Ground agents in airports are to be armed with a mobile service allowing them to better assist passengers when luggage goes astray.
The service is an extension of the existing WorldTracer system provided by SITA, is backed by global aviation organisation IATA and uses flight data from Innovata.
While more than 450 airlines and ground staff use the existing WorldTracer at 2,200 airports around the world for baggage tracing, WorldTracerWeb Mobile will boost efforts further by placing the hard data as to potential whereabouts of a lost item in the hands of agents in baggage halls and elsewhere around an airport.
SITA reckons than one in eight pieces of lost luggage are intended for connecting flights at an airport, meaning that inevitably the item must be scheduled for carriage on a flight not associated with the passenger.
The new mobile service will allow agents on the ground to file a report and process the re-routing of any lost baggage with the passenger in the airport.
The system was trialled at Prague Airport in the Czech Republic capital ahead of its full launch this week.
Airport ICT operations manager Martin Sýkora says:
"During the pilot our agents in Prague were able to offer prompt service to passengers allowing them to quickly file a baggage claim.
"The flexibility of the service means that staff can be allocated when, and where, they are needed to tackle any mishandled luggage and to reduce the time it takes to re-unite passengers with their bags."
SITA claims although there is a general downward trend over the past four years in the number of items going missing around the world, 2010 saw a slight rise due to the major disruptions experienced as a result of the Icelandic ash cloud.