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New airline technology tracks baggage during travel

/ 08:28 PM June 04, 2015

In almost every part of the world, delayed and lost luggages have always been a perennial worry of airline passengers.

In the 2015 baggage report of air transport IT specialist SITA, the rate of mishandled luggage last year was set at 7.3 bags per 1,000 passengers.

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Although down from the 18.88 bags recorded in 2007, this was still a major concern that airlines have to address.

In fact, according to SITA’s 2014 Passenger IT Trends Survey, 27 percent of respondents wanted a “significant improvement” in the collection of baggages at destinations, citing it as the “most frustrating travel step” for passengers.

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But with the introduction of a new technology, tracking one’s bags along the journey is now possible.

Through BagJourney, an end-to-end baggage tracking service powered by SITA’s Air Transport Industry Cloud, airlines can now monitor passengers’ bags in the duration of the travel, which would help reduce delays.

“We can also provide the latest baggage tracking information to crew while they are on the move via CrewTablet, our tablet application for crew operations, so we can address any problems more quickly,” said Robert Webb, chief information and technology officer of Etihad Airways, which now uses the BagJourney technology.

In the new tracking innovation, baggage data is being transmitted through a message and distribution service, which is then provided to airlines by a web application programming interface.

While the service applies only to airport crew and staff, developers said future developments may allow airlines to extend technology to passengers through a mobile phone application.

“With BagJourney, Etihad Airways will be able to track passengers’ bags no matter where they are in their journey,” said Hani El-Assaad, SITA President for the Middle East, India, and Africa. “So even if bags are delayed, they can easily see the bag status and can proactively notify passengers.”

At present, around 200 airports and 500 airlines in the world have been using the new tracking technology.

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“It is important that all airlines continue to invest in baggage technology, especially as rising passenger numbers put more pressure on baggage operations,” El-Assaad added.

TOPICS: airlines, baggage tracking, BagJourney, SITA, technology
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