Industry progresses to reduce baggage mishandling, finds IATA

Posted: 24 May 2024 | | 1 comment

“With 44% of airlines already fully implementing Resolution 753 tracking…travellers can have even more confidence that their bags will be at the carousel on arrival,” said IATA.

Industry makes progress to reduce baggage mishandling, new survey reveals.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released findings from their report, which assesses the global progress report on the implementation of baggage tracking. 

Focused on IATA Resolution 753, which requires tracking baggage at acceptance, loading, transfer and arrival, the survey of 155 airlines and 94 airports reveals that:

  • 44% of airlines have fully implemented Resolution 753 and a further 41% are in progress
  • Regional variation in airline full adoption rates vary from 88% in China and North Asia, to 60% in the Americas, 40% in Europe and Asia-Pacific, and 27% in Africa
  • 75% of airports surveyed have the capability for Resolution 753 baggage tracking.

Airport preparedness for Resolution 753 varies by size*:

  • 75% of mega airports are capable
  • 85% of major airports
  • 82% of large airports and
  • 61% of medium airports.

Optical barcode scanning is the dominant tracking technology implemented by the majority of airports (73%) surveyed. Tracking using RFID, which is more efficient, is implemented in 27% of surveyed airports. Notably, RFID technology has seen higher adoption rates at mega airports, with 54% already implementing this advanced tracking system.

“Between 2007 and 2022 baggage mishandling reduced by nearly 60%. That is good news. But travellers expect better; and the industry is determined to make further improvements. Tracking bags at acceptance, loading, transfer and delivery will give the industry the data it needs to improve. Tracking reduces overall mishandlings and helps airlines reunite mishandled bags with their owners even faster. With 44% of airlines already fully implementing Resolution 753 tracking and a further 41% in progress, travellers can have even more confidence that their bags will be at the carousel on arrival,” said Monika Mejstrikova, IATA Director Ground Operations.

In 2022, the global rate of mishandled bags was 7.6 per 1,000 passengers, according to SITA. The majority of these were returned within 48 hours.

Accelerating modern baggage messaging

Resolution 753 requires airlines to exchange baggage tracking messages with interline partners and their agents. The current baggage messaging infrastructure depends on legacy technologies using costly Type B messaging. This high cost adversely affects the implementation of Resolution 753 and contributes to issues with message quality, leading to an increase in baggage mishandling.

IATA is leading the industry’s transition from Type B to modern baggage messaging based on XML standards. The first pilot to test modern baggage messaging between airport and airlines is planned for launch in 2024.

“Adopting modern messaging is the equivalent of implementing a new standard, intelligible language for use by airlines, airports, and ground handling staff so they can effectively communicate about passenger luggage. In addition to helping reduce the number of mishandled bags implementation also sets the stage for ongoing innovations in baggage management systems,” said Mejstrikova.


IATA resolution 753 was adopted by June in 2018. In 2024, IATA launched a campaign to assist airlines with the implementation. The campaign focuses on collecting data on the implementation status of airlines and providing support to member airlines to develop and execute their implementation plans. This initiative underscores IATA’s commitment to enhancing operational efficiencies and standards across the industry.

*Airport size classification:

  • Medium: 5-15 million
  • Large: 15–25 million
  • Major: 25–40 million
  • Mega: >40 million

One response to “Industry progresses to reduce baggage mishandling, finds IATA”

  1. An encouraging news for travellers and airlines alike. Thanks for sharing these advancements—we’re excited to see how new measures and technologies will improve the efficiency and reliability of baggage handling!

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