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TSA and Airline Interlock for Baggage Space Optimization

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000242099D
Publication Date: 2015-Jun-18
Document File: 4 page(s) / 34K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed are a system and apparatus to implement through the Transportation Security Administration for collecting, storing, tracking, and sharing baggage information (e.g., number of bags and sizes of each), as it is associated with each respective airline passenger. The system expedites the boarding process, reduces difficulties in managing and stowing baggage, enforces baggage-handling rules, assists in customer service to increase satisfaction, and supports airport security.

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TSA and Airline Interlock for Baggage Space Optimization

The process of boarding an airplane is often slowed, thus resulting in delays for the entire travel process, when airline passengers have to disembark after discovering that the luggage that was carried on does not fit into the overhead compartment; said traveler must then go back to check the luggage.

A system is needed to better track carry-on luggage and manage the boarding process in order to prevent an overage of bags that causes delays when travelers must find alternative options at the last minute.

Currently, no solutions exist for increasing knowledge to track the known carry-on luggage for any passenger.

The novel contribution is a method and apparatus to associate bag information (e.g., number of bags and size of each) with each passenger passing through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). An interlock with each airline communicates the bag information to the appropriate airline. The airline can use this information to identify any security threats such as a passenger trying to board an airplane without the expected number of bags (e.g., more or fewer).

The airline uses the information in a cumulative fashion to determine exactly how much space is or is not available as more passengers come aboard the airplane. The airline already has the list of passengers expected to board. The system sends information to the airline in a standardized format indicating exactly how many bags a user has, and the exact sizes of the bags. All of this information is combined with the exact known storage bin space for the particular type of aircraft.

With this combination of knowledge, gate agents are aware, in real time, of the number of bags that have to be checked underneath the plane. In addition, this information can enable passengers to pre-check bags prior to the boarding process. The information might also be used during boarding once the on-board threshold limit of bags is reached. From that point, any bag that does not fit under the seat in front of the user must be checked. This information could also be used as an additional factor as users try to swap to earlier or later flights. This is also a helpful system in the event that passengers move around and get on different flights; real time updates about carry-on baggage can go to the expected airline/flight.

The following components are needed to implement the system and apparatus:


 TSA boarding pass scanner. The passenger swipes a boarding pass just as the bags are put on the belt to go through the scanner.


 TSA repository of people/bag relationships. This tracks all people checked into an airport security system, from check-in to the point of the last successfully boarded connection landing.


 TSA interlock to all airlines. This passenger/bag relationship is passed along to each (and every) airline so that the airline can then track the overhead baggage

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