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34 greeters to personally assist their passenger to or from the terminal building rather than quickly dropping them off or picking them up at the curbside. The passenger assis- tance parking area provides close and convenient parking spaces as opposed to spaces that may require longer walking distances. Because parking in the passenger assistance parking area would be limited to 10 to 15 min, aircraft delays may result in visitors being required to leave these limited-time spaces and move to public parking or, alternatively, to a remotely located cell phone lot, which could lead to more congestion on terminal roadways. Meeters and greeters would also be required to time their arrival so they would not have to dwell for long periods of time. Operations Perspective Figure 4-11. Low-profile ticket counter bag wells. Providing a passenger assistance parking area would result in fewer recirculating vehicles on airport roadways. Similar to plate carousel devices, potentially requiring passengers to a cell phone lot, this innovation provides a close-in parking reach over another bag to lift their bag off the device. Both ac- area for patrons wishing to meet their passengers without tivities are difficult for the elderly and, in many cases, even for needing to recirculate. However, the provision of a passenger the average passenger. Traditional passenger baggage devices assistance parking area in an existing parking facility has the are also a hazard for airline agents who may have to move a potential to eliminate some parking spaces and, subsequently, checked bag approximately 30 in. to 36 in. from the bag well the revenue generated by those spaces. The provision of this to the take-away belt. parking product would also likely require additional staff for Low-profile passenger baggage devices address these enforcement. issues and help prevent both passenger and agent injuries. Low-profile ticket counter bag wells (for a common example, Challenges to Implementation see Figure 4-11: "Low Profile") have been used at airports around the world for a number of years, but have not been Airport operators may not have the ability to eliminate widely implemented in the United States due to the higher existing close-in parking capacity or related revenue to cost compared with traditional devices. Low-profile ticket accommodate a passenger assistance parking area. The pas- counter baggage devices require an additional feeder belt that senger assistance parking area would also have to be located outside of the area where a revenue control system is in effect; therefore, an entry/exit location separate from parking may be required. Low-Profile Passenger Baggage Devices Passenger baggage devices consist of ticket counter bag wells, used for depositing check baggage with the airline, and baggage-claim devices, used for claiming checked baggage at the point of arrival. The common passenger baggage devices (see Figure 4-11: "Typical Arrangement" and Figure 4-12: "Typical Carousel Claim") require passengers to either lift their check baggage approximately 10 to 12 in. off the floor to place them in the bag well for the ticket counter agent to weigh each bag and apply a bag tag or to lift their bags over the typical 8-in. threshold of a slope-plate baggage-claim carousel. In addition, bags are often double-stacked on slope- Figure 4-12. Low-profile bag claim devices.
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35 transports the checked baggage from the bag well to the take- Examples away belt. These devices require additional controls and syn- chronization with the take-away belt to prevent jams on the Several recently constructed terminals that accommodate take-away belt. While low-profile ticket counter bag well de- both domestic and international passengers such as Dallas/Fort vices can be recessed into the structure to be nearly flush with Worth International Airport's Terminal D, John F. Kennedy the floor, typical applications result in a 4-in. to 6-in. floor- International Airport's Terminal 8, and Miami International to-bag-well separation. Figure 4-13 provides an example of Airport's North Terminal (currently under construction) use a low-profile ticket counter bag well at Vienna International (or will use) low-profile ticket counter bag well conveyors Airport. that require passengers to lift their bags 8 in. or less and do Low-profile baggage claim devices--particularly flat-plate not require the agent to lift bags at all. However, slope-plate claim devices (see Figure 4-12: "Flat Plate Claim")--are more baggage-claim devices are used at many of these airports. Flat common than their ticket counter equivalent, but are still not plate baggage-claim devices are more commonly found at as widely implemented as slope-plate carousels. One reason small-hub airports where the departures and arrivals halls are for the lack of implementation of low-profile devices is the on the same level as the aircraft apron, reducing the need for additional capacity created by double-stacking bags on slope- more costly remote-feed slope-plate devices. plate carousels. Another reason is that arriving baggage is typically loaded directly onto flat-plate devices, which limits Assumptions/Prerequisites passengers from circulating around all sides of the claim de- vice because a portion is located behind a wall that separates The only assumption regarding low-profile passenger bag- secure and nonsecure areas. However, remotely fed flat-plate gage devices is that the benefits of providing a higher level of devices are available and in use at some European airports. passenger service, particularly for the elderly and disabled, will Slope-plate carousels allow for the baggage drop-off point outweigh the airline and airport operator costs to provide the to be located closer to the gate, which helps improve aircraft- low-profile devices. While it is certainly easier to include low- to-claim times. Low-profile slope-plate carousel devices and profile ticket counter bag well conveyors in new construction or remotely fed flat-plate devices address the issues associated major renovations, most existing ticket counter conveyor sys- with lifting bags off of bag-claim devices. tems can be retrofitted to accommodate the low-profile devices. Evaluation Key Drivers Passenger Perspective The aging population's propensity for airline travel is the major driver for implementation of low-profile passenger The biggest advantage of low-profile devices for passengers baggage devices. As more elderly persons choose airline travel is the increased ease of placing check baggage on the ticket for leisure trips, the impact of traditional passenger baggage counter bag well conveyors and removing checked baggage devices will become increasingly more noticeable. When these from either low-profile slope plate or flat plate baggage-claim passengers take long trips with a number of check bags, the devices. Low-profile passenger baggage devices present virtually task of placing those bags on ticket counter bag wells and re- no disadvantages to passengers. moving them from bag-claim devices, particularly slope-plate devices, becomes more arduous and likely to cause injury or Operations Perspective discomfort. Low-profile ticket counter bag wells help prevent airline agent injuries associated with lifting heavy check bags from the bag well to the take-away belt. Low-profile ticket counter bag wells, particularly those with feeder belts, are more expensive to install and maintain due to the additional conveyor com- ponents and the controls required to coordinate the move- ment of the check bags from the feeder belt onto the take-away belt. Low-profile baggage claim devices may actually reduce baggage-claim capacity; however, they are typically less costly to install. There are also potential security concerns with Figure 4-13. Low-profile ticket counter bag well direct-feed flat-plate devices in that circulating bags travel at Vienna International Airport. unimpeded from the nonsecure bag claim area to the secure Source: Corgan Associates, Inc. area if they are not immediately claimed by passengers.