Bag Drop for Gatwick and Virgin Atlantic

Bag Drop for Gatwick and Virgin Atlantic

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL)

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world. GAL commissioned Ink Aviation along with several competing vendors to provide Self Service Bag Drop solutions.

Project Scope

GAL selected Virgin Atlantic to work with Ink Aviation. All three parties brainstormed the business process flow. Over the course of several weeks, the steering group defined the required process and features that the finished product should have.

Ink needed to work with an intricate business process for a full service operation to international destinations. Integration had to be done in a very short timescale using a fully featured SOAP-based Web Service for EDS Shares developed by HP (Hewlett Packard), their DCS provider.

The hardware needed to be able to automatically extract baggage weights from the scales and control the baggage conveyor belts. Even so, UK AAA baggage handling guidelines mandate that the initial process be agent-supervised.


Ink adapted the design of our CUSS kiosks to do Bag Drop. The finished hardware product is capable of running check-in and bag drop in a combined process or just bag drop. Scheduling software can be used to change the activities on the kiosk.

The hardware units use an integrated Passport Reader to validate passengers APIS details. Ink worked with the carrier's existing baggage PECTAB and within the specified range of tag numbers.

Each airline has its own process flow and sequence of screens that are aligned to its business requirements; not just a single process flow dictated by the device. The development carrier, Virgin Atlantic, wanted its default baggage allowance rules to be followed but that the agent have the ability to override standard logic and produce additional or Heavy tags.

The screens were designed to be used by Handling Agents. The solution is flexible enough to accommodate a re-engineered business process flow led by the passenger at a later date. The installation process involved removing two check-in desks which were replaced by two Ink kiosks.

Ink Aviation