New bag messaging standard

Bags on the move

New bag messaging standard

Every day, airlines and airports exchange millions of messages on the location of baggage. SITA’s own solution, BagMessage, provides a global, fully managed and secure message distribution service to some 220 airports and more than 400 airlines. But the complexity of messaging has grown, with new demands made of the messaging components.

Increasing success

Houman GoudarziHouman Goudarzi, Project Manager, Technology and Innovation at IATA is developing an XML schema for baggage messaging, aimed at increasing the rates of messaging success. SITA is closely involved in the initiative, alongside a number of major airlines and airports.

“Baggage messaging has supported the movement of bags through airports since it was developed in 1985,” explains Goudarzi. “As with any standard, the developments over many years have led to an increasing number of versions of messages and settings to facilitate the ever changing processes and drive towards lower mishandling.”


“To make it more challenging, there are a diminishing number of experts in the field to support the existing messaging infrastructure.

“To overcome this and other issues, a new messaging standard is being developed, based on established best practices. This will allow future developments at a reasonable cost, using technology that is almost universally adopted in other industries.”

Pilot project

“The industry partners, including airlines, airports and IT providers have joined forces and are currently developing the next generation standard. A sophisticated pilot project, leveraging a cross-standard data modeling approach, and open standards for data transport, is in development to be rolled out at the end of 2016.”