A year away from IATA Resolution 753 – Changing the way baggage is handled

We are a year away from the IATA Resolution 753 coming into effect. The resolution was agreed in 2016 and becomes effective June 2018, requiring each IATA member airline to track every piece of baggage from the start of the journey all the way through to its finish, including at transfer points.

Global IT major SITA has stated that rate of mishandled baggage was down 12.25% in 2016 as compared to the previous year and now stands at 5.73 bags per thousand passengers. This is the lowest ever recorded rate.

Under IATA Resolution 753, airlines must demonstrate delivery or acquisition of baggage when custody changes; provide an inventory of bags upon departure of a flight; and be capable of exchanging this information with other airlines or their agents as needed.

There are four mandatory tracking points at which the bag, via its unique 10 digit bag tag number, must be recorded – check-in, loading, transfer and arrival.

Resolution 753 was developed to reduce mishandling and baggage fraud, increase passenger satisfaction and enhance the overall baggage management landscape at airports around the world. The resolution was issued in 2016 and made mandatory for all IATA airlines, who have until 1 June, 2018 to comply.

Qatar Airways – now in the news for over flying and flight ban from many countries, became the first airline in the world to achieve compliance with the IATA Resolution 753 at its hub in Hamad International Airport (HIA). The certification has been achieved by in-house development of the airline’s Baggage Management System (“HAQIBA”), as well as its seamless real time integration with the airlines website and mobile application.

Qatar Airways offers real time updates on checked baggage through the “Track My Bags” feature on its website and mobile app – a feature with most airlines will replicate by next year. In case of Qatar airways, the mobile app provides real time notification to passengers with relevant updates on the bag.

The information includes various stages of the baggage handling process such as check-in, transfer, arrival, as well as reference to bag tags and baggage belt. This information guides passengers during the journey and provides insight into any instance of delayed or lost baggage. The HAQIBA system enables Qatar Airways’ staff to proactively manage the delayed bags to provide an optimized handling process. In India the services are available from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

How does one use it?

  1. Check-in for your flight
  2. Enter Baggage Details
  3. Print Q-Tag
  4. Tag your bag with the help of reusable plastic

Challenges in India

IATA currently lists Air India and Jet Airways as IATA members on its website. The resolution cannot be implemented without active support from the airports.

The cost of baggage messaging is high, primarily due to legacy system support. IT majors, airlines and airports are working together to modernize the messaging and integrate the baggage area into Aviation Industry Data Model (AIDM).

Future

One wonders if the change in resolution will significantly improve the #PaxEx to such an extent that passengers will move away from the growing Low Cost Airlines – who are not IATA members and thus wont have a binding to follow resolution 753. On the other hand, the IATA members will look to pass on the cost of extensive upgrades.

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