Amadeus and SITA to bring Real-Time Baggage Tracking to Passengers

Amadeus and SITA to bring Real-Time Baggage Tracking to Passengers

Amadeus is working with SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions, to empower Amadeus Altéa customers to offer real-time baggage tracking information and worldwide baggage reconciliation to passengers, while reducing the costs associated with mishandled baggage.

Altéa Baggage Tracking is based on the integration of SITA’s leading baggage messaging technology with the passenger and baggage servicing capabilities of Amadeus Altéa Departure Control. SITA BagMessage is a unique service used by more than 500 airlines and close to 200 major airports and is the most comprehensive source of information on baggage movements globally. The result of the collaboration is a single, integrated environment that allows airlines to provide passengers with real-time status updates regarding the location of their baggage through multiple channels.

The first phase will cover 54 airports worldwide involving integration between the Customer Management module of Altéa DCS and airport baggage handling systems, so that baggage can be tracked from the point of check-in throughout the journey. The second phase will involve integration with the Flight Management module of Altéa DCS in order to communicate precise information on baggage for load and balance control.

“The airport itself is one of the last frontiers in delivering the ‘total trip experience’,” said Julia Sattel, Vice President Airline IT, Amadeus. “If airlines are to overcome this challenge, it is important that they address the issue of mishandled baggage, which is a persistent problem for the industry and a very disruptive issue for passengers. In fact it is an area where technology can make a real difference, and Amadeus’s and SITA’s vision for the airport is to deliver solutions based on collaboration and data sharing between all relevant parties, including airlines, airports and ground handlers. Our work with SITA shows how sophisticated technology can deliver real improvements to the passenger experience.”

Ilya Gutlin, Vice President SITA Airport Solutions, added: “The air transport community is working together to reduce the rate of mishandled luggage. This collaboration with Amadeus is an example of SITA’s Intelligent Airport vision and how SITA is helping to improve the experience for the passengers. SITA BagMessage is the most comprehensive global source for baggage information and in the future passengers will have real time updates on their luggage available to them when SITA’s technology is used.”

Over time, Amadeus and SITA will work jointly with airport operators to connect more airport systems worldwide to SITA BagMessage in order to achieve a comprehensive baggage tracking capability across the air transport community.

Through the sharing of information at the airport, Altéa Baggage Tracking will enable airlines to not only improve the customer experience, but also to drive cost savings. According to SITA’s 7th Annual Baggage report, despite a significant improvement in the mishandling rate over the last four years, 29.4 million bags were delayed on arrival in 2010, which translates into a cost of $2.94 billion for airlines. IATA has outlined a $1.2 billion savings target for 2012, to be achieved through the deployment of self-service baggage tagging and the development of baggage tracking solutions such as Altéa Baggage Tracking.

A recent study from Amadeus, Navigating the Airport of Tomorrow, included a survey conducted by JD Power, which found that over 34% of passengers had experienced baggage issues on their most recent flight. The survey also found that 37% of travellers said they would like to use their mobile to receive real-time baggage arrival updates.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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