United has gone full scale with its ‘Bag Drop Shortcut’ service, allowing travelers who have already checked in and paid for baggage the option to skip longer lines and drop off their luggage at designated kiosks.
First trialed at Newark (EWR), the service allows those who are checked in via the mobile app with prepaid checked bags to go directly to ‘Bag Drop Shortcut’ stations where they can weigh their own bags and scan their mobile boarding pass to link them. From there, an agent will print and label the bag(s) for loading. The kiosks are also able to handle overweight and oversized bags, allowing travelers to check a wide variety of items without any inconvenience.
The new service is available at the following airports, with plans to expand to more cities later this year:
Previously, customers checking bags would have had to still line up at a check-in kiosk to get their boarding pass, and then line up once again to have their baggage details confirmed and labeled. United claims the new service could be completed in a minute or less, and it seems to be true after overwhelmingly positive feedback from its Newark trials.
“Our initial customer data proves this free, simple-to-use process saves our customers time and energy as they get ready for their flight,” said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United, “We’re thrilled to be the first to offer this service to all customers who check-in on our award-winning mobile app.”
United is not the only airline trying to streamline the boarding process. Delta launched its facial recognition system at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport geared towards TSA PreCheck passengers (so far). Travelers simply have to check in online and visit one of the facial recognition stations if they need to check in any bags. With a simple scan of the face, the system can pull up travel information, allowing you to print relevant tags for your bags before self-loading them onto the respective conveyor belts. The TSA security checkpoint and boarding gates also use facial recognition, meaning you don’t need to pull out your phone or printed boarding pass at any point of the journey to the aircraft.
[Featured Photo: United]