Etihad Airways has chosen air transport IT specialist, SITA, for end-to-end baggage tracking services. Powered by SITA’s Air Transport Industry Cloud, SITA‘s new BagJourney service gives the airline a cost-effective and accurate way to track passengers’ bags anywhere along their journey, from check-in to the destination airport.
Etihad Airways’ Chief Information and Technology Officer, Robert Webb, said: “We are always looking for ways to improve the guest experience, and we know that delayed luggage is a major pain point. With SITA’s BagJourney, we can follow guests’ bags through every stage of their travels, which helps reduce mishandling and delays. We can also provide the latest baggage tracking information to crew while they are on the move via CrewTablet, our tablet application for crew operations, so we can address any problems more quickly.”
BagJourney uses baggage data that passes through SITA’s global, fully-managed baggage message and distribution service, BagMessage, and provides it to Etihad Airways via a web application programming interface. This information can then be shared as needed with Etihad Airways’ crew and airport staff. In the future, the airline could also extend this service to guests so they can follow their own bags via a smartphone app. BagJourney is also integrated with SITA’s global bag tracing and matching solution, WorldTracer®.
Hani El-Assaad, SITA President for the Middle East, India and Africa, said: “With BagJourney, Etihad Airways will be able to track passengers’ bags no matter where they are in their journey. So even if bags are delayed, they can easily see the bag status and can proactively notify passengers. According to our 2014 Passenger IT Trends Survey, collecting baggage at the destination is the most frustrating travel step for passengers globally, with 27 per cent of passengers wanting significant improvement. So it is important that all airlines continue to invest in baggage technology, especially as rising passenger numbers put more pressure on baggage operations.”
According to SITA’s 2015 Baggage Report, the rate of mishandled bags in 2014 was 7.3 bags per thousand passengers, down from a peak of 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007. Baggage tracking is set to improve further in coming years as a as a result of IATA Resolution 753: Baggage Tracking. The resolution, which goes into effect in 2018, requires IATA members to “maintain an accurate inventory of baggage by monitoring the acquisition and delivery of baggage.” By using BagJourney, Etihad Airways is already meeting this requirement.
SITA has led the air transport industry in providing baggage tracking and tracing solutions for the air transport community for more than 20 years. Today, more than 200 airports and 500 airlines worldwide use its baggage management solutions. By facilitating communications between airlines as well as local baggage handling and reconciliation systems, SITA helps ensure that bags reach their correct destination. Its proprietary BagMessage system delivers more than 2.5 billion messages between airline departure control systems and automated baggage systems annually. And more than 2,800 airport locations use SITA’s WorldTracer system for tracing mishandled bags.
 A mishandled bag is defined as checked baggage that is delayed, damaged, pilfered, lost or stolen.