Real-time baggage tracking coming soon to a suitcase near you

Patricia Simillon

Head of Strategic Marketing, Airlines, Amadeus IT Group

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Patiently waiting in front of the baggage carousel watching as one holidaymaker after another collects their baggage – you notice that the crowd is growing thinner and thinner by the minute. Twenty minutes pass, then thirty. Eventually, an hour later, a stark realization casts a dark cloud over your holiday.


Your plane lands after a six hour flight to the Caribbean. Finally, after all of the hectic months of work in the frigidly cold city – your tropical dream holiday has arrived. You’ve packed everything needed for a relaxing vacation and now all you have to do is pick up your baggage and head to the beach front resort.

Your baggage has been lost. Anger, frustration, and hopelessness set in – your dream holiday is at risk of being ruined before you’ve even had your first beach side piña colada.

The fictional story above is a reality for many airline customers.

According to SITA's 7th Annual Baggage Report, despite a significant improvement in the mishandling rate over the last four years, 29.4 million bags were delayed on arrival in 2010 which translates into a cost of $2.94 billion for airlines.

A recent study from Amadeus, Navigating the Airport of Tomorrow, included a survey conducted by JD Power, which found that over 34% of passengers had experienced baggage issues on their most recent flight. The survey also found that 37% of travellers said they would like to use their mobile to receive real-time baggage arrival updates.

Fortunately, travel technology of the future is already making mishandled baggage a frustration of the past.

We’ve recently teamed up with SITA, the world's leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions, to create Altéa Baggage Tracking which will initially cover 54 airports worldwide.

Altéa Baggage Tracking provides real-time tracking information and status updates regarding the location of baggage through multiple channels worldwide, whilst reducing the costs associated with mishandled baggage in a single, integrated environment.

Lost and mishandled baggage has spawned reality shows, ruined vacations, and cost the airline industry billions – but soon it will be a thing of the past.

Check out this BBC video report for more insight into how we’re working to create a better travel experience.