Lufthansa recently was awarded the Fast Travel Award from the IATA (International Air Transport Association). The award is given to the airline that takes the greatest steps to reduce ineffiences as far as the passenger experience at an airport is concern. The Award was presented to Lufthansa Group Chairman and CEO Christoph Franz at the annual IATA Board of Directors Meeting in Montreal.

To earn the award, Lufthansa had to meet requirements in 6 disciplines to earn the award: Automated Check-Options, Self Service Baggage Drop-Off, Self Boarding, Automated Document Check, Independent Flight Re-Booking and Lost Baggage Registration.

It is also the first airline in the history of the award to meet the requirements of the award for two separate airports. Frankfurt and Munich, the two major Lufthansa hubs have both reached these operating efficiences.

Highlights of the improved passenger experience:

1. 3 Self Check-In Options: Online, Self Serve Kiosk or Smart Phone. 60 percent of all Lufthansa travelers use one of these 3 methods.

2. Self Service Baggage Drop Off: Passengers can print their own baggage tag at a Luggage Drop-Off Kiosk and automatically send their luggage into the airport’s baggage management system.

3. Self Boarding: At gates in Frankfurt and Munich Passengers simply scan their boarding pass at a scanner, and if the Boarding Pass meets the flight criteria, a gate opens allowing the passenger to pass through. No longer is a gate agent needed thus eliminating a bottleneck. In addition there are more than one of these scanners at most gates, allowing for faster passenger flow.

In my experience transiting Frankfurt and Munich, it is obvious just how effective these systems are. Its because of effiencies like this that have earned Munich many awards including Europe’s Best Airport. Munich is so efficient that it only takes 30 minutes for an arriving passenger from an International Origin to make their connecting flights. I can personally attest to the fact that it is very easy to do this!!

Congrats Lufthansa for making the passenger experience better!