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Minimizing Wait Time in Baggage Claim

Posted by Mike Prysock | Jan 4, 2018 4:18:16 PM

For security management at an airport, ensuring that moving crowds reach their destination (either leaving the airport or making their flight) safely and efficiently is priority one. Tired travelers who have just disembarked from a long flight want nothing more than to reclaim their luggage and begin the journey home, and may become frustrated and angered by delayed baggage claims that increase their wait time and delay their exit.

These inefficiencies are often created by alarms on the baggage handling system, triggered by jams or foul play, that stop the conveyor belt from moving. While this is a necessary safety feature to prevent the system from malfunctioning or from causing harm, it is often the result of an alarm that has been falsely triggered. If airport officials aren’t quickly and accurately made aware of the cause of these alarms, or where the issue is located, it becomes more difficult and more time consuming to solve the issue, leading to disgruntled travelers in a growing crowd.

The combination of delayed baggage claims and tired, edgy travelers is a bad mix, creating restless crowds impatiently waiting for their bags. Impatient, annoyed travelers crowded in to retrieve bags can easily create a security or hazard risk, as well as unhappy customers, so it is imperative to deal with jams or other issues as quickly as possible. However, the alarms set off by the baggage handling system may not provide enough information when alerting operators to what has caused the jam and where it has occurred.

Video management systems can help to ensure that baggage delays are dealt with quickly and do not cause further security issues by integrating video verification with baggage handling systems (BHS). With this integration, the VMS can automatically validate BHS alarms for baggage jams, allowing staff to more quickly move through the process of clearing a jam or dealing with foul play.

In addition, the integration of VMS with BHS makes it possible to alert operators as to where an alarm has been triggered and what the cause of the trigger was, giving staff the ability to respond proactively to the issue and find it quickly in the large baggage claim area. By arming service personnel with foreknowledge, they are enabled to easily dispense with crowd-causing baggage handling slows and not create more crowding or other security risks by searching fruitlessly for an issue.

Further, crowd monitoring analytics can help to ensure that in the event of a baggage jam security officers are able to proactively respond to growing crowds. This can help to monitor crowd movement, loitering, and objects near the baggage claim to allow security officers to proactively predict choke points, analyze crowd patterns and monitor foot traffic flow.

Helping to control crowds needs to be a high priority for any airport, as irritable travelers and delays are a historically bad mix. Integrating your video management system with baggage handling can help to alleviate problems caused by baggage handling delays, in addition to helping security proactively respond to threats posed by crowds in the baggage claim area.

Written by Mike Prysock