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Background 7 The process changes expected as a result of changes in passenger check-in are shifting further away from the original ticket counter with airline agent and the resulting queues. Tickets and boarding passes are no longer controlled documents and can be printed by the passenger at home, or even presented on a mobile device. As time progresses, it is expected that passenger check-in processes will continue to move off the airport through technologies and processes such as increased web check-in and remote check-in facilities. Bag tags are also moving toward being uncontrolled documents, so that they may be self- applied at the airport, or, eventually, printed at home. One innovation activates the bag tag only when the bag is inducted into the baggage system, allowing positive match of passenger with the bag. Other measures include reconciliation of the passenger and the bag before departure. The ACI-NA Working Group, in cooperation with the IATA Bags Ready to Go Working Group, continues to drive the standards and guidelines for passenger self-tagging. Through the joint effort of IATA and ACI-NA, key documents such as the Recommended Practice 1701f, Self Service Bag- gage Process, version 1, have been prepared. The working groups are currently focusing their atten- tion on the preparation of an Implementation Guide and the establishment of U.S.-based airport and airline pilot programs. In support of future self-tagging pilots, the TSA is working closely with IATA and ACI-NA toward the preparation of U.S. airport and airline work plans, which is required by the TSA prior to the start of the pilot program. Many U.S. airports and airlines have voiced their support and are reviewing internal schedules in order to move forward (IATA, 2009). It appears as though U.S. airports and airlines will begin passenger self-tagging pilots by the end of 2010. Supporting this effort, IATA is working toward a mid- to late-2010 release date for version 1 of its Implementation Guide. A primary goal of both the Implementation Guide and pilot program is to establish a consistent approach to passenger self-tagging implementations, such that the TSA can support future, permanent U.S. airport installations. In full support of this effort, the TSA is participating in planning meetings with IATA and ACI. Also during 2010, TRB funded and organized the production of this project, Decision-Making Tool for Evaluating Passenger Self-Tagging, which has lead to this report. The timing not only coin- cides well with the passenger self-tagging planning and implementation work currently under way by leading aviation associations, but it also builds on these efforts by providing users with the sup- port tools necessary to make informed decisions. In doing so, this report incorporates the most recent and relevant passenger self-tagging information into the Decision-Making Tool provided with the report. Passenger Self-Tagging Implementations--Common Use or Exclusive Use Passenger self-tagging, by itself, does not dictate the need for common use. The process steps between an exclusive use and common use environment are essentially identical from a passenger's standpoint; however, the various airline and air- port procedural requirements create differences from a pas- senger processing perspective. The main passenger process steps are self-service kiosk check-in, baggage induction (bag validation and bag drop), and baggage sortation. While each airline has different check-in procedures that affect how the kiosk applications are written, the key differences between JFK--Terminal 4.
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8 Guide to the Decision-Making Tool for Evaluating Passenger Self-Tagging various airline and airport procedural requirements reside at the point of baggage induction and the baggage sortation process, for example: · In a purely exclusive use environment, where the bag drop and baggage system are controlled or used by a single airline, an airline employee assumes the responsibility of weighing a bag, activating a bag tag, and supervising the induction of the bag into the baggage system. At that point, the bag is processed according to the specific airline's sortation rules. · In a purely common use environment, where the bag drop and baggage system are controlled by the airport and configured for use by multiple airlines, an airport employee or authorized agent assumes the responsibility of weighing a bag, activating a bag tag, and supervising the induction of the bag into the baggage system. Along with these key differences, there are implementation variations where common use and exclusive use models co-exist, resulting in a potentially complicated process environment. Exam- ples include · Common use installed for the self-service kiosks only with the remaining process steps exclu- sive use; · Common use installed for the agent check-in positions only with the remaining process steps exclusive use; · Common use installed for both, self-service and agent check-in, with baggage induction exclu- sive use; · Common bag drop installed, with exclusive use check-in areas; and · Varying combinations of the above. While this basic check-in process is the same for all airlines, there are varying procedures that each airline may require. For example, one airline may require airline employees be physically involved in the baggage induction process, while another airline is comfortable allowing the air- port to provide the staff necessary to maintain and operate the baggage induction process. Another example of varying procedures is the differing rules for excess and overweight baggage charges by each airline. A common use bag drop must be capable of accommodating all airline rules and procedures. A key challenge here is that airport employees or authorized agents must be able to process baggage for differing airlines using each airline's rules and procedures for bag- gage handling. Along with varying procedures, there are also technical differences to consider and potentially resolve. For example, if the self-service kiosks are common use, there may be a need to develop a workaround for airlines operating on common use self-service kiosks that do not have bag-tag printing capability. For common bag drops, technical issues include supporting multiple airline business processes, such as baggage limits, fees, and handling priority. The other technical process difference is seen at the self-service kiosk. For common use, the industry primarily uses IATA CUSS standards. CUSS supports the self-tagging technical require- ments, such as bag-tag printing. Most U.S.-based airlines, however, have not added bag-tag printing functionality to their kiosk applications, which impacts both exclusive use and com- mon use environments. In an exclusive use kiosk, the airline will determine when and if bag-tag printing functionality will be added. In a common use self-service environment, if the airport chooses to implement self-tagging, then the airport (or airline) may have to develop a technol- ogy work-around to provide the self-tagging functionality for the airlines that are operating on that kiosk, until such time as the airlines add functionality to its host applications. This work- around usually involves intercepting the print stream requests, creating baggage sortation mes- sages (BSMs) and developing a process that allows the BSMs to be "inactive" until such time as the bag tags are activated into the sortation system. Generally, these work-arounds are complex and can be prone to defects.
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Background 9 After the bag has been accepted, the common use baggage system must process each bag based on the different sortation rules for each airline. These rules can be further complicated based on differing security regulations for the same airline's baggage depending on the departing airport and baggage destination. This necessitates a sortation system capable of scanning, screening, labeling, weighing, and diverting bags based on programmable sets of rules that are specific to each airline. One final characteristic distinguishing common use from exclusive use is the impact to rates and charges, and the overall business case.