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DIY baggage weighing system halves time at check in

Avery Weigh-Tronix has developed a pre check-in baggage weighing system that has helped passengers with Virgin Atlantic half the time it takes to drop off their bags. Twenty-six have been installed at Virgin's new terminal 3 facility at London's Heathrow airport.

The airline's new check-in area, known as zone A, allows customers to check themselves in on the internet, at home or by using a kiosk on-site. This gives the customer more control of the process.

As part of this process Virgin awarded Avery Weigh-Tronix a contract to design, engineer and then install pre check-in baggage weighers. Each system is a custom-designed stand containing a floor-standing baggage weigher, similar to those used at check-in desks, linked to an easily readable LCD indicator.

Using the system, customers can see whether or not their bags are overweight and if necessary re-distribute their belongings before dropping off their bags. Virgin had found that the problem of overweight bags can take additional time since staff has to talk through different options with the customer.

Since installation, the average time that a customer spends at the check-in desk has reduced from four minutes to two and a half minutes. This has led to significantly shorter queues and better customer satisfaction.

Surveys conducted by the airline show that 85 percent of economy and premium economy passengers have rated customer service in the new check in area as excellent or good. The airline has also reached its target of 80 percent of economy passengers checking in using a kiosk or via the internet well ahead of its target date of December 2008.

Says Sarah Kitson, head of customer services at Heathrow: “Our whole investment in terminal 3 and zone A has proved to be money well spent. Indeed we have seen an increase in the number of our long haul passengers.

“We have kept the systems in the check-in area as simple as possible and have found that providing a pre-check in baggage weigher has empowered customers. It means that they are more informed before arriving at the desk to drop off their bags. Our surveys have demonstrated that this has helped to significantly improve our customer satisfaction ratings.”

In addition to designing and then installing the system, Avery Weigh-Tronix won the ongoing service and maintenance contract for the twenty-six systems. This covers pre-planned and emergency maintenance and repair, as well as calibration.

Benefits

• Easy to use system for DIY baggage checking

• Empowers customer to check baggage weight

• Reduced bag drop off time by half

• Reduced queues at baggage drop off

• Improved customer service

Technical

H305 baggage weigher

• Load cell has no moving parts to reduce wear and tear

• Overload stops on each corner ensure fast, reliable results

• Capacity from 150kg to 300kg

• Platform dimensions 600mm x 700mm

E1020 baggage weigher indicator

• Clear 20mm high LCD backlit display

• Variety of totals features including baggage weight, number and total weight of bags

• Includes overweight trips output to indicate heavy bags

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