Airlines rely on baggage tugs to quickly transport luggage from planes to baggage reclaim areas for customers. However, airlines often find they have to deal with operational issues such as ground support employees believing all vehicles are assigned to employees when there are many unassigned, decreasing employee productivity. 

Southwest Airlines, which operates more than 200 flights out of Denver International Airport, wanted to improve access to luggage tugs with the maintenance and operations team at the airport. 

Pat Brumm, Manager of Southwest Airlines at Denver International Airport, says, “Previously, Southwest Airlines used mechanical padlocks to immobilize luggage tugs and ensure employees couldn’t access tugs when not authorized.”

Working with the Master Lock Bluetooth Padlocks and the Master Lock Vault Enterprise platform from The Master Lock Company, Brumm cut down on potential security risks and the difficulty of managing mechanical padlocks, as handling physical keys were likely to be lost or copied, which posed various security risks.  

“In addition to luggage tugs, Southwest Airlines has incorporated Master Lock’s Bluetooth Padlocks, part of the Master Lock Vault Enterprise solution, to secure stored equipment and cabinets in facility rooms,” Brumm adds. 

Moreover, Bluetooth enabled padlocks ensures administrators have peace of mind when granting or revoking employee access to luggage tugs due to the platform allowing administrators to see logs of who has accessed the tugs, the location and time of use as well. Administrators can provide around the clock access by user, group, time or date. 

“In a busy, time-driven environment like an airport, it’s critical that we can effectively and efficiently manage access to our tugs so they’re available when and where employees need them,” Brumm says. The ability to view which employee accessed the tugs has improved day-to-day operations for the maintenance and operations team at the Denver International Airport. 

The Bluetooth enabled padlocks increased employee productivity and accountability as employees on the ground are able to access their assigned luggage cart through the mobile app or a temporary code. Administrators are able to monitor a detailed activity-log by user and device; therefore, employees are held responsible for all their assigned vehicles and ensuring luggage is transported promptly from planes to baggage reclaim areas.