Better technology and tracking should also mean a bag is reunited faster with its owner if it does get lost.


An airline losing your luggage is a surefire way to ruin the start of a holiday. Nobody wants to be buying emergency clothing when they could be sipping cocktails on the beach.

But good news is coming from the aviation industry. A new report has found that airlines and airports are trying to reduce baggage mishandling with new regulations.

The International Air Transport Association has made it mandatory for all airline members to track baggage at four points throughout the journey.

This should mean knowing where a bag is at all times and therefore leading to fewer incidents of lost luggage.

Airlines introduce improved baggage tracking systems

IATA is a trade association representing over 300 airlines around the world including most major carriers. Members are required to adopt regulations and standards that the body sets.

The IATA’s most recent global progress report has found that of 155 airlines and 94 airports surveyed, 44 per cent have fully implemented the association’s baggage tracking requirements.

Known as Resolution 753, it requires baggage to be tracked using scanned barcodes at check-in, when loading onto the flight, during transfers and on arrival at the delivery belt.

41 per cent of airlines and airports are currently working to meet the requirements, the report added.

China and North Asia led the way with 88 per cent of airlines having implemented the system followed by the Americas with 60 per cent and Europe and Asia-Pacific with 40.

Airlines might be less likely to lose your luggage this summer

From 2007 to 2022, baggage mishandling decreased by almost 60 per cent, according to Monika Mejstrikova, IATA’s Director of Ground Operations.

In 2022, there was a surge in mishandled bags mainly due to the sudden resurgence of travel after Covid travel restrictions, staff shortages and unpreparedness of the aviation industry.

The number of bags that were delayed, lost or damaged rose from 4.35 in 2021 to 7.6 pieces of luggage per 1,000 passengers in 2022 according to statistics from SITA, which handles IT systems for 90 per cent of airlines.

IATA hopes the increased use of baggage tracking regulations will now reduce incidents of lost luggage again. This will also be helped by a levelling out of passenger numbers and better preparation within the industry.

“The end result, following a successful implementation of Resolution 753, should be to have a visible reduction in the baggage mishandling rates for the airline, the airport or the ground handler who is following the resolution,” Timos Korosis, airport system and ground product developer at Aegean Airlines, explained during an IATA webinar.

Better technology and tracking should also mean a bag is reunited faster with its owner if it does get lost.

“When things don’t work as we want them to and we do mishandle a bag, we are able to repatriate this bag quicker than before,” Korosis said. “This means that passengers have to wait less and they are reunited quicker – possibly the same day – with their bag.”

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