Have you ever wondered what happened to your luggage after giving it to a ticket agent? No? Well too bad, you are about to find out. Recently, Delta Air Lines took a bag that was going from Atlanta to New York and added six cameras to it.
I don’t know about you, but looks like my bag has a lot of fun every time it flies.
Delta aircraft lined up at Atlanta. You know where your bag is?
Delta Air Lines has been making the headlines this last week for kicked off passengers, bomb threats, and job cuts. That is part of the “fun” with being the world’s largest airline — something interesting is always happening. All those stories have been well-covered by other media outlets and I think one story that has fallen between the cracks: luggage tracking.
Having your luggage get lost while traveling is annoying — very annoying. Delta has started a new tracking system to help reduce lost luggage and allows passengers to follow along.
Once a passenger checks in their bag and they are scanned, they can start to follow its process to the bag carousel at their destination.
Delta is the first major airline to try such a new feature and so far they are hearing good things.” Customers have been asking for something like this and we’re pleased to get it up and running,” Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant explained to AirlineReporter.com. “The performance has been solid and initial customer feedback is positive.”
Currently this new feature is not integrated into Delta’s smart phone apps, but passengers are able to access it via Delta’s website on any internet-capable devices. So this means that when you board your flight, you might see that your bag did not make it. Although it will cause some disappointment during your flight, Delta flight attendants have gone through briefings on the new system and can better assist customers. This will save you time not having to wait at baggage claim for all the bags to come off before you realize yours didn’t make it. Then having to wait in line to let Delta staff know you do not have your bag.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “the rate of mishandled baggage was 3.59 reports filed per 1,000 passengers in February, an improvement of 8.7% from the prior year’s rate of 3.93 per 1,000 passengers.” Delta is ranked 5th out the airlines tracked by the Transportation Department.
Aircraft lined at up Schophol Airport (AMS) in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) is the 5th largest airport in Europe and the 15th largest in the world. Already the airport is busy and they only expect it get busier. The problem is there isn’t a whole lot more room to expand the airport and one of the biggest challenges is handling all the luggage. Since they can’t grow bigger, they have had to grown smarter. The airport has been working with IBM to create a futuristic way to handle bags.
The system is housed at the new South Baggage Hall where they hope to increase bag capacity by 40% before 2018. The new system is important, “to create an efficient, reliable and fast baggage handling process,” said Mark Lakerveld, Senior Manager Baggage at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
No matter where your bag might be in the 13 miles of conveyor system or 4,000 bag positions, the new system can track exactly where it is at. The new baggage operation has 36 cranes and 60% will be handled by robots (yes, robots). After you check in, your bag will be placed into the bag storage. Then a robot will take your bag when needed and place it on the conveyor belt, reducing overload in the system. The new luggage process is connected to real-time flight information, meaning your bag will only be pulled when your plane is ready for it.
Is this the future of airport baggage systems? Possibly. When asked if we might be seeing this system at other airports, IBM spokesperson stated, “There are a couple of similar efforts that are happening internationally that can’t be named specifically. This example is indicative of what is beginning to happen and we will see more of in airports across the world — focusing on being smarter about how they utilize the space that they have.”
Photo taken when I put Alaska's guarantee to the test!
Airline fees are not very unique anymore. It takes a bit more than a fee change or new fee to motivate me enough to write a blog on it (like charging for carry-ons). Why does Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air get a blog on fees?
Not because they are raising some fees (1st checked bag from $15 to $20) or that they are lowering others (2nd checked back from $25 to $20, 3rd from $50 to $20), but because they are making their from plane-to-you bag guarantee even better.
Previously if you checked a bag with Alaska or Horizon, they guaranteed your bag would reach the baggage carousel 25 minutes or less from the time your airplane made it to the jetway. Now that they are raising the prices for some passengers, they are improving the guarantee to only 20 minutes.
If your bag doesn’t make it in 20minutes, you can either get $20 off your next flight or 2000 miles (I vote take the miles). A while back I put their guarantee to the test on a flight from Seattle to Phoenix and my bag made it in just over 15 minutes.
Yea, fees are annoying, but they aren’t going away. At least one airline gives you something extra with your baggage fees!
The European Union (EU) is pushing to create tougher regulation over airlines and airports that damage and lose luggage.
Recently, United Airlines felt the brunt of a passenger who had his guitar broken during a flight. He was unhappy with how the airline treated him and if you agree or disagree, his video went viral and got a positive reaction from United.
Of course this strategy cannot work for everyone. The EU Commission is proposing that each EU country create an agency to monitor incidents of lost and damaged bags. An EU Commission survey shows that between November 2008 and March 2009, airlines on average lost one bag for every 64 passengers. “It’s a serious problem,” European Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said, “We have to act.”
With airlines charging more for checked bag fees, it is frustrating that so many bags in the EU would be lost and damaged. Even though having less baggage lost would of course be better, is it worth all the extra money it would cost to have the government watch over the industry?