Some time ago, a cargo plane crashed in Los Angeles. The cause of the crash, it was quickly discovered, was due to a series of miscalculations concerning the weight of the baggage loaded on the plane. The load was unbalanced and the plane could not take off correctly, and plunged to the earth minutes after take-off. Previously, air cargo containers were put on a scale and the weight was written by hand on the outside of the can. Sloppy handwriting may have been one cause for the plane crash. A POS airport baggaging system was needed immediately.
A thermal printer that communicates directly with the cargo can’s weigh scale was required. The printer prints a barcode, destination, date and container weight clearly and in large letters. The warehouse worker applies the label to the can where it can be read by airport personnel loading the can on the plane. The logistics corporation also chose a durable and inexpensive direct thermal media to withstand abrasions and scratches endured during transit.
In order to step up airline safety, in 2002 the US Congress passed a law stating that all checked baggage must be screened for explosives. This is a change from the random search of checked baggage at most airports. One way to fill this tall order is for airlines to put into action the practice of matching every bag that goes into the belly of a plane to a passenger on board.
The new process of bag-matching involves scanning tags on bags loaded onto planes, and comparing bag tags to passenger lists. If a passenger doesn’t get on a flight, that traveller’s bags will be removed. This is all done in an effort to prevent suspect luggage being checked onto a plane without the passenger actually being on the flight. Barcode printers are perfectly suited for this task.
Each of the airlines will require a system of printing and inventorying barcodes to keep up with these new standards and airport baggage pos systems are up to the challenge.
Read the original baggage pos systems article.