Although baggage handling has improved over the years, lost and mishandled baggage continues to be a huge problem, causing a headache for passengers and costing airlines millions of dollars every year. Fortunately, new technology promises a simple, inexpensive solution to the problem, which should be welcomed by passengers and investors alike.
Read on to get the full story!
The number of lost and mishandled bags peaked in 2007, at 48.9 million units worldwide. This cost the industry over $4 billion.
Progress in baggage handling has been made since then, with the number of missing and mishandled bags falling by nearly half in 2015.
Although a step in the right direction, airlines were still on the hook for $2.3 billion to recover lost luggage or reimburse passengers.
Now, new technology has emerged that airlines hope will make lost luggage a thing of the past.
Meet the radio frequency identification device (RFID). Embedded in luggage tags, RFIDs emit radio waves that allow luggage to be scanned on conveyor belts.
If a bag is headed in the wrong direction, ground crews will be alerted.
Costing as little as $0.10 per passenger, RFIDs could help reduce the number of lost and mishandled bags by 25 percent by 2022, saving the industry as much as $3 billion.
With a success rate of 99 percent, RFIDs support the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) “Resolution 753,” which requires carriers to keep track of all baggage from start to finish beginning in 2018.
Delta Air Lines is the first carrier to implement RFIDs on a broad scale, after investing $50 million.
But many other airlines, including American and Alaska, are working quickly to catch up.
Helping to eliminate lost luggage and save airlines billions, the tiny devices should please carriers, passenger and investors alike. Call it a win-win-win!
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