RFID chips in every bag tag, May 2016

Old Apr 28, 16, 4:08 pm
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RFID chips in every bag tag, May 2016

Better baggage handling processes and enhanced technology have ​already shrunk the airline's mishandled bag rates by 68 percent over the past 10 years, establishing Delta as the leading U.S.-based global airline for baggage performance. In 2015 Delta led U.S. global airlines in DOT bag performance while setting six monthly DOT records and a full year record.

Delta's Technical Operations Center began using RFID in 2013 to track emergency equipment onboard its aircraft and parts movements in its Logistics environment. Delta Cargo is also exploring opportunities to track freight with RFID.
2-minute video gives all the info needed:

http://player.piksel.com/player.php?video_uuid=k7cma34h
(I don't know how to embed the video in this post.)

Cool idea? Most Delta stations are already using RFID technology.

Edit: Delta obviously doesn't have 0% mishandling, but I've seen a marked improvement working at the Baggage Service Office over the last few years (from several claims every shift to maybe one or two). Shifts when many claims are taken have many bags consistently mishandled at the same point. For example, all oversized luggage transferring in ATL may have failed to transfer, suggesting a common choke point with ATL's oversize sortation system. Overall, baggage handling has been improving statistically over time. I don't have to tell customers "There's no reason your bag shouldn't have made it" as often. It's usually something like "you had a 20 minute connection. I'm sorry your flight was delayed arriving, but I'm happy you got here on-time. I know exactly where your bag is, and it will be on the next flight."

Last edited by Widgets; Apr 28, 16 at 4:18 pm
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Old Apr 28, 16, 4:56 pm
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Love this. And would be great if it pushed to the app "Your bag is arriving on the carousel now" (kinda like: "your Uber is arriving now").

That way, you don't have to crowd the carousel, don't have to rush in the restroom, etc.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Widgets View Post
2-minute video gives all the info needed:

http://player.piksel.com/player.php?video_uuid=k7cma34h
(I don't know how to embed the video in this post.)

Cool idea? Most Delta stations are already using RFID technology.

Edit: Delta obviously doesn't have 0% mishandling, but I've seen a marked improvement working at the Baggage Service Office over the last few years (from several claims every shift to maybe one or two). Shifts when many claims are taken have many bags consistently mishandled at the same point. For example, all oversized luggage transferring in ATL may have failed to transfer, suggesting a common choke point with ATL's oversize sortation system. Overall, baggage handling has been improving statistically over time. I don't have to tell customers "There's no reason your bag shouldn't have made it" as often. It's usually something like "you had a 20 minute connection. I'm sorry your flight was delayed arriving, but I'm happy you got here on-time. I know exactly where your bag is, and it will be on the next flight."
This. This. This.

I understand that sometimes bags don't make it, fall off a belt/cart, whatever. But when I get somewhere and someone can tell me exactly where my stuff is and when it's going to get to me, that makes all the difference.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 5:41 pm
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And then you forget to take the bag tag chip off or they slip a chip in the suitcase unannounced and track our every movement and then market via more pop ups on flyertalk. Big bother delta is watching. Maybe the hidden chip will catch a few hidden city folks.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by dzflyer View Post
And then you forget to take the bag tag chip off or they slip a chip in the suitcase unannounced and track our every movement and then market via more pop ups on flyertalk. Big bother delta is watching. Maybe the hidden chip will catch a few hidden city folks.
Luckily, RFID chips are very short-range.

I really don't understand why AA and UA can't copy what DL has done with baggage handling. I never worry about checking a bag on DL. AA is an entirely different story...
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Old Apr 28, 16, 5:58 pm
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As long as RFIDs stay embedded in easy-to-remove baggage labels I don't see any problem with this. That said, I wouldn't expect major obvious gains either... there's already been dramatic improvement in bag handling, including
  • The reboot of priority bag tags a few years ago, since which they fairly reliably arrive first on the belt.
  • Bag tracking in the app, and the associated stricter scanning of the bag en route. RFIDs will presumably make this more reliable.
  • The 2500 RDM guarantee, which seems to have lit a fire under most ground handling crews.

The major item I'd really like to see addressed is improved reliability across carriers, especially SkyTeam and JV partners, but that's a much larger boulder to push uphill...
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Old Apr 28, 16, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by WWads View Post
Luckily, RFID chips are very short-range.

I really don't understand why AA and UA can't copy what DL has done with baggage handling. I never worry about checking a bag on DL. AA is an entirely different story...
Totally agree. Latest I have ever had a bag show up in IRROPS on delta was the next day while they were tracking it the whole way. I flew AA to Glasgow several yrs back my golf clubs made it to Scotland my suitcase however made it to Beijing Capital. AA couldnt locate it until 4 days later and had to fly it back through ORD back to Glasgow just in time to check it for my flight home.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 6:20 pm
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
This. This. This.

I understand that sometimes bags don't make it, fall off a belt/cart, whatever. But when I get somewhere and someone can tell me exactly where my stuff is and when it's going to get to me, that makes all the difference.
Alaska has been innovative with self-tag options, but I was shocked to hear they don't scan bags like Delta does so passengers rarely know where their delayed bags are or when they're coming. Alaska is great and always improving so maybe they've caught up since last I heard.

It makes me happy when customers are surprised that I know exactly where their bags are.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 6:37 pm
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Originally Posted by dzflyer View Post
And then you forget to take the bag tag chip off or they slip a chip in the suitcase unannounced and track our every movement and then market via more pop ups on flyertalk. Big bother delta is watching. Maybe the hidden chip will catch a few hidden city folks.
anyone who checks bags when playing the hidden-city game is asking for problems, and has no recourse when the bags go to the ticketed destination
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Old Apr 28, 16, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by dzflyer View Post
Totally agree. Latest I have ever had a bag show up in IRROPS on delta was the next day while they were tracking it the whole way. I flew AA to Glasgow several yrs back my golf clubs made it to Scotland my suitcase however made it to Beijing Capital. AA couldnt locate it until 4 days later and had to fly it back through ORD back to Glasgow just in time to check it for my flight home.
That's rather hilarious. Has to be a record haha.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerwma View Post
Love this. And would be great if it pushed to the app "Your bag is arriving on the carousel now" (kinda like: "your Uber is arriving now").

That way, you don't have to crowd the carousel, don't have to rush in the restroom, etc.
Isn't this something you can do by putting your own tracking luggage tag on your bags?
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Old Apr 28, 16, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by eajusa View Post
Isn't this something you can do by putting your own tracking luggage tag on your bags?
I use tile to track mine..
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Old Apr 28, 16, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by eajusa View Post
Isn't this something you can do by putting your own tracking luggage tag on your bags?
Sort of..

RFID would be of little use as it is short range. GPS? Different story; however, it's expensive. The big deal with this is that its traced in app, the CSRs know where it is and most importantly -it's free of charge (Well, the tracking).
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Old Apr 28, 16, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by securesmaskfirst View Post
I use tile to track mine..
Yes, that's what I was thinking of ... I must purchase one for my next trip in June.
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Old Apr 28, 16, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by eajusa View Post
Yes, that's what I was thinking of ... I must purchase one for my next trip in June.
I concede on my expense argument. However, relative to free it's a little of an up-charge.

I will admit, Tile is super useful for keys and the like. A lifesaver on that regard.

Anyways, still a welcomed improvement from me nonetheless.
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