Spirit’s 19 new machines comprise the biggest set-up of its kind for the low-cost carrier
The self-bag drops at Spirit
Following an initial testing period at Orlando, the self-bag units will eliminate the need to hand government-issued identification to an agent when checking baggage. Spirit photo

Spirit is celebrating 30 years of service in Orlando with the official unveiling of 19 self-bag drop units at Orlando International Airport. It’s the largest set-up of its kind for the carrier at any airport and more than triple the size of Spirit’s next largest self-bag drop operation.

Self-bag drop allows guests to check bags directly without working with an agent. Spirit’s machines are also equipped with biometric photo-matching capability that compares a scan of government-issued identification with a photo of the guest for verification. Following an initial testing period at MCO with both manual ID check and biometric opt-in, the solution will eliminate the need to hand government-issued identification to an agent when checking baggage.

“We’ve grown to become the largest ultra-low-fare carrier at MCO, and adding this convenient, self-service option is a significant investment that gives our guests more control over their journey while spending less time in the lobby,” said Mike Byrom, Vice President of Airports & Crew Services for Spirit Airlines.

Spirit developed the nation’s first biometric photo-matching solution for domestic air travel in 2019 with its partner Materna Intelligent Passenger Solutions (IPS) North America. Spirit was also the first to pursue combining it with automated self-bag drop capabilities to reduce interactions and increase efficiency. The system is also operating at Atlanta (ATL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX).

Here’s how the solution works:

  • Guests start by tagging their own checked bags after checking in at the kiosk and then proceed to the self-bag drops.
  • Guests are advised of the biometric option after scanning their boarding pass at the self-bag drop unit. They may either opt-in and continue unassisted or opt-out for agent-assisted service.
  • Once the Guest opts in, the unit instructs them to scan their ID on the built-in hardware.
  • The unit compares its scan of the photo on the ID with a facial scan captured by its onboard camera, along with comparing ID information with the Guest’s reservation details. None of the data is transmitted to any government agency.
  • A successful match initiates the rest of the bag check-in process. Guests are instructed to place their bags on the conveyor belt attached to the unit, which then scans the bags, weighs them, accepts payment for any additional services, and sends them straight into the airport’s checked baggage system without further action from the guest.

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