Low cost airline WizzAir has introduced SITA WorldTracer to help speed up the process of reuniting passengers with mishandled luggage.
The airline, based in Hungary, served 29.6 million passengers during its 2018 financial year, up 24.7% from the previous year.
SITA’s WorldTracer is a global reporting and matching service which connects found bags to passenger lost bag reports. It is used by more than 460 airlines and ground handlers in more than 2,800 airports globally. It is part of SITA’s Baggage Management suite which lets airlines track baggage throughout the journey and helps reduce incidents of mishandled bags.
Diederik Pen, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Wizz Air, said:
“At Wizz Air we recognize that baggage remains one of the most fundamental elements of our passenger experience. Arriving at your destination without your baggage can sour your entire trip. Therefore, in those rare cases when bags are mishandled, we need to be sure we can quickly get those bags to our passengers with minimal inconvenience. This is where WorldTracer plays such a vital role.”
The SITA 2018 Baggage Report shows that airlines are improving. They set a new record in 2017 with only 5.57 bags per thousand passengers mishandled, despite more than 4 billion passengers taking to the skies. The overall rate of mishandled bags has dropped by 70.5% since 2007.
The majority (47%) of incidents of baggage mishandling still occur at the point of transfer, and most (78%) mishandling cases involve delays. Damaged bags account for 17% of mishandled bags and only 5% are classified as lost or stolen.
Sergio Colella, SITA President, Europe, said:
“While better tracking technology and oversight of baggage has contributed to the halving of the mishandled baggage rate over the past decade there are still those unforeseen situations were bags are mishandled. In those increasingly rare cases, WorldTracer has proven that it remains the best solution to trace and return a mishandled bag to the passenger quickly.”
IATA’s Resolution 753 is helping to push the industry forward on baggage management technology. It sets a standard for minimum traceability requirements from check in through transfer to and at arrivals.
Andrew Price, Head of Global Management Operations at IATA says in the Baggage Report:
“There are still areas that are hard to track, especially when it comes to arrival scanning and issues such as wifi connectivity for some loading and transfer operations remain a challenge. As each airport infrastructure is slightly different, and used by different airlines in different ways, there are a lot of unique challenges. What is encouraging to see is that stations from the same airline are keeping track of the number of mishandled bags and even competing amongst each other to see who achieved the lowest percentage over a given month.”
In April of 2017, Qatar Airways became the first airline to announce its Resolution 753 compliance at Hamid International Airport in Doha. The airline’s in-house baggage management system integrates with the airline’s website and mobile app and lets customers track their bags throughout the journey. The system also lets airlines manage delayed bags to reunite them with their owners as quickly as possible.
RFID tags and scanners are helping airlines comply with Resolution 753. Delta Air Lines was a standard setter in this sense, investing $50 million to install RFID tag printers and readers at 344 of its stations around the world. The airline also added push notifications to customers on the airline app, which helps keep them informed of the status of their bags.