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SITA provides smart technology to track a bag like a parcel
Location: Passenger Terminal Expo, Paris
10 March 2015

Global IT provider helps airlines and airports to make sense of 2.5 billion bag messages

Accurate information on the current location of passengers’ baggage is now available to airlines and airports with SITA’s BagJourney. SITA has harnessed the 2.5 billion data messages, which it manages for the global airline and airport community in its BagMessage service, to provide smart solutions that allow bags to be tracked like parcels.

Every day airlines and airports exchange information on the location of passengers’ baggage. SITA’s BagMessage is the global, fully-managed and secure message distribution service that is used by more than 220 airports and 500 airlines around the world to do this. The volume of data managed by SITA is growing fast, at close to 20% per year, and has now reached an annual volume of 2.5 billion messages. SITA has focused its attention on this huge volume to provide efficient and valuable services to airlines and airports to improve the management of baggage across the world and to meet the expectation that airline baggage should be as easy to track as a parcel sent by the world’s courier companies.

Speaking at the Passenger Terminal Expo, Nick Gates, SITA Portfolio Director, Baggage, said: “An immense amount of data is created about baggage and we have worked hard to design solutions to use these billions of messages and provide value to the air transport community.

“SITA BagJourney follows the bag, from check-in to final delivery, through multiple airports and multiple airlines. We at SITA have now made it possible to track airline baggage just like a parcel. We are delivering this service to our community via an application programming interface (API) to allow airlines and airports to integrate it into to their existing systems quickly and easily, including services such as mobile updates which they might offer to passengers.”

Keeping track of passengers’ bags is a priority for the air transport industry but it will become even more important in the coming years, as airlines and airports prepare to implement IATA’s new resolution 753. This resolution, which comes into effect in 2018, requires IATA member airlines to monitor and log the status of its passengers’ bags through the major stages of the bags’ journey. One of the biggest consequences will be that inbound (arrival bags) will need to be more actively tracked/monitored.

Andrew Price, Head of Airport Operations Management, IATA, said: “IATA continues to drive improvements in baggage handling and we welcome solutions, like SITA’s BagJourney, that will help airlines to comply with Resolution 753.  What is clear is that, if airlines can use baggage data efficiently they will see results. When one major airline introduced 100% tracking they saw a 35% reduction in mishandling, so there will be a combination of savings and improvements in the passenger experience.”

SITA’s baggage tracking offering is unique because BagJourney is integrated with WorldTracer - the only truly global tracing and matching service of delayed bags. This allows a bag’s journey to continue to be tracked even if it is mishandled.

Gates added:  “Since BagJourney’s development, more and more applications for tracking and analysis have surfaced through discussions with our customers including; disruption management apps; mishandled information to crew while in-flight; mishandling charges proration and validation; and more.  We at SITA expect our customers of BagMessage to be able to derive substantial benefits from using BagJourney because SITA delivers their baggage information worldwide.”

Smart Technology for Efficient Baggage Management

SITA is demonstrating its smart technology at Passenger Terminal Expo, an international airport conference and exhibition that attracts more than 3,500 visitors from more than 90 countries. At stand 2050 visitors can see SITA’s new smart mobile solutions for reconciliation from tracking to tracing that make use of the 2.5 billion bag messages that the air transport community creates and exchanges each year.

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