IATA Reports Progress in Reducing Baggage Mishandling with Advanced Tracking

ByTravelling For Business

May 14, 2024
IATA reveals significant progress in reducing baggage mishandling through advanced tracking technologies, with a majority of airlines and airports adopting Resolution 753.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released new data showcasing progress in the implementation of advanced baggage tracking systems by airlines and airports. This initiative aims to reduce baggage mishandling and improve the overall passenger experience.

According to a survey conducted by IATA involving 155 airlines and 94 airports, 44% of airports have fully implemented Resolution 753, which mandates baggage tracking at key stages: acceptance, loading, transfer, and arrival. An additional 41% of airports are in the process of implementing this resolution.

The survey results indicate that 88% of airlines in China and North Asia have fully adopted Resolution 753. In the Americas, 60% of carriers have implemented the resolution, followed by 40% in Europe and Asia-Pacific, and 27% in Africa. Moreover, 75% of the surveyed airports now possess the capability for Resolution 753 baggage tracking.

Optical barcode scanning is the predominant tracking technology at airports, used by 73% of those surveyed. However, the more efficient RFID tracking technology is implemented at 27% of airports, with the world’s largest airports (handling over 40 million passengers) favouring RFID at a rate of 54%.

Since the adoption of Resolution 753 in June 2018, baggage mishandling has decreased by nearly 60% between 2007 and 2022. Despite this, a report by Air transport IT provider SITA noted a surge in baggage mishandling rates last year due to the resumption of international and long-haul flights post-pandemic, a shortage of skilled staff, and airport congestion.

IATA is also spearheading the transition from legacy ‘Type B’ baggage tracking messaging to modern XML-based messaging, with a pilot project slated for this year.

Monika Mejstrikova, IATA’s Director of Ground Operations, commented on the progress: “Tracking bags at acceptance, loading, transfer and delivery will give the industry the data it needs to improve. Tracking reduces overall mishandlings and helps airlines reunite mishandled bags with their owners even faster. With 44% of airlines already fully implementing Resolution 753 tracking and a further 41% in progress, travellers can have even more confidence that their bags will be at the carousel on arrival.”

Mejstrikova further highlighted the importance of modern messaging: “Adopting modern messaging is the equivalent of implementing a new standard, intelligible language for use by airlines, airports, and ground handling staff so they can effectively communicate about passenger luggage. In addition to helping reduce the number of mishandled bags, implementation also sets the stage for ongoing innovations in baggage management systems.”

The industry’s continued efforts in advanced baggage tracking and communication systems promise to enhance efficiency and reduce mishandling, providing passengers with a more reliable travel experience.