Spirit Airlines Introduces Self-Bag Drop with Biometric Photo-Matching at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

Spirit Airlines Introduces Self-Bag Drop with Biometric Photo-Matching at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

MIRAMAR, Fla., 2023-Sep-29 — /Travel PR News/ — Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) is now offering Guests in the Motor City a speedy, self-service option to breeze through check-in. The carrier has introduced its award-winning self-bag drop with biometric photo-matching at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). Spirit leads the way as the first airline to roll out this innovative technology at DTW. The six newly installed self-bag drop units are located next to the Spirit ticket counter in the Evans Terminal and were added through a partnership with the Wayne County Airport Authority.

Self-bag drop allows Guests to check bags directly without working with an agent. Spirit’s machines are also equipped with biometric photo-matching capability that compares a scan of government-issued identification with a photo of the Guest for verification. Following an initial testing period at DTW with both manual ID check and biometric opt in, the solution will eliminate the need to hand government-issued identification to an agent when checking baggage.

“We pioneered this cutting-edge technology to streamline the check-in experience for our Guests and reduce time spent in the lobby, and its arrival in Detroit is an exciting first for DTW,” said Jason Fogelman, Senior Director of Airport Innovation, Standards and Training at Spirit Airlines. “Spirit has a long history of serving Detroit, and we thank the Wayne County Airport Authority for their partnership and support in launching self-bag drop at DTW.”

Spirit developed the nation’s first biometric photo-matching solution for domestic air travel in 2019 with its partner Materna Intelligent Passenger Solutions (IPS) North America. Spirit was also the first to pursue combining it with automated self-bag drop capabilities to reduce interactions and increase efficiency. The system is also operating at Atlanta (ATL), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX) and Orlando (MCO), and it was recognized for two prestigious awards: the “2021 Best Airport Innovation” by the APEX/IFSA Awards, and the Skift 2021 IDEA Awards Winner in the Aviation Category that honors the companies, projects and campaigns driving the travel industry forward.

Here’s how the solution works:

  • Guests start by tagging their own checked bags after checking in at the kiosk and then proceed to the self-bag drop.
  • Guests are advised of the biometric option after scanning their boarding pass at the self-bag drop unit. They may either opt in and continue unassisted or opt out for agent-assisted service.
  • Once the Guest opts in, the unit instructs them to scan their ID on the built-in hardware.
  • The unit compares its scan of the photo on the ID with a facial scan captured by its on-board camera, along with comparing ID information with the Guest’s reservation details. None of the data is transmitted to any government agency.
  • A successful match initiates the rest of the bag check-in process. Guests are instructed to place their bags on the conveyor belt attached to the unit, which then scans the bags, weighs them, accepts payment for any additional services and sends them straight into the airport’s checked baggage system without further action from the Guest.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the customer experience at DTW and Spirit’s self-bag drop units align perfectly with our aim to take the stress out of travel,” said Chad Newton, Chief Executive Officer of the Wayne County Airport Authority. “We’re proud to have invested in the construction of the self-bag drop units to streamline our passengers’ check-in process and give them more power over their travel experience.”

Each bag checked by a Spirit Guest at DTW represents an agent interaction that can be streamlined. Testing data show the new procedure drops average processing time to just 70 seconds per Guest, reducing time spent at bag check by 30 percent. Additionally, Guests can take advantage of the time savings and reduction in interactions whether they’re traveling domestically or internationally.

The self-bag drop system uses software capable of analyzing key physical features on more than 50,000 forms of ID from nearly 200 countries that a Guest could potentially use when traveling in the United States. Combined with the units’ scanning hardware, the software confirms the authenticity of an ID and rejects fraudulent documents before Guests check their baggage.

Spirit started service in Detroit in 1992 as one of its first destinations and currently offers up to 34 departures from DTW on peak days. DTW is also home to one of Spirit’s Pilot and Flight Attendant crew bases as well as a maintenance hangar where a majority of the carrier’s newly delivered aircraft are prepared for service.

About Spirit Airlines: 
Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) is committed to delivering the best value in the sky. We are the leader in providing customizable travel options starting with an unbundled fare. This allows our Guests to pay only for the options they choose — like bags, seat assignments, refreshments and Wi-Fi — something we call À La Smarte®. Our Fit Fleet® is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the United States. We serve destinations throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, making it possible for our Guests to venture further and discover more than ever before. We are committed to inspiring positive change in the communities where we live and work through the Spirit Charitable Foundation. Come save with us at spirit.com.

Media Contact:

Investor Relations
DeAnne Gabel
(954) 447-7920

SOURCE: Spirit Airlines, Inc.