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Integrated Baggage and Ticketing Strategies 125 International Airport is served by 130 trains per day. Service is provided every hour on the main east-west line linking Zurich and Geneva. Zurich currently offers about 80 trains in its peak hour, none of which serve only the downtown terminal areas. Baggage Handling by a Third Party. The Swiss concept of a national system for off-airport baggage check-in is fundamentally different from the existing downtown check-in centers cur- rently serving Hong Kong, Madrid, Vienna, or Kuala Lumpur. Each of these downtown check- in terminals is staffed by airline representatives who take the responsibility for accepting baggage and issuing boarding passes. When the concept is expanded to dozens of off-site locations, it becomes impossible to expect multiple airline companies, or even one airline company, to pro- vide the staff at each of the off-airport locations. Alternatively, a partnership with the railroads was created, in which the railroads are empowered to take certain actions in the name of the airlines. The Swiss Fly-Rail Baggage system has been in place for two decades; recent develop- ments in Germany and France are refining the concept for wider application. The airport baggage-handling system of the Swiss National Railways is the largest in the world, from a geographic perspective. It provided baggage processing from 116 separate railway stations, with full check-in (with boarding pass) at 50 rail stations in 2007. This service is provided by the Swiss National Railways, and no airline personnel are involved in accepting the baggage. Swiss National Railways charges about $15 per bag checked for the service. The reported usage of this program is 280,000 travelers a year (36). Air travelers who have only checked their bags at the rail station can use special check-in stations with shorter lines and shorter transac- tion times. The system has three elements. (1) Full check-in with a printed boarding pass is available to travelers who use only a set of airlines, many of them in Star Alliance, that have agreed to all the procedures. (Some, like British Air, will allow through check-in of the bags, but not provide a boarding pass at the rail station). (2) For travelers using airlines that are not participants in the system, the rail company offers an overnight baggage service to the airport, where travelers pick up their bags and check them with the airline. This fee is also $15 per bag. (3) The system offers in-bound through-baggage service for any flight, by any airline, when the traveler pre-purchases rail system baggage tags. When bags arrive in the Swiss airport, rail company staff transfers the bags to the rail system, and travelers meet the bags at the final rail destination. (The traveler must state that no objects requiring any customs duty are included in the bags.) Again, this service is provided for $15 per bag. What Is Happening in Switzerland? About 4% of the originating air travelers at Zurich Air- port are estimated to use the off-airport baggage check-in system. Zurich officials report that the system is particularly popular with skiers and others with heavy baggage. Although most of the examples described previously involve a dominant central city check-in center, the opposite seems to be true in Switzerland. Of those bags checked through Zurich Airport, fewer than 5% came from the Zurich rail station. By contrast, 17% of the bags at the airport came from Bern, the capital city. More than 10% of the bags came from major resort areas (36). Part 3: Evolving Strategies for Integrated Ticketing and Baggage This review of various approaches taken towards integrated ticketing and baggage clearly shows that the full-scale integration of both services, managed and operated throughout by airlines as part of the ticket price, is fast becoming highly unrealistic. Such full integration under one ticket currently occurs for Lufthansa patrons in and out of Cologne and Stuttgart train stations, and virtually no where else. Rather, all over the world hybrid concepts that