A Reimagined Baggage Claim Experience



A Reimagined Baggage Claim Experience

Synect’s new baggage claim experience reimagines the last mile of a passenger’s journey, while driving new messaging opportunities and revenue for airports.

For passengers who check luggage, a disproportionate amount of their time from the airplane to the exit is often spent at the baggage claim. But this critical last touchpoint between passengers, airports and airlines is rife with waiting, passenger anxiety and missed revenue opportunities.

82% of passengers surveyed checked-in at least one bag for their last flight this year according to SITA’s 2016 Passenger IT Trends Survey. The survey also found 88% of passengers are happy to wait 10 minutes for bag collection—but industry standards sometimes extend to 15, 20 or even 50 minute waits. The amount of time it takes for bags to arrive is an outcome of a complex set of factors that change for every flight. Bags can arrive late, they can arrive on time, they can even arrive early compared to when the passengers arrive.

At the baggage claim, passengers encounter frustration in finding the right carousel, wondering if they are in the right place, waiting for luggage to arrive, not knowing when it will arrive and a general sense of anxiety and the feeling that time—a most precious commodity—is being wasted.

Experts agree that waiting is especially detrimental to the customer service experience. David Maister, a foremost expert on business management practices, characterizes waiting as “frustrating, demoralizing, agonizing, aggravating, annoying, time consuming and incredibly expensive.” Imagine waiting passengers crowding around the carousel to spot their luggage and retrieve it as quickly as possible. Imagine passengers waiting at a carousel wondering where their luggage is, only to find it’s been moved off the carousel to another location. Tired families contending with impatient and energetic children who’ve just endured hours of sitting still. Hungry passengers forgoing nearby food and beverage options, because they just want to get their luggage and go. At times it can be a poor experience for the passenger that is also, unfortunately, the last one they will share with the airport and airline that day.

No airport aims to deliver an “agonizing, aggravating, annoying” experience at any part of the passenger journey, but baggage claim waits are an outcome of a complex set of variables and logistical considerations—many of which are not easily controlled by the airport. Even as airports invest in new systems and new processes to drastically improve these operations, there is a need to better reflect the dynamic status of baggage arrival to the passenger. How can airports prevent the wait at baggage claim from delivering a critical blow to the terminating passenger’s perceived level of service? More importantly, how can airports make this last touchpoint more pleasant for the traveler and more profitable for the airport?

Synect developed a reimagined baggage claim experience that alleviates the aggravation of waiting by keeping passengers informed and entertained while delivering new opportunities for airport revenue, messaging, operations and more. The solution to the challenge is a smart application of video walls, which incorporate a sophisticated content strategy custom to the baggage claim area. This solution and strategy can be implemented into any configuration of digital media displays to fit inside an airport’s unique space.

Instead, these displays can become an integrated part of the environment as large-format displays lead customers from the security exit point to their baggage carousels.

The content for the reimagined baggage claim video walls is custom-designed to inform and entertain passengers. Vibrant but soothing carousel identifiers and messaging eases anxiety immediately. Live airport data, including a progress countdown to baggage arrival, further alleviates passenger anxiety and the stress of an unknown wait. An optional video feed of the baggage claim chute alleviates crowding at the carousel.

Passengers will know when luggage is arriving. They will know when it has arrived. If it’s already arrived but been moved to another location, they will know that too. A key benefit of this flexible canvas and its dynamic messaging capabilities is that no matter what is going on behind the scenes, messaging can adjust to that scenario and ease the passengers’ experience—removing anxiety by removing the unknown.

Integrated games keep passengers and families entertained, while custom airport and airline messaging provide a friendlier, memorable send-off to departing passengers. Wayfinding to airport amenities like restrooms or cafes for grab-and-go items further increase passenger comfort and drive concession sales. With a smart, integrated system, wayfinding can go beyond locating the amenities—it can even display the travel and wait time there. This dynamic data, when combined with a passenger’s estimated wait time, makes them more likely to make the trip. Integrated advertising, for a captive audience of travelers, is an opportunity for new revenue and promotion.

Traditionally, people tend to overestimate how long they’ve waited in line by 36%. But the reimagined baggage claim experience can help normalize a passenger’s understanding of time spent and even reduce their perceived wait time by an estimated 35% or more.

This works, because as Maister identifies with several principals, there are ways to alleviate and impact a customer’s perception of waiting: Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time. People want to get started. Anxiety makes waits seem longer. Uncertain waits are longer than known, finite waits. Unexplained waits are longer than explained waits.

Each principle is systematically addressed with Synect’s reimagined baggage claim experience, and with in-depth customization options, it can work inside of each airport’s unique environment.

Ease passengers through the baggage claim experience, give them a best-in-class farewell and ensure their last memory at the airport is distinctly pleasant with a baggage claim solution from Synect.


Synect uses video walls to display beautifull, custom content that enhances the passenger experience at the airport. Contact us for more information.

Display Agnostic

All of Synect's solutions can run on an unlimited number of displays and configurations. Synect's approach to content and experience can scale to any number of screens, orientations and layouts.