Baggage handling systems can be extremely expensive but, if implemented successfully, pay for themselves. Lost and mishandled baggage is a major expense for airlines, and reducing the incidence oflost and mishandled baggage creates significant yearly savings. According to the International Air Transport Association, a mishandled bag costs an airline, on average, $100, and the global airline-industry price tag for mishandled baggage is $2.54 billion per year. In 2007, US Airways lost nine bags for every thousand travellers. After implementing a new baggage handling system at its terminals, that figure dropped to three lost bags for every thousand travellers. US Airways spent US $16 million on scan- ning technology and other associated costs of their baggage handling system, but the company says the system now saves US $25 million per year and has boosted customer satisfaction. In 2007, Delta Airlines emerged from bankruptcy to overhaul many of its outdated systems, including its baggage handling. Between 2008 and 2010, Delta installed optical scanners to read baggage tag bar codes, widened and extended its system of baggage conveyor belts, and installed a central control room to monitor conveyor belts and baggage carousels in Atlanta and most of its other airport terminals. The airline recorded a top-notch baggage handling record of just 2.93 mis- handled bags per 1000 passengers, with further improvement the follOWing year. Today, Delta is ranked number 4 of US airlines in terms of handling baggage without losing bags. Air Canada and WestJet also have low lost luggage rates. Bags now take less than 10 minutes to travel from terminal to terminal- a process that took as long as 30 minutes with the older system. Delta recently added a service that allows passengers to track their checked bags from scanning at check-in, to the flight they are loaded on, and then to arrival at baggage claim.
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- Fall '12
- Avianca, Delta Air Lines, baggage handling systems, dling systems