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  1. Materna IPS
15 December 2021

Spirit Airlines Partners With Materna IPS to Revolutionise DFW with new Self-Bag Drop

Passengers can now use the latest evolution in check-in technology at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The newly installed self-bag drop systems in Spirit’s redesigned ticket lobby are equipped with the latest biometric technology to offer passengers a contactless identification process when checking bags.

In cooperation with Spirit Airlines, Materna IPS has self-bag drop installations currently operating at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD). The technology also achieved industry recognition as the best airport innovation at the 2022 APEX Awards earlier this month.

Materna IPS first partnered with Spirit in 2019 to develop the United States’ first biometric matching solution for domestic air travel; combining it with the automated baggage handling systems allowed the airline to reduce face-to-face interaction and offer a smoother, seamless passenger check-in experience. Following a rigorous testing period with biometric authentication, the DFW system will replace the need for a manual ID scan by check-in staff.

During the 1:1 matching at DFW, the camera integrated into the self-bag drop system scans the passenger’s face as well as their driver’s license, or passport, and boarding pass data. The information is then sent to the biometric backend to immediately verify the passenger’s identity and start the bag drop process. Materna IPS’ biometric solution is capable of analysing key physical features on over 50,000 forms of ID from nearly 200 countries, and also detects fraudulent documents for an extra layer of security.

“We’ve been on a mission to find opportunities to continue improving every facet of the Guest experience, from investing in automation and self-service, to streamlining the travel journey so guests spend less time in lobbies,” said Spirit Airlines airport services vice-president Mike Byrom. “Our guests are tech-savvy, and they appreciate options. Also, limiting touch points and unnecessary face-to-face interactions is currently changing the way airports operate.”

Approximately 400-500 bags are currently checked in at DFW’s new self-service stations every day. Including the biometric authentication, the entire process only takes up to 70 seconds and reduces the average passenger transaction time by 30%.

“Dallas Forth Worth International Airport is committed to identifying and testing innovative solutions that deliver secure, efficient and frictionless customers experiences,” said DFW Airport vice-president of innovation Jodie Brinkerhoff. “We are excited to support our partner Spirit Airlines as it introduces a self-directed, biometrically-enabled check-in and bag drop process, which ultimately provides the customer with greater control and fewer requirements for face-to-face processing and document exchanges.”

“To revolutionise the passenger journey is ingrained in Materna’s DNA, it is what we have lived for, for over 40 years,” said Materna IPS America’s president Gary McDonald. “In the past few years, we have seen such an incredible growth in innovative technology. It is an honour to lead from the front and assist every airport across the US in embracing this technology, and biometric self-bag drops are just the beginning of the revolution.”

Materna is one of the most renowned suppliers of self service systems for airports and airlines in the world.
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