What is the biggest nightmare of a passenger? He gets out of a plane in a marvelous mood, the flight was smooth as butter, crew was doing it’s best, the sun is shining and he walks to collect his bag and… there is no bag!
You could do everything perfect but this last piece of the puzzle can ruin the airlines name for that specific individual who just lost his entire luggage. And I wrote about a perfect trip – just imagine the attitude if the flight was bad and it’s raining…
Of course there aren’t many situations like this but each one is a huge problem for the passenger and the airline itself! It has to find the bag, bring it back to the appropriate city and deliver it to the passenger. This means money. A lot of money which no one likes to spend. The bar codes used with baggages have its downsides. There is a certain amount of luggage that are not scanned properly.
What to do with it? Here comes the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). It’s accuracy is almost 100%. This is a good news for the airline. Fewer bags lost = more cash in the pocket. This is the way the industry is going right now. Cut costs everywhere you can. American Delta Airlines is a industry leader with RFID and now they have decided to go one step further.
As we live in a world of information they have decided to give the customer what he wants – information. Not only he can be sure that his bag will travel to the right destination with almost 100% certainty. Now he can take out his smart phone, launch an app and… have a look what his bag is doing right now. When a bag is traveling from one city to an other the map is zoomed out but when the airplane lands the customer can have a look at what stage of the whole process his belongings are.
And this is not the last word of Delta. Later this year they want to provide push notifications which will inform the customer where their bag is with down-to–the-minute updates. The whole system works in 84 cities in the USA.
The question is will it spread to other airlines and at some point be a standard around the world. I can assume that yes. It will cost some money to push it through but at some point the money will start to stay where it belongs – in the pocket.
The only imaginable reason that this new method won’t get a wide world adoption is that the industry will think out something even better. The world is changing extremely fast and when we look 20 years back it looks like some sort of stone age. Just imagine what we will see in 20 years from now!
Photo: Delta Airlnies