KLM digital hold baggage checker may be a fun use of technology, but it doesn’t make the tape measure redundant yet

With all airlines offering varied hand baggage allowances, size and weight restrictions, it can be difficult for even frequent travellers to keep track of individual rules. New ticket conditions mean that these can even vary within each airline dependent on the price of the ticket purchased and can change unexpectedly as airlines modify their service delivery concepts.


Summary:

  • KLM has launched an augmented reality hand baggage checker within its app (iOS users only) that allows passengers to check their luggage dimensions;
  • The technology allows users to superimpose a virtual image of hand luggage measuring the maximum allowed dimensions, over their own baggage;
  • The functionality uses Apple’s AR technology and KLM says it is aimed at speeding up check-in and reducing customer confusion over luggage allowances;
  • While convenient the tool remains just  a guide and using the checker will not guarantee bags being allowed onboard aircraft.

While one airline may accept a certain bag in the aircraft cabin, a booking with another may require that back to be checked into the hold and that could mean an additional cost. A rise in self-connections between LCC and LCC and LCC and legacy airline could exemplify this issue as airlines struggle to manage the limited space they have onboard their aircraft for luggage as passengers attempt to avoid the cost of checking in bags.

It is smart practice before travelling to ensure you understand each airline’s baggage policy – and that could differ even in a single indirect through booking that includes travel on more than one carrier, even if you are flying on the same airline code.

To avoid the disruption and embarrassment from being told your bad is too large to carry on the aircraft, European flag carrier KLM has launched an augmented reality hand baggage checker within its app (iOS users only) that allows passengers to check whether their luggage is within the airline’s permitted carry-on dimensions.

The technology allows users to superimpose a virtual image of hand luggage measuring the maximum allowed dimensions, over their own baggage, to check whether the bag will be accepted on board.

It is a simple offering that like many app innovations will be convenient for travellers whether at home or in a hotel, but like everything it comes with a caveat and the warning that it is just a guide and that using the checker will not guarantee bags being allowed onboard. KLM explains that the app “tries to approach reality as much as possible” but ultimately it will remain up to discretion of ground staff as to whether a bag can be taken into the aircraft’s cabin.

The functionality uses Apple’s AR technology and KLM says it is aimed at speeding up check-in and reducing customer confusion over luggage allowances. “By harnessing the potential of AR, KLM is taking the next step in terms of digital service provision,” says Pieter Groeneveld, senior vice president of digital for Air France-KLM.

KLM claims to be among the “pioneers of innovation” for its passengers and has already utilised AR for a 360-degree display of its Dreamliner aircraft within the KLM App, and the KLM Houses App, which uses AR to tell the story of aviation pioneer Anthony Fokker and his House 98 aircraft.

This latest uage will certainly make it easier for passengers to see if bags meet within cabin baggage requirements for the Netherlands flag carrier, but you shouldn’t be throwing away that tape measure just yet!