Delta and Virgin Atlantic install ‘intuitive’ self-bag drop machines at Heathrow

Delta and Virgin Atlantic install ‘intuitive’ self-bag drop machines at Heathrow

RFID tech enables real-time tracking

Sister carriers Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic are launching 18 self-service bag-drop units at Heathrow’s Terminal 3.

Available on all Delta and Virgin Atlantic-operated flights to the United States, the new self-service units have been put into service following successful testing at the London hub.

The facilities use “intuitive technology” enabling customers to drop their bags in under two minutes, giving them more time to enjoy the terminal’s lounges or retail and restaurant outlets, the airlines said.

To take advantage of the new machines, customers need to check-in via one of Delta’s self-service channels, scan their mobile or printed boarding pass, place their bag on the bag belt, print their bag tag and attach it to the bag, and then send the bag for loading.

Bags are then accepted into the system and screened as they would be during the traditional bag drop process at the counter.

The self-service units support Delta’s radio-frequency identification (RFID) bag tracking technology by issuing chipped bag tags. These synch to the Fly Delta app so customers can track their checked bags in real time.

Corneel Koster, Delta senior vice president of Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, said: “The new machines are another way that Delta and Virgin Atlantic are working together to ease the journey through our London hub.

“With a quick and easy bag-drop experience, customers can choose how they enjoy that extra time before they fly.”

Vice president of airports at Virgin Atlantic Hayley Parker added: “We’re always looking at ways to improve the customer journey, and self-service bag drop is another example of how we’re making things easier for our customers.

“This new technology enables customers to breeze through the airport, while ensuring our team is still on hand to deliver personalised service and answer queries at all times.”