Spirit introduces self-service bag check at New York LaGuardia

Jan 14, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

You may have to deal with fewer people during the check-in process the next time you fly Spirit Airlines from New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

On Tuesday, the ultra-low cost carrier started offering passengers departing from LGA the choice of tagging their own checked baggage and personally dropping it on the conveyor.

The airline touted the self-service bag drop as making the check-in process more efficient and shortening the amount of time passengers have to spend in line to see a customer-service agent.

(Photo by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy)

“Historically our queues have been heavy,” Mike Byrom, Spirit’s vice president of airport services told TPG at a media event about the new machines. “This is our investment to expedite that.”

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news.

Spirit’s self-service bag check at LaGuardia happens in two steps. First, customers weigh their luggage at a kiosk, which then prints out a tag for them to affix.

(Photo by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy)

 

(Photo by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy)

Then, after a quick manual check of their boarding passes and IDs, passengers go to another machine to get their bag scanned and brought into the checked luggage system. They can also pay any overweight fees directly through the machines.

(Photo by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy)

Spirit already has self-service bag check in Las Vegas, in partnership with the airport. But the system there uses hardware and software from another supplier, so passengers self-checking bags at LAS still must see an agent in order to pay any fees.

LaGuardia is the first airport where Spirit is deploying self-check bag machines solely through its own investments.

Employees remain available at LGA to assist any passengers who have difficulties tagging or scanning their bags properly.

Airline officials emphasized that no employees in New York would lose their jobs as a result of the machines.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, the airline will install the machines at some of its other highest-traffic bases, with Spirit officials mentioning Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Detroit and Fort Lauderdale as other airports that could get self-service bag drop. As the machines become more common, the airline will determine which smaller stations should get the technology.

(Photo by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy)

Overall, passengers seemed pleased with the new process, and airline executives said it already seems to be moving things along more efficiently at the airport. One passenger gave a thumbs up and said he thought the self-bag check was good.

Not everyone had such a positive view, though. Another passenger said she didn’t like having to check her own bag, implying that it’s a service the airline should still provide for its customers. But, as Spirit officials pointed out, a traditional full-service bag check counter will remain in operation at LGA, too.

All photos by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy.

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.