SITA Credits Technology for Reduction in Mishandled Bags

By Ivan PetrenkoJun 24, 2024 01:30 AMNews
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person wearing red jacket and blue denim jeans pulling luggage bag while walking on pathway
person wearing red jacket and blue denim jeans pulling luggage bag while walking on pathway. Source: unsplash

In 2023, the rate of mishandled bags dropped slightly, thanks to advancements in air transport technology. SITA, a leading technology provider for the air transport industry, is advocating for increased use of AI and automation to further reduce mishandled baggage incidents.

SITA's recently released Baggage IT Insights 2024 report reveals a drop in the mishandling rate from 7.6 to 6.9 per 1,000 passengers in 2023. Despite passenger numbers growing to 5.2 billion, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, the rate of mishandled bags continues to fall. This improvement is credited to ongoing investments in technology over the past decade.

The mishandling rate has decreased by 63% since 2007, even as passenger traffic rose by 111%. SITA attributes this success to the adoption of new technologies in baggage handling. The report emphasizes the need for the industry to continue its digital transformation, particularly through AI for data analysis and computer vision technology in automated baggage systems.

David Lavorel, CEO of SITA, highlighted the importance of these technological advancements. He noted that the improved mishandling rate is remarkable, given the surge in global passenger traffic, which is expected to double by 2040. Lavorel believes that increased automation, better collaboration, and enhanced communication with passengers are essential to further reducing mishandling rates.

Collaboration between airlines and airports is crucial, as highlighted in the report. While 58% of airlines share baggage data during collection and 66% of airports share delivery data with airlines, there is still room for improvement. SITA supports IATA's call for comprehensive baggage tracking and real-time status updates throughout the bag's journey.

Additional research by SITA indicates that two-thirds of airlines now offer unassisted bag drops, and 85% of airports provide self-service bag drops. Passengers increasingly demand visibility in the process, with 32% relying on bag collection information sent directly to their mobile devices. The Airport's Council International also advocates for more self-service options and real-time communication to reduce traveler stress.

The report shows that the Asia-Pacific region boasts the lowest mishandling rate globally, maintaining a steady rate of 3.1 per 1,000 bags from 2007 to 2023. North America follows, with a decrease from 7.1 per 1,000 bags in 2007 to 5.8 in 2023. However, European travelers continue to experience higher mishandling rates, with a drop from 16.6 per 1,000 bags in 2007 to 10.6 in 2023.

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