As aviation looks towards a new normal, self-service technology can play a key part in transforming the passenger experience into the new normal.
Netherlands-based eezeetags has created an innovative easy-to-use luggage tag, which uses a self-adhesive material. Jon Sikorski works with eezeetags across the Americas as part of Gateway Business Communications’ product offering. He spoke with Airport-Technology about how an easy-to-use bag tagging solution can transform aviation beyond Covid-19.
What changes have you seen in US travel over the past year? How has eezeetags addressed this?
We’ve obviously seen a dramatic decline in air traffic due to Covid-19. Our role at eeezeetags is to present a product as part of the touchless solution that airports and airlines are looking for. Eezeetags plays a small part in the complex operation, but we are a key part of the solution to go touchless.
How can contactless technology like eezeetags help create a Covid-19-safe airport?
Firstly, it creates fewer capacity restraints, because passengers are able to get through the check-in process quicker. On average, eezeetags save about 20 seconds per passenger, which quickly adds up for everyday operations when you look at how many passengers there are on an aircraft.
This extra 20 seconds also saves costs for airlines. While we can’t determine the dollar amount, that’s an internal figure the airlines have, there is major potential for airlines operating with between 30 to 40 million passengers annually.
Since there’s no waste, it also creates a much healthier environment for the passengers and employees. Nobody has to touch any of the plastic that normal luggage tags have. It’s just dot-to-dot to put it together.
How are eezeetags incorporated into bag drop systems in the airport terminal?
Eezeetags turn bag drop systems into a one-step or a two-step process, depending on the existing terminal facilities. If it’s a one-step bag drop, they go to the bag drop, they check-in, print their bag tag, put it on the bag, get a receipt, and go.
If it’s a two-step process, passengers still have to check-in at the kiosk and they can either print an eezeetag at the kiosk or print it at the bag drop. It’s all about increasing passenger throughput for the airline and the airport.
Can you tell us about the benefits of using eezeetags as part of a contactless solution?
It’s totally bisphenol A (BPA) free, so there is no residue to throw away. All you do when it comes out of the machine is slide it through your bag, and stick the two dots on the adhesive side together, take your claim check and go. There’s no waste so there are no materials left on the floor for people to possibly slip on.
Eezeetags also allows the staff to interact with more passengers than current systems as the majority of passengers will be using a self-instructional tag. As it is a picture showing how to attach the tag to their luggage, it is suitable for speakers of any language.
Can you tell us about the new eezeecolor technology for eezeetags?
As we have been growing and working with our customers, eezeecolor is a new solution for tagging heavy bags quickly and conveniently at the kiosks.
It is designed to work with the printer as a thermal transfer material. The printhead allows users to print colour tags for heavy or priority luggage at the same kiosk.
Some airlines are using this for multiple applications such as heavy, transfer or claim at gate tags, but it really is up to the airline or airport to get creative and work with us to see what their situations are.
Are there other innovations that you’re seeing in aviation where eezeetags could expand?
There are two main things that we’ve been working on for eezeetags. We’ve been testing RFID eezeetags, which a lot of airlines and airports are looking at. This allows passengers to track their bag throughout the entire baggage handling process, as well as helping airlines handle lost or mishandled bags.
We’ve also been testing QR codes on the back of the eezeetag, which will allow passengers to use a cellphone, scan the QR code and find out how to tag their luggage or go through the bag-drop system directly from their mobile.
With the pandemic, we’ve also been discussing the possibility of off-site check-in, which will allow airlines to get people through the airport as quickly as possible. Hotels and casinos could allow passengers to print their bag tags at the hotel, allowing them to spend more time there without worrying about their bag being checked. When they arrive at the airport, the bags are already subsequently tagged, they only have to drop them off, and they’re ready to go. That’s something everybody’s talking about right now.