I am currently travelling from Dubrovnik Airport to Frankfurt by Lufthansa. After checking in, I wanted to use the self-drop counter because I hoped it would be faster. However, this was not possible. At that point, I had already checked in using self-check-in and ready to drop my bag. What are possible reasons for this?

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    On what level exactly were you told it was not possible? During online check-in? On the counter itself? What error message did you get? – dunni Aug 22 '19 at 14:42
  • @dunni I checked in using self-check-in. I was presented with an unspecific error message stating self-drop was not available for my flight. – Rummskartoffel Aug 22 '19 at 14:54

It was not clear from the question if there actually was a self-drop counter for LH there (which in that case was out of service?) or not. Assuming there wasn't:

One likely cause is "Not willing to pay for being the pioneer" or otherwise not getting the payback. Although I suppose LH is big also there. If you are (among) the first self-drop counter(s) on a specific ariport/market, you end up paying for:

  1. Investing in the extra HW
  2. Nevertheless need the same (or maybe bigger) number of people (=having to guide how to use the devices)
  3. Risk of getting the image of "self-service airline"

It is a lot nicer to sit and wait for the pioneer to invest, and you wait and automate only once the customers are used to it. Then it may become a game where everyone is just waiting. I don't know if this is the case in Dubrovnik, though.

LH has been early to "pay the price" (=good investment) introducing self-service at their main sites. I live in Japan, and here, I believe that the initially late introduction of similar systems is, yes, partly due to culture, but partly due to having oligopoly between 2 companies (ANA and JAL) and thus both waiting for the other one to start.

p.s. I hesitated writing this as an answer and not a comment, but there may anyway not be enough people who have researched enough onto this.

  • Thanks for your answer. I know from a previous flight that LH has self-drop at Frankfurt, but in Dubrovnik there were self-drop counters that did not appear to belong to any particular airline. Maybe they were out of commission, but they certainly didn't look the part. Then again, security check at Dubrovnik was the most chaotic I've seen yet, maybe the airport is organisationally lacking elsewhere as well. – Rummskartoffel Aug 22 '19 at 15:24
  • I have never been to Dubvrovik [would like to visit, though] but if you say it is chaotic, maybe they anyway need the people, so it may not be the optimal place for self-service drop [partly chicken-egg, though...] . LH... even I am not German, I think that the first time I used (=was forced to use) self-check-in [not baggage drop yet, ie way back] was in Dusseldorf. Back then LH was strong enough to just tell set the standards, which in a way was good. – Tuomo Aug 22 '19 at 15:53
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    The reason is probably lack of interfaces between different IT systems. I am often flying with Lufthansa from Oslo to Germany and even if their Star Alliance partner SAS is handling LH checkins in Oslo and SAS operate self-drop counters for luggage, they also don't work when flying with a LH ticket. I can use the SAS self-service check-in kiosks to get my boarding pass, but have to go to a staffed counter to check luggage. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 22 '19 at 16:56

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