BAA - Allocating Check In Desks

The BAA international airport in Glasgow, UK serves 6,554,700 passengers per year. Due to check-in area size constraints and for passenger convenience they needed a more efficient way to check-in travelers and decrease walking time and space requirements at the same time.

The Challenge

Provide Glasgow airport with the means to test different theories involving customer check-in procedures and times and provide them with the information need to choose the most effective and accommodating solution.

The Solution

Glasgow airport decided to use simulation to test different options to best utilize the check-in facilities available and minimize the waiting time and distance that passengers were required to walk.

The solution decided upon was to hot-swap check-in desks. In this way, the size of the building can be minimized, passenger walking distances shortened and waiting times reduced.

SIMUL8 was used to determine the rules for how the check-in desks should be allocated for each airline and at what times. A monitor above the desk is used to display the appropriate airline logos, that are automatically swapped at predetermined times.

The Result

SIMUL8 accounted for the variable arrival rates of the passengers and the departure times of the aircraft and provided the combinations required to meet the desired service goals that no passenger should wait in a check-in line for more than 12 minutes.

The technique of of hot-swapping check-in desks pioneered by Glasgow Airport is now used throughout the world.


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