Self bag drop: New service for passengers and airlines at Hamburg Airport

Self bag drop: New service for passengers and airlines at Hamburg Airport

The quick and flexible way to get off to departure: ten easy-to-use, self-explanatory kiosks for fully automated baggage drop

23.01.2018 -

Hamburg Airport has launched the next generation of airport. With the new, fully automated baggage drop, passengers will benefit from even more independence and flexibility at departure. The aim is to bring passengers to the plane without time-consuming processes. Since the start of November 2017, ten “self bag drop” kiosks have been in operation in Terminal 1. They were officially launched today. Four stations have also been installed for automated check-in. The kiosks, developed and manufactured by Materna GmbH in Dortmund, are technically equipped to provide services for all airlines. They “self bag drop” procedure is currently being used by Air France, KLM and easyJet. Other airlines will be added over time.

“Already after just a short period of operation, we can see that our passengers are not having any problems with the new equipment,” says Johannes Scharnberg, Director of Aviation at Hamburg Airport. “And we are very happy with the system’s stability. Many of our passengers have already discovered the benefits of the kiosks for themselves and given us very positive feedback. We have hardly encountered any technical anxiety on the part of our passengers. The system is straightforward and self-explanatory. Staff are on hand to provide personal support with the process at any time. So nobody needs to worry about being stuck with a machine and no human help.”

User-friendly and secure — with Scandinavian design
User-friendly and with the maximum possible comfort for passengers and airlines whilst fulfilling the highest security standards: these were the most important technical requirements imposed on the manufacturer. The design of the complete system fits well in the architecture and atmosphere of the terminals. “With our Danish partner, Marcus Pedersen, we found an attractive solution,” says Dr Georg Oschmann, Executive Vice President Mobility at Materna. “And with numerous self-service projects at over 70 airports worldwide behind us, we have a great deal of experience in the implementation of self-service solutions for passenger handling.”

Hamburg Airport's pioneering role
Hamburg Airport has taken a pioneering role in the deployment of self-service systems in Germany. The first “self bag drop” kiosks were introduced here three years ago. The new solution, however, adds features such as baggage classification. “The kiosks immediately detect items that shouldn’t be conveyed using the automated baggage transportation system,” explains Reinhard Augustin, Sales Director at Materna. “The passenger is then informed via the display that the item is to be checked as oversized baggage. This applies, for example, to folded strollers and prams, as well as to trekking backpacks with dangling shoulder straps that could block the conveyor system.” Checked items are automatically photographed. “In the event of damage or loss, for example, this makes it easier for the passenger to prove that the baggage was in good condition when it was checked in,” continues Reinhard Augustin. A further advantage for passengers is the larger number of kiosks available. In the past, for example, an easyJet passenger could only drop baggage at one kiosk, but now the whole ten are available.

The “self bag drop” system is based on the international CUSS standard (Common Use Self-Service). This allows airlines to deploy their own applications on self bag drop equipment around the world without having to redevelop or adapt each time.

Simple user guide
The user guide for “self bag drop” is simple: First, the user selects the airline on the screen and then scans the boarding pass. The next step is to answer security questions about the contents of the baggage. The baggage is then placed in the marked area on the conveyor, where it is automatically measured and weighed. The kiosk then prints the baggage tag with the barcode to be affixed to the baggage. This just needs to be confirmed on the screen, and the baggage receipt is issued.

Baggage cannot be transported onward on the conveyor belt until it is correctly labelled. A scanner identifies errors or misuse of the kiosk immediately. The glass doors only open when an item of baggage has been identified as safe. The equipment can thus be used by different airlines.

A relaxed start to the journey
“Reduced waiting times and shorter walking distances — for our passengers, that means more time to relax before the journey. Passengers no longer have to wait for the check-in counters to open. They can experience the airport as the positive starting point for the entire travel chain. They have more time to stroll and to enjoy the atmosphere,” underlines Johannes Scharnberg of Hamburg Airport. “But the airlines also benefit from our extended services, which enable them to offer a more relaxed service to their customers.”

Materna GmbH
As a leading IT service provider, Materna employs more than 1,900 people worldwide and generated turnover of 223 million euros in 2016. Materna’s portfolio covers the entire full-service premium segment, from consulting to implementation to operation. The target market consists of IT organisations, corporate departments and public administration. Materna is divided into six business lines: IT Factory, Digital Enterprise, Government, Communications, Mobility and the SAP consulting company, cbs in Heidelberg. Under the Materna ips brand (Integrated Passenger Services), and as one of the world’s leading suppliers for airports and airlines, Materna offers solutions for automated passenger handling at airports.

Hamburg Airport
With around 17.6 million passengers per year, Hamburg Airport is the fifth-largest airport in Germany. Passengers can choose from a well spread route network, with 130 domestic and international destinations served by around 60 airlines. Incorporating Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and parts of Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Denmark, Hamburg Airport’s large catchment area, with its substantial passenger potential, is extremely interesting for all airlines. Hamburg Airport is equipping itself to face the challenges of the future of aviation with a modern infrastructure. Almost 250 businesses based at the airport employ approximately 15,000 staff (incl. approx. 2,000 directly employed by the airport). The partially privatised airport is owned by the Free & Hanseatic City of Hamburg, with a 51 percent holding, and AviAlliance GmbH with a 49 percent stake.