IATA Ups Baggage Tracking Requirements

Trans-Canada by hotmeteor via Flickr cc-nd

A few weeks back IATA officially adopted Resolution 753: Baggage Tracking which will require member carriers to maintain more detailed data about the handling of checked baggage as it flows through the airlines’ systems. Airlines have 3 years to implement the systems to comply with the new rules. And, having read the requirements a few times now, I cannot help but wonder why every airline is not already meeting these guidelines.

Member Obligations Members shall be able to:

  • Demonstrate Delivery, of baggage when custody changes;
  • Demonstrate acquisition, of baggage when custody changes;
  • Provide an inventory of bags, upon departure of a flight.
  • Be capable of exchanging these events with other airlines as needed

The minimum set of custody changes shall be:

  • Delivery of the bag to the passenger (delivery is by the handler, acquisition is by the arrivals facility, such as an arrivals belt, the passenger’s home, etc.)
  • Delivery of the bag to the aircraft (delivery is by the handler, acquisition is by the flight)
  • Delivery of the bag to an airline system (delivery is by the handler, acquisition is by the airline system)

Little things like being able to document that bags were loaded on to planes are not part of the requirements today. Seems almost hard to believe, both from a liability perspective and from an operations perspective.

The big winners with this change – aside from passengers who should see fewer delayed/lost bags – will be the technology companies who retrofit the airports and airlines with the necessary tracking systems. That could be a fun business to be in for the next few years.

Read More: IATA’s new baggage tracking resolution – what does it mean for airlines, airports and ground handlers?

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. This reminds me of checking bag with TG at KTM 4 years ago, where the agent hand written the tag with carbon copies. Despite of transiting through 3 airports and 2 airlines, the bag made it to ULN. The bag tag checker was seriously confused by the handwritten bag tag receipt.

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