Nothing puts a damper on a vacation like missing luggage. The headache, the stress, the cost—it’s almost enough to make someone not want to fly. It’s definitely enough to make travelers passenger think carefully when choosing their airlines and airports.
So it comes as little surprise that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) this week voted to approve a mandate requiring member airlines to implement RFID baggage tracking. IATA will develop implementation standards over the next year, with the goal of rolling out the technology globally by 2020. According to IATA, member airlines represent 83% of global air traffic.
Some Airports use RFID tags to make everything from finding a luggage trolley to sorting and tracking luggage easy. But much of the recent momentum in the industry stems from the RFID baggage tracking program, which has helped directly connect consumers with the technology by allowing them to track the movement of their luggage from their phone.
These types of baggage tracking solutions, among others, have helped the industry drop their lost luggage rate by about 70% over the last decade. It’s impressive progress to be sure, but the work isn’t over yet.
With major airlines using RFID tag chips to help track luggage, it’s exciting to see this adoption grow. Though RFID typically works behind the scenes in business applications, this is a great example of how the technology impacts—and will continue to impact—our everyday lives, whether it’s down on earth, or up 40,000 feet above the ground.