Prague Airport launches self-serve baggage drops to curb waiting time

Until now, a full self-check-in was only an option for people with just carry-on luggage but new kiosks open the option for some European flights.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 20.06.2022 15:30:00 (updated on 20.06.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Increased interest in air travel mixed with staff shortages have led to long waits at the airport. This is leading many people to take advantage of self-check-in options at Václav Havel Airport Prague as a way to speed through the process.

This option has been available for many years for people with only carry-on luggage. Newly, some airlines with destinations in Europe are also now allowing people to check in their additional luggage. This makes self-check-in easier for people going on vacation when they are likely to have more than one small bag.

Currently, Prague Airport is warning people to come to the airport two and a half hours early for flights within Europe and three hours early for long-haul flights. Self-check-in can shorten that time by eliminating the need to wait in line.

“We are seeing higher interest in online check-in. Already 60 percent of clients check in online. This is a 30 percent increase compared to the period before the Covid,” Josef Trejbal, director of the ticketing portal Letuska.cz, said in a press release.

He added that self-check-in could be cheaper as well because some low-cost carriers charge for check-in. “The price of air tickets, which is lower in cases of travel with only hand luggage, also plays a role,” he added.

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Some carriers that already had self-check-in plus have added a new option for self-service baggage drop. This allows people with more than just carry-on baggage to also shorten their check-in time.

At self-check-in kiosks, which are available in the departure halls of Terminals 1 and 2 in Václav Havel Airport, it is possible to print a boarding pass and then proceed to boarding-pass validators and then to security or passport control.

Terminal 1 is for travel outside the Schengen Zone, while Terminal 2 is for travel within the Schengen Zone, which includes most of Europe.

Until now though, if a person is traveling with checked baggage, they must wait in line to turn it in at the check-in counter. At Terminal 2, some travelers who use self-check-in can now also use self-service baggage drop kiosks.

Travelers, though, must make sure in advance that their airline offers the service. People should visit the check-in information section of the airline’s website to see what the options are. There, passengers can choose their seats, check their luggage dimensions, and learn other useful information before departure.

Prague Airport also started an educational campaign to tell passengers what to check before traveling to the airport, how to get to the airport, where to park, and how to prepare for a smooth security check. The campaign will be accompanied by social media posts and educational videos.

Airport management is hoping to reduce the waiting times and is currently trying to recruit more security and support personnel. Staff numbers dropped during the Covid pandemic due to the lack of flights, and many of the people who left their jobs did not come back. Currently, the most needed professions still include aircraft loading and unloading staff and customer service staff in general. Open positions are also positions of bus drivers, firefighters, and airport security.

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