Rising to the resolution

Rising to the resolution

Q4 2018
Rising to the resolution

SITA Lab and SITA Air Travel Solutions are enabling airlines and airports to comply both quickly and cost effectively to IATA Resolution 753. 

A major focus area for SITA’s innovation, endorsed by the SITA Council in 2016, is a commitment to help members and the wider industry to meet the requirements of IATA Resolution 753. The resolution mandates airlines to track bags across several key points from initial check-in to arrival.

SITA responded rapidly to the resolution by launching a joint research program across SITA Lab and SITA Air Travel Solutions, with the objective of enabling airlines and airports to comply both quickly and cost effectively.

The research program includes the continued investigation and introduction of new bag tracking technologies. See ‘Bag tracking advances’ and ‘The last piece of the bag tracking jigsaw.’

Airlines and airports embracing tracking

Progress has been strong, with many airline and airport successes, including around 20 SITA members so far opting for SITA’s BagJourney solution.

Those who’ve worked with SITA to meet the resolution include Aeroflot, Alitalia, Air India, Bahamasair, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Airports Authority of India, Istanbul New Airport, Kotoka International Airport, TAP Air Portugal and Qatar Airways, among others.

SITA continues to support its members in meeting IATA’s requirements with intelligent tracking capabilities and an industry-wide approach to help airlines, airports, ground handlers and suppliers to work together in pursuit of a common goal.

Peter Drummond, Portfolio Director Baggage, SITA


BagJourney: ‘ready-to-go’

“SITA’s aim is to enable our members and others in the industry to scale up tracking capabilities without needing massive capital investment from the community,” says Peter Drummond, Portfolio Director Baggage, SITA. “Our BagJourney provides a ready-to-go solution to fulfill IATA Resolution 753 in a cost-effective way.”

With new infrastructure enhancements, SITA’s BagJourney offers a core platform and includes data collection free of charge and the ability to quickly integrate the solution using Application Program Interfaces (APIs).

BagJourney builds on SITA’s baggage data delivery services and their global coverage, giving a precise picture of a bag’s location, based on harnessing 3.1 billion baggage information messages a year across 250 airports, for 550 airlines.

Growth heightens opportunities

Despite major improvements in baggage mishandling cited in SITA’s 2018 Baggage Report, the 23 million bags mishandled in 2017 still represent $2.3 billion in cost. That leaves considerable scope for cost savings from airline investments in end-to-end bag tracking.

“We’ll see even more opportunities for tracking efficiencies because of the growth of air travel,” says Drummond. “IATA reckons that present trends suggest passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037. This means more baggage.

“The more we track that baggage the better we’ll become as an industry. Tracking can help us see what will happen next, and what mistakes are made. This will equip us to do better in the future.”

SITA research shows ‘the race is on’

According to SITA’s recently launched ‘Air Transport IT Insights 2018’ the race is now on to embrace the technology to deliver smart end-to-end bag tracking. The research says that given IATA’s Resolution 753, 68% of airlines plan to implement real-time bag tracking information for passengers by 2021.

It shows that airlines are communicating more about missing baggage information via mobile devices – helped by their efforts to comply with the resolution. The research also highlights that 60% of airlines plan to implement information services via mobile apps to passengers for missing baggage and baggage location status updates.

Tracking to home or hotel?

SITA continues to investigate new bag tracking capabilities for members. One new development is the ability to track a bag from its final destination airport through to the passenger’s hotel or home, providing full visibility to the airline and ultimately to the passenger.

“This is where our new WorldTracer Baggage Delivery Service® will help,” says Drummond. Soon to be available, it supports IATA’s resolution by sewing up that last piece in the chain of a mishandled bag. It’s designed for airlines and their couriers to ensure that the bag gets back to the passenger when it finally arrives at its destination.  

Passengers, whose expectations are fueled by consumer experiences, will be able to track their mishandled baggage just like they would an Amazon parcel – making for a more reassuring experience.

In the meantime, airlines and couriers get full tracing and compliance with IATA’s Resolution 753, along with savings in time and costs, a far more streamlined process. See ‘The last piece of the baggage tracking jigsaw.’

Exploring the potential

“More potential applications for operational data are being explored all the time through working closely with members,” explains Drummond.

“The possibilities include disruption management, providing mishandling information to crew while in-flight, and the proration and validation of mishandling charges.

“Then there’s the promise of Artificial Intelligence (AI),” he concludes. “This is expected to revolutionize the management of baggage over the next decade, making mishandled bags an increasingly rare event for passengers globally.”

For more

See SITA’s 2018 paper ‘Intelligent Tracking: A Baggage Management Revolution’.

The last piece of the bag tracking jigsaw

WorldTracer® Baggage Delivery Service

SITA’s WorldTracer, the No.1 baggage tracing network, tracks more than 70% of the world’s luggage and is used at over 2,800 airport locations with more than 500 customers worldwide.

Soon to be announced, its new WorldTracer Baggage Delivery Service module will track a bag from its final destination airport through to the passenger’s hotel or home.

Better all round for passengers and the industry:


  • More information on status and delivery plans, both reliably and in real-time
  • A service that meets passenger expectations for tracking delivery, given their virtual experiences in the consumer world
  • A more satisfying and reassuring experience for passengers, making them less likely to complain to the airline


  • Full tracing and compliance with IATA’s Resolution 753
  • Ability to undertake performance analysis against couriers’ SLAs
  • Cost savings due to fewer passenger calls to airline call centers
  • An enhanced brand reputation, particularly as passengers expect to track their mishandled baggage just like they would an Amazon parcel


  • Cost savings due to removing paperwork, manual scheduling and invoice creation
  • Time savings because bags can be instantly processed and assigned to drivers
  • Fewer calls to the courier, as data is shared in real-time with both airline and passenger

A reduction in missed deliveries because drivers can contact passengers through the app, and passengers can track delivery.

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