Smart technologies to revolutionize baggage management

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A new report from air transport IT provider SITA claims that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology is expected to revolutionize baggage handling over the next decade, making mishandled luggage a thing of the past.

More than 4.5 billion bags are handled by industry baggage systems each year but this is set to double over the next 20 years. However, SITA’s Intelligent Tracking: A Baggage Management Revolution report notes that the annual cost of mishandling luggage has already been halved from US$4.22bn a decade ago to US$2.1bn today, mainly thanks to advancements in technology.

Ilya Gutlin, president of SITA Air Travel Solutions, said, “We at SITA believe that harnessing data and AI in a meaningful way will revolutionize how we manage the air transport industry in the next decade.

“SITA has a unique role to play in realizing the potential of data and baggage management is one area that will benefit. It is an area we are strongly focused on, collaborating across the industry to innovate.”

The industry’s immediate focus is on implementing the International Air Transport Association’s Resolution 753. The resolution requires member airlines keep track of each bag and share that tracking information with all involved in delivering those bags back to passengers at their destination.

While the resolution will deliver accurate data on the journey undertaken by each and every bag, the industry is already looking beyond the resolution to develop an even more accurate model for baggage operations.

“The bag tracking data that will be generated and collected under Resolution 753 will provide the air transport industry with a rich stream of data,” added Gutlin. “This can be enhanced with AI tools to create greater efficiencies in baggage operations and, ultimately, to improve our experience as passengers.”

From an operations point of view, AI will allow airports and airlines to learn what baggage routes cause the most stress on their systems and what factors are most likely to cause them. These systems could also generate insight into the patterns of baggage movements that would enable airlines to deliver bags more effectively.

Using AI, intelligent machines will be able to autonomously manage baggage from the moment it’s checked in to when it arrives at its destination – all without human intervention.

“It will take time but AI will unleash the potential to make baggage operations more service oriented. This means baggage delivery becomes more secure and enables airports and airlines to deliver tailored baggage services to their passengers,” concluded Gutlin.

To download Intelligent Tracking: A Baggage Management Revolution from SITA, click here.

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Kirstie joined the team in early 2017 and brings writing, communications and client experience with her. Now an assistant editor, she produces content for our magazines and websites. Away from the office, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or searching the internet for photos of sausage dogs.

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