SITA: Digitalization the solution to mishandled baggage
The global mishandled baggage rate has spiked by 24% in 2021 as the industry recovers from the pandemic, according to the SITA Baggage IT Insights 2022.
The report shows passenger traffic has evolved since 2020, with most of the 2021 recovery being driven by domestic travel, but the resumption of international and long-haul flights is contributing to an increase in mishandling.
Transfer bags account for most mishandled bags.
An increase in long-haul flights with connections in 2021 has pushed up the bags delayed at transfer to 41%, which is a four-point increase from 2020.
The mishandling rate at the global level on international routes is 8.7, yet only 1.85 for domestic routes.
At a global level, the likelihood of mishandling a bag is about 4.7 times higher on international routes compared to domestic.
Airlines, ground handlers, and airports downsized during the pandemic, which has impacted resources for baggage management.
David Lavorel, CEO, SITA, said: “The industry now needs to do more with less. As we emerge from the pandemic, our customers’ focus remains on safely managing the end-to-end transport of passengers’ baggage.”
“There is significant pressure to increase operational efficiency, which is accelerating digitalization.”
In 2021 investment in self-service initiatives continued to increase.
A large majority of airports and almost all airlines are prioritising touchless bag tagging options that rely on kiosks and passengers’ mobile devices.
Three-quarters of airports are planning to make touchless unassisted self-bag drop available by 2024.
“We will continue to collaborate and support the industry to reduce mishandled baggage rates while driving operational efficiencies,” said Lavorel.