Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

File this under "interesting idea".

From A Winter Innovation: The Airport Coat Check:
With passengers stowing all those coats on jam-packed airplanes, it’s more difficult than ever to claim space in the overhead bins for carry-on bags. Ask any flight attendant about that challenge. But one international airport has come up with an idea that in a small way addresses the question of what to do with that bulky coat.


That would be Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s main hub and, with 57.5 million passengers last year, the third-busiest in Europe after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Frankfurt recently expanded a winter-coat service that it introduced last year as a holiday promotion.


Another coat-check service is offered by Korean Air for its passengers at Incheon International Airport in South Korea. It’s very popular, said Penny Pfaelzer, an airline spokeswoman. “Who wants to lug a winter coast to Hawaii?” she asked.


The standard daily price for checking a winter coat at Frankfurt is 50 euro cents, about 67 cents in the United States. At Incheon, Korean Air provides it free to passengers.


Many major airports offer services to check suitcases for limited periods of time ($4 to $16 a day at Kennedy in New York; $6.50 to $24 a day at Heathrow), but coat-checking looks like an idea that could work elsewhere. Coin-operated airport lockers still are available at some airports abroad, but they mostly disappeared at domestic airports after a terrorist explosion in a locker at La Guardia in 1975 killed 11 and injured more than 70.


“Well, it’s an interesting thought, but a very limited market,” said Michael Sommer, a technology consultant who travels frequently. But like any seasoned traveler, he also saw some potential bumps in the road. “What if you’re leaving from Frankfurt to Miami in February, but you get diverted to Boston?” he asked. “Or Moscow?”

Still, he agreed that it showed the value of innovation at airports. And he had an idea, too: “Why can’t they also offer you dry-cleaning service at the coat check?”
Tags: travel
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