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TELXON HELPS NORTHWEST AIRLINES ACHIEVE GOAL AS NO. 1 CARRIER FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

 TELXON HELPS NORTHWEST AIRLINES ACHIEVE GOAL
 AS NO. 1 CARRIER FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
 AKRON, Ohio, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwest Airlines, Inc., which became America's number-one on-time airline in 1991, has rolled out a new Telxon Corporation (NASDAQ/NMS: TLXN) automated curbside luggage check-in system as part of an aggressive program to lead the nation's carriers in customer service by drastically reducing mishandled bags.
 The system, which includes Telxon fixed-mounted microcomputers, is adding a new dimension to luggage handling and tracking for an airline that has 1,400 flights a day and processes nearly 40 million bags a year.
 "We want to be number one in luggage handling, just as we are number one in on-time service," said Roger L. Loebel, manager of passenger services automation for Minneapolis/St. Paul-based Northwest.
 At 61 locations across the U.S., skycaps now use the powerful Telxon PTC-860 at curbside to check in luggage and generate professional-looking, easy-to-read barcoded tags.
 The curbside system is a natural extension of one installed at ticket counters last year, according to Loebel. At that time, only counter personnel using CRTs generated barcoded tags and placed them on checked luggage. Typical string tags were still used at curbside locations.
 With the new system, skycaps at curbside are now on-line with PARS, the Northwest Passenger Airline Reservation System.
 Telxon PTCs, or Portable Tele-transaction Computers, are mounted on rolling podiums stationed along the check-in area. The skycap enters the passenger's name, flight information and number of bags to be checked into the PTC-860. When the Telxon unit, which prompts the operator every step of the way, confirms the final destination, the skycap generates barcoded luggage tags on the spot. If a passenger checks more than the allowed three bags, the PTC-860 instructs the skycap that an additional charge is due. In the past, Loebel explained, there was no way to ensure that Northwest collected for all extra luggage checked at the curb.
 The additional luggage fees recouped with the new system will enable Northwest to pay for it within 12 to 18 months, he said.
 Loebel said the specially designed barcoded tag is one of the primary elements of a system that was created to reduce mishandled luggage through automation. Easy-to-read with crisp, reversed type, the new tag and tough plastic liner reinforce passenger perceptions about the professionalism of the airline's luggage-handling system, Loebel explained.
 "Sorting of bags is speeded on the ramp because the new tags are much easier to read," he added. Tracking also becomes more precise because the information gathered at curbside becomes a permanent part of the passenger's reservation record. The system has already enabled Northwest to substantially reduce the number of mishandled bags, he said.
 The menu-driven PTCs are easy to use in all types of weather. The large keys even allow gloved skycaps to easily type passenger information.
 Loebel said the PTC-860 was chosen because of its ability to accommodate the software requirements for the task, simplicity of the keyboard, backlit display and the environmental design which permits operation in wide-ranging climates.
 "We needed a simple device that would operate in any environment, ranging from sub-zero temperatures in Minneapolis to 120-plus degrees in Phoenix," Loebel said.
 Northwest is currently developing additional programs to capitalize on the new luggage tag, including systems that will actually verify that each piece of luggage was placed on its designated flight every step of the way to the final destination.
 Telxon is the world leader in portable microcomputer technology. Telxon PTCs gather, process and store on-site, real-time data which is communicated to a host computer. These systems incorporate the company's proprietary operating and applications software, associated peripheral equipment and communications devices.
 Telxon executive and engineering offices are located in Akron, Ohio, and its manufacturing facility is in Houston. More than 6,000 Telxon customers are served by over 50 sales and service offices worldwide.
 -0- 5/1/92
 /CONTACT: Julie L. Ganim, vice president, corporate development of Telxon Corporation, 216-867-3700/
 (TLXN) CO: Telxon Corporation ST: Ohio IN: TLS SU:


KK -- CL005 -- 5387 05/01/92 10:26 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 1, 1992
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