Frankfurt-Hahn Airport Implements Bar Code Readers to Expedite Check-In and Boarding Procedures While Improving Customer Satisfaction
The international airport in Hahn, Germany is currently offering more than 50 passenger flights per day to destinations around Europe and Northern Africa, attracting approximately 10,000 passengers a day. The range of destinations available offers something for everyone, such as Mediterranean get-aways in Mallorca or Teneriffa, or bustling metropolitan destinations in London, Rome or Madrid. There are also flights to skiing meccas located in the Alps or Abruzzi or high in the mountains of northern Europe.
Frankfurt-Hahn airport is also one of the top five freight transporters in Germany and had a volume exceeding 230,000 tons of freight shipped during 2010. Approximately 37,000 flights per year and 100 freight and passenger flights per day originate from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport.
The goal for Frankfurt-Hahn airport was to increase productivity and expedite boarding procedures during customer check-in, while handling up to 190 passengers per flight. Every second that can be saved while boarding helps the airlines meet the 25 minute turnaround time that is expected from the airline industry. The original idea was to implement the use of bar code scanners to expedite the boarding process and reduce errors caused by manually entering data into a computer, leading to slower boarding times. The loss of time as a result of these errors proved critical in an airport that handles 3.5 million passengers annually. The airport came to realize that manual data entry could be entirely replaced with bar code scanners capable of reading the 2D bar codes prevalent on boarding passes. This would greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to board a plane with passengers, while contributing to more on-time flights, increasing customer satisfaction.
Supported by ALTENBRAND Datentechnik GmbH, an Auto ID reseller / solution provider of Datalogic, Frankfurt-Hahn airport needed a solution to solve the delays and expedite the boarding procedure. After a trial period in which several different scanning solutions were tested, Frankfurt-Hahn airport chose a scanning solution which featured Datalogic’s Gryphon™ GD4400 and D432 Plus 2D bar code readers. From the beginning of the test period until the final integration of the scanners required 2 years of research and testing to reach the final solution. The Gryphon bar code readers are capable of reading the 2D bar codes on the boarding passes, which passengers can access online and then print from home, eliminating the need for any manual data entry by airport employees. Not only does this expedite the entire boarding procedure, it also allows the passenger data gathered at the check-in counter to be verified as the boarding pass is scanned, allowing the boarding pass to act as a personal ID data card for the user. Additional data is also provided with the scan, such as booking and flight details, payment and number of bags checked in during registration. Airport employees are now assured that each passenger is clearly identified.
In cases where discrepancies occur or a passenger does not show up for a flight, employees at the boarding desk can act immediately. Mr. Udo Preissner, Director of Marketing and Sales at Frankfurt-Hahn airport explained, “We looked for ways to work more efficiently by using our computer system to smooth the existing processes. This solution makes these processes more efficient and faster, which is important to make the passengers’ visit in our airport even more pleasant.”
During peak air travel seasons such as holidays and vacations, a quick and efficient system is necessary to avoid backups. The scanning of the 2D boarding passes allows employees to expedite the check-in and boarding procedures while saving money and resources.
With the addition of Datalogic’s Auto ID solution, Frankfurt-Hahn airport is now prepared for the peak season of air travel which occurs during the summer months. The implementation has been very successful with the scanners at the check-in counter and at the boarding gate. Mr. Petrus Dikken, Area Director Terminal, noted, “The airport employees are very fond of the new system and enjoy working with the 2D scanners, making our work much easier while being more effective.”
The complete process from check-in to boarding the plane has become much more efficient and has contributed greatly to customer satisfaction. Additionally, the security aspect was a consideration by the managers of Frankfurt-Hahn airport. By collecting the passenger data with the scanners, the data is being transferred electronically and each passenger and their luggage are clearly identified. The use of Datalogic products also helps the airlines meet the initial request of a 25-minute turnaround time.
Another feature of the Auto ID solution which is important to Frankfurt-Hahn airport is the environmental aspect. “Sustainability is a key aspect at this airport,” said Mr. Preissner. The bar code identification process has also contributed to the ‘green’ effort by reducing the amount of paper used. By using Datalogic’s scanning solution, the airport is saving additional resources in paper and energy, since most documents no longer need to be printed.
Frankfurt Hahn Airport
Transportation and Logistics
Access Control, Track and Trace
Gryphon™ I GD4400 2D
Gryphon™ D432 Plus 2D
ALTENBRAND Datentechnik GmbH