Virgin Australia has begun using a “pop-up” baggage check-in service developed jointly by Australian aviation tech company OACIS (Off Airport Check-in Solutions) and Madrid-based travel industry IT developer Amadeus.

The service allows passengers to check in and drop off baggage, for any airline, away from the airport, Amadeus said, using the company’s ACUS (Airport Common Use Service) cloud-based technology to access airlines’ check-in systems.

OACIS is an off-airport mobile check-in service that can set up in any location—such as a cruise terminal, a hotel, a train station or a conference site—using a laptop and an internet connection. The service checks in the passenger and baggage and, according to the company, “securely transports their bags to the airport and injects them directly into the airport baggage system.”

According to Amadeus, Virgin Australia is the first airline to utilize the OACIS service, starting with a pilot program in Sydney for cruise ship passengers connecting to Virgin Australia flights. The company plans to expand to New Zealand and additional markets by mid-2019.

“Our service is about giving people more freedom [and] flexibility …so they get the most out of their travel,” OACIS CEO Matthew Lee said. “Travelers can drop off their bags at a convenient location, make the most of their day luggage-free, breeze through the airport without having to queue at the check-in desk, and enjoy their flight knowing their bags will be ready for them at their destination.”

“In the past, airlines and airports have been constrained by low innovation and legacy technology,” Amadeus airport IT sales head-Asia Pacific Sarah Samuel said. “With OACIS, they can be agile in their service offerings, avoid queues and congestion, and create a better traveler experience. In the future, they may be able to do away with the airport check-in desk all together, opening up that space for other revenue opportunities.”

Mark Nensel