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Airlines and industry partners should apply improved baggage handling models now

Andrew Price

Head of Global Baggage Operations, IATA

Given the technology available today, significant lost and delayed baggage should be a thing of the past. However, it is still a very real irritation for travellers, ranking as the number one passenger complaint for airlines according to SKYTRAX. Baggage mishandling is more than an inconvenience, the personal nature of baggage brings out very strong feelings in passengers.

IATA Resolution 753 seeks to promote good inventory of baggage by encouraging the use of intelligent tracking capabilities. Ultimately, this will create a better experience for passengers, decrease baggage fraud, and benefit airlines and airports by reducing the costs involved in finding and delivering missing or delayed bags, or even lost bags.

Although IATA Resolution 753 is primarily the responsibility of the airlines, baggage is handled by many different parties throughout the process: airlines, airports and baggage handling companies. Airlines bear the ultimate responsibility for delivering the correct bag to the correct passenger, so they will have to ask airports and ground handlers to make various technological and system features available to them to meet the Resolution’s requirements.

The key for successful implementation of Resolution 753 is having a good plan in place to analyze the tracking paths and determine the gaps where the trace is lost or not shared, failing to create a scan point history.  For airlines, this means knowing when custody changes, providing an inventory of departure and arrival bags and being capable of exchanging baggage information with other airlines as needed.

Airports, on the other hand, will need the necessary IT systems and infrastructure to support airlines in comply­ing with IATA Resolution 753. This starts with assessing current baggage handling capabilities and making adjustments as necessary. Technology will be the most important enabler in this respect. These should be included in the airport master plan if not already present.

There is no time to waste in getting ready for IATA Resolution 753 as it comes into effect in June 2018.  It will not only further improve baggage processing, but it will also allow airlines to automatically prove the correct handling of a bag, removing any financial responsibility from a lost or delayed bag. Advanced baggage tracking technology, like the Amadeus BRS, which can match real-time passenger, flight, and baggage data from check-in until flight departure, will be crucial in helping airlines become compliant without affecting their bottom line. For more information, have a look at this video that outlines its aims and benefits.


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