JEDDAH: Following the announcement by Saudia this week of a new luggage service for pilgrims that means they will not have to haul it to the airport themselves, aviation services business Jeddah Management Company has provided more details about how the service will work and the security precautions that are in place.
The convenient service will pick up luggage from the pilgrim’s accommodation in Jeddah, Makkah or Madinah 24 hours before their flight, take it to the airport and check it in for them.
Ameer Al-Sulaimani, JMC’s operations manager, showed Arab News the site where the luggage will be stored, gave us a look at one of the specially equipped vans that will transport the luggage in the most secure way possible, and explained how the service will operate.
“(For this year’s Hajj), Saudia took the initiative to provide special services for pilgrims in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah,” he said.
“A third party is going to provide these services and these services start from the Hajjis residence. JMC will start the check-in process from the residence of the Hajjis then clear all their baggage and issue their boarding pass and baggage tag as well.”
The collected luggage will be taken to a facility where security checks will take place, including X-ray scans, Al-Sulaimani said.
He then opened the van, which he said has been designed to the highest standards of safety and security, and showed how all luggage tags have unique numbers to help prevent any tracking errors. He said the aviation team has drawn on all its extensive experience to develop the process and ensure the vehicles are equipped with all the equipment required to provide a complete service, including a tracking system, camera, electronic scales and a wrapping machine.
“At the time these vehicles pick up individual items of luggage, every piece will be loaded individually to make sure no damage occurs and that all luggage is secured with a belt while it is being transferred from the residence of the airline customer to the airport,” Al-Sulaimani added.
“We can track the vehicles everywhere in the Kingdom. We can also communicate with the passenger in live communication through a camera and handheld device.”
When the luggage is picked up it is sealed using the wrapping machine to ensure it remains secure.
“All passengers will be reassured that their luggage is sealed and when they receive it in their country or residence at the arrival stage, they will find the seal intact,” said Al-Sulaimani.
“The numbers of tags will not be repeated with the next passenger. It’s one numbered tag, for this piece of luggage only.”