Global rate of air passenger baggage being mishandled continues to drop

14th June 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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SITA, the global aviation industry’s specialist IT and technology solutions group, has reported that the rate of baggage mishandling by the world’s airlines declined again, last year. This was shown by the just launched 'SITA Baggage IT Insights 2024' report.

The number of bags mishandled by the global commercial aviation industry fell from 7.6 per 1 000 passengers in 2022, to 6.9 per 1 000 last year, despite the growth in air passenger traffic (which exceeded the levels of 2019, the first time in five years that this has happened). Over the period 2007 to 2023 inclusive, the baggage mishandling rate dropped by 63%, although the number of air passengers rocketed by 111%.

“The improved mishandled baggage rate in 2023 is great news for passengers and for aviation,” highlighted SITA CEO David Lavorel.

“It’s especially impressive as global passenger traffic grew strongly in 2023 and is set to double by 2040. We clearly see from the SITA Baggage IT Insights results that baggage automation is the way forward, with more collaboration, more communication with passengers, and investments in new technologies such as AI [artificial intelligence] and computer vision to make the journey smoother. From my own travel experiences, I can say this will be really welcome. Technologies like these are essential because they help us gather, integrate and share data effectively. This means we can uncover important insights that make decision-making easier and more automated.”

The improvement in the mishandled baggage rate was the result of investments in technology by both airlines and airports. Such investments had to continue, affirmed SITA. The aim had to include full automation, good communications, and full visibility for each bag’s journey. Already, 66% of airlines offered unassisted bag drops, and 85% of airports provided the option for self-service bag drops. Self-service technology allowed for improved passenger flows. And 32% of passengers now relied on bag collection information sent directly to their mobile phones.

While many airlines and airports now shared baggage data, the rates were not as high as they should be, noted the company. For airlines, only 58% currently shared such data, although the figure for airports was notably higher, at 66%. Collaboration between airlines and airports was essential, to increase baggage visibility and improve communication with passengers. Achieving greater visibility and communication for passengers would encourage them to use digital self-service options and give them control over their journeys.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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