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Airline industry survey shows progress in reducing mishandled baggage

written by Newsdesk | May 15, 2024

Airline industry survey shows progress in reducing mishandled baggage

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released a global progress report on the implementation of baggage tracking, revealing that the airline industry is making significant strides in reducing the number of mishandled bags.

The survey, which included 155 airlines and 94 airports, focused on IATA Resolution 753, which requires tracking baggage at acceptance, loading, transfer, and arrival. The results showed that 44% of airlines have fully implemented the resolution, with a further 41% in progress.

Regional variation in airline adoption rates was observed, ranging from 88% in China and North Asia to 27% in Africa. The survey also found that 75% of airports have the capability for Resolution 753 baggage tracking, with preparedness varying by airport size.

Monika Mejstrikova, IATA Director Ground Operations, said, “Between 2007 and 2022 baggage mishandling reduced by nearly 60%. That is good news. But travelers expect better; and the industry is determined to make further improvements. Tracking bags at acceptance, loading, transfer and delivery will give the industry the data it needs to improve.”

The survey also revealed that optical barcode scanning is the dominant tracking technology implemented by 73% of surveyed airports, while RFID tracking, which is more efficient, is implemented in 27% of airports. Notably, RFID technology has seen higher adoption rates at mega airports, with 54% already implementing this advanced tracking system.

IATA is also leading the industry’s transition from Type B to modern baggage messaging based on XML standards, with the first pilot to test modern baggage messaging between airport and airlines planned for launch in 2024.


“Adopting modern messaging is the equivalent of implementing a new standard, intelligible language for use by airlines, airports, and ground handling staff so they can effectively communicate about passenger luggage. In addition to helping reduce the number of mishandled bags implementation also sets the stage for ongoing innovations in baggage management systems,” said Mejstrikova.

In 2022, the global rate of mishandled bags was 7.6 per 1,000 passengers, according to SITA, with the majority of these bags returned within 48 hours.


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