How AI and RFID could solve the surge in lost airport luggage
- In April, U.S. airlines lost (at least temporarily) roughly 1 in 167 checked bags.
- Automated baggage reconciliation and RFID tags could be a potential solution.
- AI requires good quality baggage data to perform effectively and reduce baggage mishandling.
Every traveler's worst nightmare has come true for many people who are flying this summer. As the trend of revenge travel — taking a trip to "get revenge" on missed opportunities during the pandemic — has surged, so has the amount of luggage being lost or mishandled by airlines. As it stands today, short-staffed airports and airlines are struggling to contain the mounting baggage crisis.
But the mess isn't new. According to aviation IT provider SITA, there were more than 24.8 million mishandled bags in 2018. That would be 40 bags disappearing every minute. Among these, European passengers got the short end of the stick with 7.29 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers. Things were a bit better for travelers in North America, where the number of lost bags per thousand passengers was just 2.85, and things were better still in Asia, where the number was just 1.77. These statistics actually signaled an improvement — in 2007, the figure stood at 46.9 million — until 2022.