After Blue Smart and Raden going out of business, the luggage-industry is doubting if there is still a future for smart luggage. In fear for another regulation, “Electronic features” in luggage are considered as a high risk now. But IATA’s Resolution 753 starting June, might bring the opposite. We’re convinced this will bring a world of opportunities for everybody involved in the traveler’s journey, including luggage brands.
What is R753 all about?
Baggage mishandling has always been a huge problem for every airline. Despite the many efforts, they were still confronted in 2016 with 21.6 million bags mishandled (lost or mislaid) worldwide. This number resulted in a total cost of 2.3 billion U.S. dollars for the aviation industry.
IATA’s resolution is to encourage airlines to further reduce this mishandling by implementing cross-industry tracking for every baggage journey. This tracking should be done at 4 key points:
- Passenger handover to the airline
- When loading to the aircraft
- Deliver to the transfer area.
- Return to the passenger.
While this is only an obligation towards the airline-members, many stakeholders throughout the baggage journey will get involved. That’s where the strength comes in. The implementation of an international protocol how to collect & share data, will create a whole new platform. A strong base for new services to enhance the traveler-experience.
The benefits towards the traveler
Earlier trials have shown this technology will reduce the number of lost luggage significantly. But real-time data will also enable a better communication with the passenger. For this, IATA has created the NEXTT-initiative (New Experience Travel Technologies).
While R753 is only focussing on what happens between the handover of the luggage until the collection at the conveyor belt, NEXTT pulls the passenger experience open far beyond the walls of the airport. What they call the “end to end journey” already starts at the flight booking until the delivery of your luggage at your final destination.
Here are a few services they list for the future:
- Collection from home/office using a 3rd party logistic service
- Or use bag-drop points throughout the city prior to your departure.
- Each bag will have a unique Bag ID which is linked to the passenger’s digital identity
- Passengers will receive notifications regarding the status/location of their luggage throughout the entire journey.
- No need to wait at the conveyor belt, as the bag can be collected by the luggage-delivery service.
- No need to carry Duty-free, as these purchases can be grouped and transported together with the luggage to the final destination.
- Changes to the passenger’s flight schedule can be checked for compatibility with the luggage.
- No need to pass the custom clearance, as this can be done by e-declaration in advance.
This list is not final, and will probably grow once the system start to roll out. But it’s clear that in the future we might have the choice to travel luggage-free.
The opportunities for luggage brands
The implementation of this complete new travel experience will definitely have its impact on the travel goods business. In the first place, it will create opportunities for the brands to tie into this journey and offer new services next to the product. Secondly, as every piece of luggage will have its own unique Bag-ID (installed during the production), it will also be possible to use it for counterfeit, service after sales, production, logistics and many more. And last, we also predict luggage itself will have its physical changes. Wheels, handles and even overall dimensions will get new requirements if passengers start to travel luggage-free.