Company testing new way to check-in luggage

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Airline passengers will be able to avoid the pre-flight ritual of lugging heavy bags to the airport and around the terminal as the world’s first pop-up check-in system enters service.

Devised by Amadeus IT Group, the technology will facilitate check-in for groups of travelers at hotels, schools, conference centers and sports stadiums, the world’s biggest flight-bookings provider said in a statement Tuesday. Bags are taken onward to the airport by truck for the usual security screening.

Virgin Australia Holdings will pioneer the service after a successful trial at Sydney’s main cruise terminal, where it allows passengers to enjoy the time before their flight unencumbered by luggage, according to local logistics specialist OACIS, which has partnered with Amadeus.

The system, which utilizes cloud-based technology to remotely access an airline’s passenger-processing system, is likely to rolled out across Virgin airports in Australia and New Zealand over the next 12 to 18 months.

One obvious candidate for expanding the service is Miami, the world’s busiest port for cruise-ship departures, OACIS Chief Executive Officer Matt Lee said. “They’re keen on seeing how we go down here in Australia,” Lee said. “The challenge for us will be just the pace at which we can move here, get established, and then consider where else we’d like to go.”

The beauty of the system, the executive said, is that it could be deployed almost anywhere, given its simplicity and lack of permanent facilities.