In August, Swissport International introduced a new self-service facility for reporting lost baggage at Geneva. Its new Lost & Found Self-Service Kiosk, linked to the Worldtracer database, enables unfortunate travellers who find that their baggage is missing on arrival at Geneva Airport to enter all the relevant details and obtain the latest information on their delayed or missing bag.
The new facility, developed in collaboration with Swissport’s Belgian-based partner SkyAssist, enables the traveller to scan-in their boarding pass with all their flight’s details, describe the missing item using a touchscreen function, and enter their contact details for the item’s subsequent delivery. The new facility thus totally eliminates the sometimes long wait to communicate all these details to local ‘Lost & Found’ staff, though the company has not stated if there will be staff available to help anyone who may experience difficulties using the system.
Swissport says that once the unfortunate passenger has entered all the information required, he or she will receive a printout from the machine giving the airline’s contact details together with a status report on whether the item has already been found and/or when the customer can expect to receive it. Swissport says its initial experience: “suggests that this new form of lost-baggage reporting has been well received by the travellers using it, not least because they feel they are contributing directly and actively to the baggage tracing process, rather than dealing with the busy phone lines of the airline or the airport concerned”. However, it is unclear how the removal of that ‘human help’ will be able to benefit passengers distressed by the loss of their luggage.
Swissport says that the new self-service lost-baggage facility is part of a broader drive to automate airport processes, and that they will then be using the experiences gained from it to further refine the technology involved before offering this facility to further business partners in the aviation sector. Excessively tight connecting times at major airports remain the prime reason that travellers’ bags are lost or delayed, but a number of working groups are looking into further improvements.