Touchless bag drop technology developed by Amadeus is being trialled at Heathrow Airport.
Using proximity sensors, passengers can check-in their luggage without touching the screens on kiosks.
The travel technology company’s contactless solution deploys an infra-red proximity which detects the passenger’s finger as far as three centimetres from the screen surface.
The trials are taking place at six of Heathrow’s auto bag drop units provided by ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus division.
Mark Burgess, Heathrow’s process improvement director, said: “We’re preparing to welcome back more travellers, by looking for new and innovative technologies that will help to ensure the passenger experience remains safe and efficient in a post-COVID world.
“That’s why we’re delighted to be working with Amadeus to trial these touchless self-service bag drop units. This is just one of many new measures that we’re implementing across our terminals, as part of Heathrow’s Fly Safe programme.”
Richard Dinkelmann, chief executive officer of ICM Airport Technics, added: “We’re working closely with our airport and airline partners to deliver solutions that help them adapt passenger services to the new environment.
“Whether it’s contactless bag drop, biometric boarding, or off airport check-in, we are working with airports to rethink how they can meet new traveller requirements.”
ICM Airport Technics, which became part of Amadeus in 2019, has supplied more than 270 auto bag drop units to Heathrow since 2016 as the sole partner for self-service bag drop, which is shared by 30 airlines, so passengers can choose to drop bags without assistance from an agent.
Amadeus and Heathrow have been trialling several contactless technologies for self-service over recent months, including ‘screen mirroring’, which allows the passenger to operate an auto bag drop unit from their own mobile device. Following extensive testing, it was decided to move forward with the proximity sensor approach.
Upon completion of the proximity sensor trial, all check-in kiosks and auto bag drop units could be upgraded in a matter of weeks so that all passengers can access contactless check-in and bag drop.