Improving on Passenger and Baggage Processes at Airports with RFID Katalin Emese Bite
Budapest University of Technology and Economics Faculty of Transportation Engineering, Department of Transport Economics Hungary 1. Introduction Today’s airports are overcrowded. The queues are long, passengers don’t have time to spend it on the airport queuing, but security restrictions must be kept. Everyone would like to lower the high cost wherever it is possible. Such an area is the amount of costs generated by the baggage loss within the air travel. Another factor is the delay of flights, which can be generated by passengers late at the boarding or even not appearing. The aircraft can only take off if all the checked-in baggage has its owner on board. If not, the baggage has to be offloaded. The costs generated by baggage loss are very high for both the airlines and the airports. The application of RFID technology would reduce these costs extremely. Today’s implementation and chip prices are very high but with time it will decrease. The average industry cost per mishandled baggage is US$100. Approximately 1% of the 1.7 billion bags that passes through the system every per year is mishandled and RFID is an ideal candidate to reduce these losses. Upon full implementation, RFID would save the industry US$760 million annually.
2. Airport passenger and baggage reconciliation systems in use After arriving at the airport, the traveller enters the terminal building at the departure hall. There the passenger checks-in himself and his baggage, which will be part of the Departure Control System (DCS). The DCS after entering all the necessary data will print a Boarding Pass and the long Baggage Tag (BagTag) with a barcode. The Boarding Pass is printed to inform the passenger of the flight number, boarding time, boarding gate number and seat number, and it is used to identify the passenger at the security and immigration check and boarding gate too. The barcode of the checked-in baggage serves the identification until the final destination. The longer part of this BagTag is put on the checked-in baggage. The passenger receives the smaller slip that contains the same barcode as the checked-in baggage. In case of baggage loss the airline is able to identify and find out where the baggage has been lost. Without the passenger having this receipt the airline is not obliged to find the lost luggage and compensate the passenger. In recent years industrial deployments have changed the previous infrastructure of the departure hall. The operation of the check-in system has not changed much, but for Source: Sustainable Radio Frequency Identification Solutions, Book edited by: Cristina Turcu, ISBN 978-953-7619-74-9, pp. 356, February 2010, INTECH, Croatia, downloaded from SCIYO.COM
Sustainable Radio Frequency Identification Solutions
lowering the cost, the used tools (check-in desks, boarding card) have changed. The operation became more automatic and the passengers are more independent. Currently on many airports there are different facilities available: 1. Traditional check-in desks with an agent: serving mostly the business, frequent flyer and the through check-in passengers. 2. Self check-in kiosks: where the passenger has to check-in himself, following the indications of the touch-screen kiosks. The passenger has to provide the requested data and can print his own boarding pass and baggage tag and then continue to the Baggage Drop to weight and drop off the checked-in baggage. When self check-in kiosks are introduced, an agent can help the passengers.
Fig. 1. Self Check - in kiosk Portable Agent Workstations, Mobile Check-in device: agents circulate around the check-in area looking for customers for checking them in with a hand-held personal computer. These agents can also print the boarding pass and baggage tag, and then the passenger can to continue to drop off its luggage. This method is rarely used (e.g....