SITA has launched WorldTracer Lost and Found Property, an artificial intelligence-enabled solution that solves a million-dollar headache for the air transport industry: how to quickly return items left behind on aircraft or in airports to their owners.
Every year passengers leave millions of items – including phones, wallets and bags – on planes and in airports, costing the industry millions of dollars in repatriation costs. It can cost up to $95 to manage and repatriate a lost item, including registration, handling inquiries and customer calls, storage and postage.
Leveraging SITA’s WorldTracer solution, which is used in 2,200 airports by the majority of the world’s airlines, Lost and Found Property cuts the cost of repatriating lost items by 90%. Airline employees can register a found item, create a missing item report, and validate a match in under two minutes. The solution also dramatically speeds up the time taken to find and return found items, with 60% of these items returned within the first 48 hours.
The process of handling lost property today is also still largely manual. Multiple stakeholders are involved, and very often the airline lacks control or visibility of the entire chain of events. Further complicating this manual process is the protracted time taken to match an item to a missing report. Passengers can now register a claim using their mobile device in a matter of seconds to report, pay for, and organize repatriation as well as track their item at every step.
Using cutting-edge technology such as computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing, WorldTracer Lost and Found Property searches a global database of images and descriptions to match the found item to a missing item report. The solution uses image recognition to identify details such as brand, material, and color of the missing item. It is also recognizes similar words in the description to make a definitive match.
The airline can then immediately notify the owner and have the item returned to them. The passenger and the airline have full visibility of the process through the WorldTracer portal no matter where in the world the item was lost, a feature that is expected to significantly improve passenger satisfaction.
David Lavorel, CEO SITA AT AIRPORTS & BORDERS, said: “WorldTracer is a great example of how SITA continues to evolve its portfolio to meet the changing demands of the industry. For almost three decades WorldTracer has helped to successfully trace mishandled bags. Now, using new technology, we are adding further value by helping the industry be more efficient and reduce costs around lost items at a time when it is most needed.”
WorldTracer Lost and Found Property is the latest option to SITA’s WorldTracer service which is used by more than 500 customers in 2,200 airports worldwide to trace mishandled baggage. Being multi-language and pay-as-you-go with the option for airlines to recover their handling costs from the passenger, the new Lost and Found Property is as easy to use for passengers as it is for airlines and ground handlers.
SITA recently launched WorldTracer Self-Service, a completely contactless way for passengers to report delayed baggage from their mobile device, avoiding long queues at busy baggage service counters or offices. This service compliments SITA’s end-to-end service across the baggage journey along with the recently launched Baggage Delivery Service that enables couriers and airlines to track bags from the airport to the passenger’s final destination.