Like many carriers, we at AEGEAN Airlines have been addressing baggage tracking in response to IATA’s Resolution 753. We are already seeing positive returns on our technology investment in this area.
For us, one major element in offering best services to those who travel with AEGEAN, is punctuality. Punctuality in departure times and punctuality in delivering the luggage immediately upon the arrival of our passengers at their destination. Hence, 12 months ago, we mapped and looked at improving factors that cause failures in a bag’s journey, as part of a drive in AEGEAN to achieve Resolution 753 compliance.
A 2.3% further reduction in total mishandled bags … and more positive results
Last year, our airline carried 13.9 million passengers and handled 9.5 million bags. Thanks to the introduction of new technologies and processes, we saw a 2.3% reduction in total mishandled bags in 2018, compared to 2017.
But this considerable improvement was not the only positive result we achieved by implementing Resolution 753. There were more positive returns ahead. Focusing on factors that our airline could control internally, we reduced the figure for mishandled bags by a further 32%. In addition, 80% of our mishandled bag cases were solved within 24 hours.
We are delighted with the progress we have made so far, but this is just the beginning. We were pleased, therefore, to feature in the SITA Baggage IT Insights 2019 report, which shows that implementation of bag tracking is helping to significantly reduce baggage mishandling in regions all across the world.
The Resolution has driven change
There can be no doubt that implementing Resolution 753 was good motivation for us to dig deeper into the baggage challenge. It led to our close analysis of the issues, along with our mapping exercise to improve and control those factors that disrupt a bag’s journey.
In keeping with Resolution 753, which many will know came into effect in June 2018, we needed to look at baggage tracking at four key points:
- Passenger handover to the airline
- Loading onto the aircraft
- Delivery to the transfer area
- Return to the passenger
A new philosophy for evaluating baggage mishandling
To improve our baggage mishandling rates at AEGEAN, we adopted a new philosophy for baggage mishandling evaluation. We analyzed codes in different data sets, including mishandling due to transfer, sorting and so forth.
This helped us to get a better understanding of the causes of baggage mishandling. As a result, we have been able to focus on areas where we can influence and eliminate mishandling.
Over the past two years, we have been actively working with IATA and partners to implement Resolution 753. This includes creating an in-house application for processing baggage data from multiple sources, including SITA BagJourney, Star Alliance Baggage Hub and local connections, together with upgrading our error correcting logic.
Enhancing data sources and passenger satisfaction
We have also advanced our Central Baggage Tracing and Lost and Found procedures. This includes enhancing data sources and focusing on improving passenger satisfaction. In addition, AEGEAN has deployed a centralized reporting baggage tool which processes data from various sources and provides advanced monitoring capabilities.
Added to this, we have rolled out Resolution 753-compliant scanning across AEGEAN Airlines’ network. It includes our hub in Athens, Greek state-owned airports and regional airports owned by Fraport within the country. This numbers 96 airports in total. I am proud to say that we are seen as the driving force behind this implementation.
Our airline has also developed new tools allowing us to carry out extensive analysis of performance and processes. These tools enable us to identify bottlenecks within our operation and at the same time ensure that we are always within our SLA and KPI targets.
Next step – real-time tracking app
We are now busily enhancing our app with real-time tracking features, which are scheduled to go live this year. Our app will use the Star Alliance Digital Services Platform (DSP), which covers flights operated by both AEGEAN and Olympic, and flights operated by its Star Alliance partners.
Passengers into our hub airport in Athens already receive automated notifications via a mobile app or SMS, highlighting which baggage belt they should pick their bags up from. And we are improving AEGEAN’s self-baggage drop-off service at our hub by installing additional self-service bag drop processes.
It demands good cooperation across stakeholders
So, there is a lot happening to tackle the baggage journey at AEGEAN. If I were asked to provide two pieces of advice about the processes we have been through, I would say focus on collaboration and clear targets.
Good collaboration is essential among all the stakeholders across this journey. In addition, we believe that by setting realistic and measurable KPIs and SLA targets – between our airline, and our ground handling, airline and airport partners – we can achieve effective tracking as part of a focus on the entire baggage experience for passengers, in line with the high standards we promise to our customers.