Why you may want to check your luggage

Do you have anxiety about checking your luggage at the airport?

You may never have to worry about that again!


When you buy a plane ticket today, one of the questions you are now asked is if you want to pre-pay for any checked luggage.  The last thing you want to think about is checking your luggage if your vacation is months away.  Checked luggage causes thoughts of mishandling, stress packing, and anxiety.  Many people have been too afraid to check a bag that they have mastered packing their carry-on.  But what if the airport could guarantee that 99.5% of the time, all luggage would not be mishandled? 


Each year the amount of mishandled luggage is actually decreasing.  In 2014, according to SITA, the world’s leading air transport IT and communications specialist, airlines mishandled 7.3 pieces of luggage per 1000 passengers and in 2015 the number dropped to 6.5 pieces of luggage per 1000 passengers.  Considering there were 3.5 billion people who flew worldwide in 2015, one might argue that this is still a large amount of mishandled luggage.  So what are the airlines doing that the rate has gone down?


In 2005 the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas introduced RFID technology in tagging checked luggage.  Most passengers would not even know that their piece of luggage has an RFID chip on it, as the chip is embedded in the tag that looks similar to the old barcode tag.  The barcode tag system has a high accuracy rate of 80 – 95% but since implementing the RFID tag, they have found an accuracy rate of 99.5%.  This means that when a piece of luggage is mishandled, instead of deploying teams of people to find luggage that looks similar and scanning the barcodes, they can send out a signal and know exactly where the piece of luggage is at the airport. 



But it is 2019, why aren’t all airports doing this?  Most airports allow the actual airline to control their luggage handling, where McCarren decided to take it over.  The good news is that one of the largest airlines in the industry, Delta, has been slowing implementing this into various airports and seeing almost 99.9% accuracy rates of finding mishandled luggage.  IATA, International Air Transport Associate, has insisted that all airlines implement a system where they are able to track each bag, step-by-step, from the checkpoint to its destination by 2018.  Having this type of system in place will really give the traveler peace of mind that their luggage will be at their destination when they land.  It will also cut the amount of costs that the airlines have to pay out for mishandled luggage. 


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