If you have ever lost luggage while travelling, you can appreciate how frustrating the process can be in recovering your bags, especially when you reach your hotel with no personal items. The good news is that the percentage of lost luggage decreases every year. From the baggage that is lost, worldwide airlines eventually recover 97% of missing bags. Of the luggage that was mishandled, 3% are never recovered, 16% were reportedly damaged, and 81% were just delayed in reaching their owner.
Despite the improving numbers for the reduction of lost luggage, the IATA had declared on June 1st, 2018 that they will introducing a new policy to reduce the amount of lost luggage further.
The IATA’s Resolution 753 includes mandating four data points throughout the bag’s journey when bags are checked in. This makes identifying and tracking bags, and any mishandling, to be more clearly recognized to reduce mistakes. This mandated process also creates a faster process in returning passengers’ luggage if the bag did miss the intended flight.
They will achieve this through the use of radio frequency identification, which is already implemented in the industry, with renewed purposes for tracking. One of the previous barriers to introducing RFID for mismanaging of bags was the cost of the tags needed to be placed on the luggage.
Andrew Price, head of Global Baggage Operations for the International Airport Transport Association, spoke about the shift in cost to implement upcoming solutions. He stated that “It is also true that the cost of tags is nowhere near the $1.50 that was previously the case. And there is much greater collaboration within the industry now, which is necessary for projects of this size and scope.”
The solution is now much more cost efficient, averaging approximately $0.05 per tag, which will help close the gap of the 3% of luggage that is permanently or temporarily lost.
By 2020, all international airlines will implement the use of the RFID solution. Passengers can expect to experience more self-service scenarios, while airlines increase transparency and real-time tracking to enhance the experience of a traveller’s journey.