If you are flying Spirit Airlines out of LaGuardia, you can now try your hand at self-tagging and self-checking your luggage. Last Tuesday, the budget airline began offering passengers departing from LaGuardia the option of tagging their own checked luggage and dropping it off on the conveyor.
According to Spirit, the airline is the first to offer this type of service at the airport. As part of its Invest in the Guest initiative, the airline plans to install self-bag drops at some of the airline's busiest airports in 2020 and 2021. The service is already popular across Europe, Asia and Canada, and Spirit wanted to bring the service to U.S. flyers.
Flyers who want to use the automated machines can start by printing a bag tag a kiosk as they check in. Once their bags are self-tagged, they can head straight to the bag drop machines, where they will need to simply scan their boarding pass to initiate the process. To determine that the bag is the right size, the machine weighs, measures and scans the baggage. An agent will always be in the area to ensure security requirements are met and verify that the person who is checking the baggage is the ticketed passenger.
Materna, the provider of the self-bag drop machines, said that the average time to check bags at a counter is 1 minute and 30 seconds. The new machines should shave at least 30 seconds off that time. This should speed up the check-in process for flyers who don't want to check their bag at their counter.
Travelers who don't want to use the new technology won't be forced to. Spirit will still operate a traditional full-service check-in counter at the airport.