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High-tech solutions cut airlines’ bag losses

A new report says that the rate of airlines losing bags and suitcases has fallen 70% in 10 years.

Airlines are losing fewer suitcases and bags than ever before, according to a new report, which shows the rate falling by 70% over the last 10 years. This is due to the deployment of high-tech solution, the report claims.

As airlines increasingly adopt baggage tracking technologies, baggage management is changing globally and passengers can expect to see further major differences over the next two years, the SITA 2018 Baggage Report says.

Services like real-time notifications and fast self-service bag drop will be more commonplace and 2018 is the year that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 comes into effect which will see the industry increase baggage tracking.

With the rise to more than 4 billion passengers in 2017 – up 64% since 2007 – airlines cut the rate of mishandled bags last year to 5.57 per thousand passengers – the lowest level ever recorded.

The total number of mishandled bags in 2017 was 22.7 million, a 4.1% rise from 2016 but still lower than the overall passenger traffic growth rate of 7.6%.

However, despite the improvement, mishandled bags still cost the industry an estimated $2.3 billion in 2017, so there is scope for cost savings by airlines investing in end-to-end bag tracking, information technology firm SITA says.

Regions with the lowest rates of mishandled bags are Asia Pacific (1.92 bags per thousand passengers) and the United States (2.4 per thousand domestic passengers).

Further advances
As technology advances, with real-time notifications and fast self-service bag drop becoming increasingly available, baggage tracking will become more reliable with the introduction and improvement of scanning technologies, the report says.

“With IATA’s drive for 100% bag tracking, technology adoption will rise further. End-to-end tracking produces data that reveals where improvements can be made in operational processes,” said Barbara Dalibard, SITA CEO.

“While we won’t see a sudden change in 2018, it is a real turning point for the industry as airlines begin to unlock the value of the tracking data for the 4.65 billion bags they carry.”

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