SBA Airport Services case study

SBA tablet kiosk for AHL / DPR declaration

How Sky Assist automated applications and self-services tools did help Lost&Found overcome very high baggage volumes during summer 2022.

  1. Situation summary
  2. Self-services kiosks and online solutions for passengers
  3. Simplified / Automated decision making (and mobile) staff applications
  4. Staff number impact and financial saving during summer 2022 for SBA Lost & Found expert in Paris

Ludwig Lefebvre, SBA Airport Services Vice President,
Luc Trentels, Sky Assist managing director,

1. Summer 2022 was a nightmare nearly worldwide in terms of delayed baggage.

Volumes were higher than 4 years ago with 15% less flights. Check-in, loading and transfer baggage processes were not efficient enough, implying more delayed baggage to treat.

Lost and Found skilled agents knowing systems and available to work in airport difficult environment has become a nightmare to found :

  • High level trained people working for 20 years in arrival services have left or being dismissed during covid, being helped through retirement packages from companies or government;
  • Processes are complex and systems are hard to learn;
  • Young people are reluctant to work in a non positive environment, CO2 producing industry, constraints working hours in shifts and on 7/7 day basis.

This document will explain, with figures, how Sky Assist passenger self-services and automated agent application BagAssist supported SBA Lost and Found expert in Paris CDG and ORY airports to overcome the summer 2022 crisis with a limited number of staff and lower people qualifications.

2. Self-services kiosks and online solutions for passengers

a) New responsive design kiosk application running with Android / iOS tablets were installed in CDG / ORY terminals for passengers to declare themselves their AHL (delayed / lost) and DPR (damage) incidents in few minutes. Directly connected to WorldTracer, tracing could start immediately in case of delayed incident. For DPR declaration, the damage pictures are taken at airport only, being attached to the damage report to avoid passenger can exaggerated, fake or unreal damage reports, with a direct notice to Lost & Found department and airline customer relations claim department.

Scanning 2D bar code helps filling in check-in information, completed by an automated address / hotel google search to speed up declaration time and ensure also data quality. Specific printer enables the claim to be printed at the end of the process, with all documents being also sent per email, including damage pictures for DPR.
Working with tablets also decreases hardware investment cost.

b) e/m-AHLreport is another option for the passenger is to declare delayed baggage incident online on a PC or a mobile phone (after scanning QR code). With this application, passengers can leave the airport quickly, avoiding long queues at Lost & Found counter and with no delay on the tracing process. It provides better customer experience, a less stressful situation for the staff and avoids hassling situations.

c) Follow-up of baggage incident s is also a major issue for the passengers, that are trying desperately to contact an agent or a call-centre without success. With the e-AHLmanage application, after a delayed baggage declaration, the passenger receives an email containing the link to follow their baggage status incident avoiding call centre or agent back-office contact. It provides better real time and accurate information for passengers and reduces difficult calls for the agents who can be more focused on baggage tracing, delivering and forwarding tasks.
Pro-active notifications are also sent on a regular basis to the passenger, informing him/her on the incident progress and changes. He/she can also update contacts, delivery information or the baggage content after 2 days without matching. This supports faster incident resolution as changes are updated in real time, without the need of an agent.

3. Simplified / Automated decision making (and mobile) staff applications

Back-office processes are complex and even sometimes unclear.
Staff needs to be trained on the processes and complex applications, tasks are quite repetitive and time consuming. Back-office work cannot be easily performed by new or temporary staff, limiting effectiveness of the staffing on peak periods or during high season.
This changes with the fully automated solutions offered by Sky Assist: AutoBAGDRDLV and AutoBAGRUSH.
Being fully automated and simplified, these applications can be used after a short training and given to lower skilled and less expensive staff like baggage movers, temporary staff or students. It provides a quick-win solution for the Lost & Found agent in case of strong short time disruption.
Developed in responsive design, they can be used on tablets to lower baggage unnecessary movements within airport locations.

  • Auto DR/Delivery/Close: a simple scan the baggage tag with the tablet camera gives :
    • Look up and identification of the corresponding AHL,
    • Validation of the baggage reception (if multiple bags in the file, the worker will simply link the Tag Number with the Color Types displayed on the screen),
    • Preparation of e the BDO by selecting the delivery company assigned to the airline and the next available pick-up hour,
    • Closure of the file if all bags are received by looking in file history or FWD message the FS and RL codes that are mandatory to close the file.

Due to high automation, many manual transactions performed by the system in seconds by a low skilled worker instead of minutes by a highly skilled agent will drastically increase the productivity in normal operations and quickly resolve strong disruptions situation during high peak season.

  • Quick OHD : if no match can be done on a baggage, then a quick OHD will be proposed by the application with a simplified easy to use and authorising pictures of the bag to be taken easing reuniting with an AHL later when the delayed AHL declaration will be made by the passenger.
  • Rush module : the Flight module was redesigned in responsive design and can be used on a PC or a tablet. Only insert the airport IATA code or name where the bag needs to be forwarded will display the list of all direct and connecting flights (with filters based on airlines regulations) for selection. After entering the bag and passenger data, the system will automatically produce the corresponding WorldTracer transaction (FWD, FAH, FOH or FLZ), print the rush bag tag on an IP printer and eventually send a BSM.


4. Staff number impact and financial saving during summer 2022 for SBA Lost & Found expert in Paris

SBA is using all the BagAssist applications since many years already, but the new automated applications helped to absorb the huge volume of work this summer 2022 with fewer staff.

Below some figures explaining the impact of the BagAssist application during last summer season (June – September 2022).

Description                    Summer 2022             Summer 2019        Comparison

#files (AHL/DPR/OHD)        80.000                          66.000                      +21%

#people (staff)                        57                                  82                          -31%

# terminals                               8                                    9                             -1

#files per staff (productivity)  19,5                             11,2                        +74%

Amount spared for the 3 months                                                               331,2k€

With 1 working terminal less, 12 agents were spared.
On a same basis, 70 agents + 14,7 supplementary staff due to 2022 files volume increase (+21%) would have been needed to cover the 80.000 files, being nearly 84,7 agents compared to 57 staff with increased productivity. If we consider 80 agents based on overall increase of productivity and as a single temporary season an agent costs 3.600€ per month in Paris, so the global saving was around 331k€ for that period of 4 months.