TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Spirit Airlines Overhauls Dallas Fort Worth with New Check-In Technology Designed to Streamline the Travel Experience

Spirit Airlines: | December 09, 2021

Guests are now checking out the latest evolution in check-in technology at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) unveiled its automated self-bag drop experience with biometric photo-matching system, which represents a new paradigm for the U.S. airline industry.

The redesigned ticket lobby is packed with industry-leading technology designed to limit face-to-face interaction, streamline flight check-ins and get Guests from the curb to the brightest planes in the sky quicker than ever.Spirit's self-bag drop system is now currently operating at New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Chicago O'Hare, and it was recently recognized for two prestigious awards. The "2021 Best Airport Innovation" by the APEX/IFSA Awards, and also a Gold Stevie® Award winner for The Best New Transportation Product or Service in The 2021 American Business Awards®.

The airline began developing 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 face-to-face interaction. Following an initial testing period at DFW with both manual ID check and biometric opt-in, the biometric photo-matching solution will eliminate the need to stop and hand government-issued identification to an agent when checking baggage.

Here's how biometric photo-matching works:
  • Guests start by tagging their own checked bags after checking in at the kiosk and then proceed to the automated self-bag drops.
  • 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 identification 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 automated 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 optional services, and sends them straight into their airport's checked baggage system without any further action from the Guest.

"We've been on a mission to find opportunities to continue improving every facet of the Guest experience, to include investing in automation and self-service to streamline the travel journey so Guests spend less time in lobbies,Our Guests are tech-savvy, and they appreciate options. Also, limiting touchpoints and unnecessary face-to-face interactions is currently changing the way airports operate."

-Mike Byrom, Vice President of Airport Services for Spirit Airlines.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is committed to identifying and testing innovative solutions that deliver secure, efficient and frictionless customer 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 provide the customer with greater control and fewer requirements for face-to-face processing and document exchanges.

Spirit Guests currently check between 400–500 bags daily at DFW and growing, and each of which represents a face-to-face interaction that can be streamlined. Testing data shows 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 face-to-face interactions whether they're travelling 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 travelling in the United States. Combined with the units' scanning hardware, the software confirms the authenticity of an ID and rejects fraudulent documents.

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 and refreshments something we call Á La Smarte. We make it possible for our Guests to venture further and discover more than ever before. Our Fit Fleet® is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the U.S. We serve destinations throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, and are dedicated to giving back and improving those communities. Come save with us at spirit.com.

Spotlight

They did this because they consider the TMC to be their most important business partner today and wish to see them continue to play that role. But it also would be fair to say that, broadly speaking, the TMAG participants would like to see the TMC community evolve to create greater value in a new distribution landscape of the future.

Spotlight

They did this because they consider the TMC to be their most important business partner today and wish to see them continue to play that role. But it also would be fair to say that, broadly speaking, the TMAG participants would like to see the TMC community evolve to create greater value in a new distribution landscape of the future.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

GigNet Signs Agreement with Oasis Palm and Grand Oasis Hotels to Provide World Class Internet to Create Memorable Travel Experiences

GigNet | July 06, 2022

GigNet, a Digital Infrastructure company with an extensive regional fiber optic broadband network from Costa Mujeres, North of Cancun, through the Hotel Zone of Tulum, announced today it is implementing a private network to connect Oasis Palm, Oasis Smart, Grand Oasis and three corporate offices. This will ensure fast, reliable connections with seamless communication between the six locations. Oasis is a leading hotel group in Cancun, and one of the driving forces behind its success is the constant philosophy of innovation. This technology partnership with GigNet underscores Oasis’ commitment to exceptional guest services and superior operations. “Every day is important when you want to reach excellence and we work hard to meet our clients’ expectations for a truly memorable vacation experience. Advanced broadband has become an essential element in creating that experience. High-speed Internet helps us provide innovative entertainment and it also permits us to have access to the data that we need to make smarter and quicker business decisions,” -Gener Hernandez, Corporate IT Manager for Oasis Hotels. Mark Carney, OBE and President of GigNet Mexico stated, “We are excited about welcoming Oasis Palm and Grand Oasis to the GigNet family. Oasis and GigNet are both pioneers in the Cancun region and we share a forward-thinking spirit. This also expands our relationships with the leading hospitality innovators headquartered in Spain that operate in Mexico and Latin America. Oasis joins the growing list of hotel and resort developers that recognize GigNet’s superior technology and leadership in client satisfaction.” Mr. Carney added, “GigNet Managed Services allows our clients to create a secure private network that enables seamless communication between departments and locations for guest services and management information systems.” ABOUT OASIS HOTELS Oasis Hotels & Resorts is a major hotel group founded in the 1970s by a Spanish family who were pioneers in the Cancun tourism industry, including innovations in the operations and marketing of all-inclusive resorts. The group prides itself on gastronomy and entertainment offerings that pamper guests with high-quality options and world-class service. In the Cancun region Oasis operates a variety of properties, including magnificent beachfront resorts, two hotels that are designed for families with children, and two urban hotels in central Cancun that are popular with business travelers. Together, these properties offer travel experiences that appeal to a wide range of international tourists and visitors from other regions of Mexico. https://oasishoteles.com/en ABOUT GIGNET GigNet is the Mexican Caribbean brand of GigNet, Inc., a U.S. based international Digital Infrastructure company specializing in Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) for enterprise customers including hotels, resorts, retailers, offices, large commercial operations, governmental offices, and medical and educational facilities, as well as fiber-optic transport services for mobile phone operators in the region. Through its Mexico operating subsidiaries, GigNet, S.A. de C.V., and Sanalto Redes Peninsular, S.A.P.I. de C.V., the Company is a fully licensed telecommunications provider in Mexico. GigNet is actively adding customers to its extensive regional broadband network in the Mexican Caribbean, one of the largest and fastest growing tourism and new residential development destinations in the world, with over 25 million annual airport visitors. GigNet is a leader in the Digital Transformation of the region.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Trip.com Group Holds Traveler's Forum, Focusing on Content Marketing Innovation and Destination Development

Trip.com | August 19, 2022

Trip.com Group, a leading online travel service provider, held its annual Traveler's Forum (TF) in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in central China, on August 18, 2022, focusing on travel content marketing innovation and destination development. The Traveler's Forum consists of three parts: International Travelers' Content Creator Forum, Travelers' Night, and a Music Festival & Lifestyle Fair. The forum offered cross-border communication opportunities to the tourism industry, experts, academics, and travel content creators.As a rapid-growing travel destination, Changsha is popular among influencers and KOLs, attracting millions of travelers from home and abroad. Jointly hosted by Changsha Municipal People's Government, the forum shared Changsha's development roadmap of building a vibrant travel destination through travel content marketing, technology, and integration of resources. "Changsha has become a stylish tourism destination, not only because of its fascinating history and culture but because the city is actively embracing innovation and building Internet-famous products. Changsha's inclusiveness and diversity will attract widespread attention and become a trendsetter." -Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com Group Rungang Zhang, Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of the Chinese Tourism Association shared, "In recent years, with high internet attention, Changsha has rapidly grown into an internet-famous tourism destination. From Changsha's experience, I believe that travel content incubation and upgrade will be an essential pivot of the future destination development." Yong Tan, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Changsha Municipal Committee, said, With Trip.com Group's strong resource integration capabilities, Changsha is confident it can facilitate tourism transformation further and, in time, build a robust international tourism destination. Trip.com Group has been an essential strategic partner in Changsha's fast-growing tourism development. Leveraging Trip.com Group's strong resource integration capabilities and content marketing strategy, the city has rolled out various travel campaigns and products on Trip.com Group's platforms. For instance, Changsha Municipal Bureau of Culture, Tourism, Radio and Television, together with Trip.com Group, have launched consumption vouchers this year, accelerating travel recovery in the city. As part of the Group's Rural Revitalization Plan, Trip.com Group built a country retreat in the suburb of Changsha in 2021. Only a week after the retreat was built, the number of bookings surpassed the same period last year. Trip.com Group's Traveler's Forum has been held in various cities across China, including Lijiang, Chengdu, Shanghai, Xi'an, Chongqing, Guiyang, Anyang, and Sanya. Over 100,000 travelers have actively participated in the annual event, which has generated billions of online exposures. With the recovery of tourism following the pandemic, the forum showcased Trip.com Group's content marketing strategy. Through gathering high-quality content creators, holding special activities, and facilitating the interaction of experienced travelers, Trip.com Group aims to revitalize the tourism economy and reconnect with keen travelers in post-pandemic times and beyond.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,BUSINESS TRAVEL

HRS Acquires Paypense, Enabling Widescale Digitized Payment Technology for Corporations and Employees

HRS | August 08, 2022

HRS, the leading Gobal corporate travel and payment technology platform, announced the acquisition of Germany-based Paypense, enhancing HRS’ growing compilation of efficient corporate payment offerings. Only two years since launch, Paypense’s open platform has already made inroads with a broad range of corporations, enabling employees to use digital payment technology to pay for all work-related purchases. This smarter solution ensures compliance to budgets while also capturing relevant data for auditing, steering and even sustainability metrics. “HRS Pay, reinforced by years of proprietary investments and our 2021 purchase of Itelya to propel the digital transformation of payment, is taking the next step in delivering an exceptional 'in destination experience' for corporate employees, Paypense provides intelligent spend management services for managers and employees alike, whether they are on the road for weeks at a time or supporting a one-day, off-site event that doesn’t require travel. This acquisition represents a new milestone for HRS Pay as we continue to focus on elevating employee satisfaction.” -Tobias Ragge, HRS CEO The employee satisfaction component is critical to driving the successful deployment and ongoing use of spend management technology. Recent research from the Global Business Travel Association, inclusive of feedback from 600+ procurement executives and nearly 2,500 business travelers, found that 85 percent of respondents said that the ease of completing expense reports, ease of expense approval process and speed of reimbursement are important to spend management.. Paypense’s Broad Array of Controls and Efficiencies Redefine Spend Management Leveraging automated intelligence and auto-approved, in-policy purchasing, Paypense dramatically reduces concerns about what items an employee may acquire. This elegant solution appeals to accounting and procurement managers, as Paypense effectively ensures the right amounts are spent on the right kind of purchases, every single time. The under-the-hood approach to managing virtual technology and secure connections to a company’s preferred banking institutions makes this seamless to employees who crave simplicity in all expense-related processes. Other Paypense highlights include: The provision of pre-approved budgets in real time to individual employees, groups, or job candidates via Paypense’s patented "matrix approval engine.” Functionality also allows for the approval and dispensing of increased allocations for emergency scenarios; Mobile app capabilities that facilitate tracked purchases by the employees, without him/her ever having to use their own funds; Automated receipt acquisition for common online portals used by employees, including air, rail, hotel, auto, ridesharing, phone and other prominent suppliers; and Leveraging supplier and localized data, Paypense captures the CO2 emissions of individual expenses, a vital element for companies taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. “With our open platform, we’ve introduced a unique differentiator for the provision of virtual credit cards for pre-approved expenses, It’s clear from our industry engagement that there is an appreciation for our approach. We’re working in concert with expense providers and financial institutions, not competing with them as we transition from expense management to spend management. And with all parties squarely focusing on enhancing the employee experience, we’re increasing satisfaction even as we uncover new avenues of payment efficiency.” -Christopher Hecht, founder and CEO of Paypense Complemented by this acquisition, HRS Pay now offers truly holistic spend management solutions covering not only travel-related spend, but also non-travel, localized spend that accounts for significant expenses,” said Kurt Knackstedt, Chief Growth Officer for HRS Pay. “With the full integration of Paypense, our complete end-to-end spend management platform provides unmatched visibility of level-3 data, multi-category invoice digitization, and superior VAT reclaim automation – all available globally via any payment provider. Given these cumulative capabilities, HRS Pay is uniquely positioned to deliver the consummate payment solution for Fortune 500 multi-national companies. Paypense’s employees will officially become HRS Pay employees when the acquisition formally closes in August. Christopher Hecht will join the HRS Pay team as Chief Product Officer, overseeing development and working collaboratively with clients, partners and employees to enrich HRS Pay solutions moving forward. HRS Pay solutions will be featured at the upcoming Global Business Travel Association conference in San Diego on August 14-17 at the HRS booth (# 3229). Paypense is also one of an exclusive few new technologies to be selected for the Innovate event in New York City on October 24. About HRS HRS is reinventing the way businesses and governments work, stay and pay in today’s dynamic global marketplace. HRS’ advanced platform technology is extending its reach beyond hospitality to meetings, office space management, payment efficiency and crisis recovery. Beyond cost savings in the global post-pandemic economy, HRS clients gain from an unrivaled focus on essential aspects including safety, security and satisfaction. HRS is also recognized for its award-winning Green Stay Initiative, technology that helps corporate hotel programs achieve their NetZero targets, and its groundbreaking Crew & Passengers Solution, which leverages automation to elevate experiences for air and rail operations. Founded in 1972, HRS works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world’s leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and payment providers. More information at www.hrs.com/enterprise.

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