Ten new easy-to-use self-service baggage drop desks have been introduced at Hamburg Airport for quick and flexible departure.

Hamburg Airport has launched the next generation of airport technology. 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  equipped with technology to provide services for all airlines.

The self bag drop procedure is currently being used by Air France, KLM and easyJet. Other airlines will be added over time.

Hamburg Airport director for aviation Johannes Scharnber says: “Already after just a short period of operation, we can see that our passengers are not having any problems with the new equipment.

“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 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 terminal.

Materna executive vice-president Dr Georg Oschmann says: “With our Danish partner, Marcus Pedersen, we found an attractive solution, 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.

Materna sales director Reinhard Augustin explains: “The kiosks immediately detect items that shouldn’t be conveyed using the automated baggage transportation system.

“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. Augustin continues: “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.”

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 common use self-service (CUSS) standard. 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. Next, the user must answer security questions about the contents of the baggage.

Baggage is then placed in the marked area on the conveyor, where it is automatically measured and weighed. Kiosks then print 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 along 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. So, the equipment can be used by different airlines.

A relaxed start to the journey

Scharnberg underlines: “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, but the airlines also benefit from our extended services, which enable them to offer a more relaxed service to their customers.”