Delta invests $50m in RFID baggage tracking technology


Delta’s $50 million investment covers new FRID scanners
Delta’s $50 million investment covers new RFID scanners, RFID bag tag printers, and RFID pier and claim readers across 344 stations.

Delta Air Lines has announced that it is investing $50 million to deploy Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) baggage tracking technology at 344 stations around the world.

Instead of using barcode hand scanners, RFID scanners will capture data stored on an RFID chip embedded in the bag tag. The carrier says this will deliver superior tracking and increased transparency.

Thanks to the rollout of RFID technology, from Q4 2016 passengers will be able to receive push notifications via the Fly Delta mobile app informing them when their bag has been loaded and unloaded from the aircraft. Delta says that initial deployments of RFID integrated throughout the baggage process show that bags are tracked at a 99.9% success rate.

The likes of McCarran International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport have previously invested in RFID technology, but Delta’s outlay marks the biggest single investment in the technology by an airline to date.

“With a $50 million investment in RFID at 344 stations around the globe, we aim to reliably deliver every bag on every flight,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Airport Customer Service and Cargo Operations. “This innovative application of technology gives us greater data and more precise information throughout the bag’s journey.”

Tim Mapes, Delta’s Chief Marketing Officer, added: “In the same way that customers want information at their fingertips about flight changes, we know our customers want clear visibility to their checked bags. Delta’s industry-first baggage tracking app was a good first step. RFID will allow us to set a new standard for more transparent, interactive tracking on the Fly Delta mobile app.”


Southwest, GTAA, Air Canada and Avinor help to drive baggage transformation as part of FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group


As part of our efforts to help the industry redefine the baggage experience, Future Travel Experience recently launched the FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group (BIWG), delivered with the support of our Strategic Partners AirPortr, BagsID Network and Brock Solutions.

The first round of online meetings, which took place in September, brought together hundreds of industry stakeholders who participated in highly engaging discussions around topics including advancing off-airport baggage collection, check-in and delivery; simplifying baggage infrastructure and processes at the airport; unlocking opportunities presented by modern baggage messaging; and creating new commercial models for new baggage approaches. The forward-thinking groups were led by expert Captains from companies including Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Air Canada, Avinor and Southwest Airlines, with the support of FTE’s Head of Baggage Transformation, Andrew Price. The full recordings are available to watch here.

The next BIWG online meeting will take place on 3 November and this will be followed by the first in-person meeting, which will be hosted in Las Vegas on 7 December, co-located with FTE Global 2021. The Working Group will then continue its work into 2022 and beyond.

Visit the FTE Baggage Innovation Working Group page >>   

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