PHOTO: Qatar Airways takes major step forward in lost luggage race. (photo via Flickr/Riik@mctr)
Don’t worry about your bags, because Qatar Airways has an eye on them for you.
The Middle East carrier announced that it is the first in the world to comply with International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Resolution 753, which means it is carefully tracking your baggage from start to finish.
And it’s allowing you to follow along with its nifty app.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker, via press release, tied the innovation to the value the airline holds for its customers: “Our careful attention to our passengers’ baggage, from the beginning of their journey all the way through to its finish, is yet another indication of the importance we place on customer experience.
"We have proactively taken steps to align our baggage management systems with IATA’s requirements. As a result, we are delighted that the association has declared Qatar Airways the first airline worldwide to become certified for end-to-end tracking for our hub at Hamad International Airport.”
Qatar Airways, along with 264 other airlines, is a member of the IATA. Resolution 753 is covered in depth at AviationPros.com and includes mandates of “accurate inventory of baggage by monitoring the acquisition and delivery of baggage.”
The resolution is to be adhered to by June 2018, which makes Qatar not only extremely early but also the first of all the airlines to become compliant.
Last April, SITA CEO Francesco Violante spoke to the importance of this particular mandate: “Over the next three years bag tracking will be in the spotlight as airlines ready themselves to implement IATA’s Resolution 753.
"This increase in visibility will provide more control and drive further improvements in bag handling. It also means that passengers will be able track their bag, just like a parcel, which will reduce anxiety and allow them to take fast action if flights are disrupted and their bags are delayed.”
Qatar explains that it has made tracking luggage more efficient thanks to its Baggage Management System, dubbed HAQIBA.
Travelers will be able to utilize the mobile app as well as the website to take a more careful look at their prized possessions. Through either the app or website, you can head to the Track My Bags function. Passengers can also expect “real time notification” when using the app, so you never have to worry your luggage is that far away.
Nick Careen, Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security for IATA, is particularly pleased to see the first airline come in line with the resolution: “Qatar Airways’ efforts over the past year to comply with IATA Resolution 753 on Baggage Tracking have paid off.
"We congratulate the airline on becoming the first in the world to achieve full compliance of the resolution at their hub in Doha. Qatar Airways’ ability to track baggage at every stage of its journey will allow the airline full visibility to manage its baggage operations and to more easily trace, retrieve and deliver missing or delayed bags, leading to a better experience for passengers.”
Other airlines have slowly moved towards fully tracking bags from start to finish with various forms of technology. Alaska Airlines is toying with its own electronic baggage tags that utilize Bluetooth technology. Meanwhile, Delta and American have also entered various levels of baggage tracking.
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There is a fiscal reason behind this widespread revolution. IATA explained in an October press release: “The global deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which can accurately track passengers’ baggage in real time across key points in the journey, can enable the air transport industry to save more than US$3 billion over the next seven years.”
Besides saving money, airlines that adopt tracking technology can better serve consumers with increased confidence, breeding loyalty from its passengers.
Other smart technology that tracks your luggage through your smartphone has recently become available. Bluesmart carry-on luggage and Tile luggage tracker are just a couple items on the market, for example.