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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) this week shared results of a study finding that a global Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solution could reduce the number of mishandled bags by up to 25 percent by 2022.

For Delta customers, this improved baggage performance is already in the works. Currently, Delta is the only carrier that has implemented an RFID bag tracking solution on a global scale. Delta began globally deploying RFID-embedded bag tags earlier this year, empowering the carrier to track bags with increased visibility.  

With RFID bag tags flowing everywhere Delta flies, Delta’s Airport Customer Service team has RFID hands-free scanning technology up and running at 25 stations with more stations coming online in the coming months, totaling 84. These airports account for more than 85 percent of the bags flying Delta.

In the IATA release, Delta’s David Hosford, Manager - Baggage Performance Strategy, said, "We are investing in RFID to further improve our baggage handling rates and improve the customer experience. RFID technology provides us with more data and more precise tracking information throughout the baggage journey.”

The study, conducted with Global IT provider SITA, found that a global RFID solution could save the air travel industry $3 billion over the next seven years. But for customers, RFID means ensuring the right bag is loaded onto the right flight. IATA explained that RFID technology supports the organization’s Resolution 753 that requires airlines keep track of every item of baggage from start to finish by 2018.

Andrew Price, Head of Global Baggage Operations at IATA, said in the release, "Over the past few years we have seen more work to help airlines introduce and reap the benefits of RFID technology through better oversight of their baggage operations. This has included trials and of course the Delta Air Lines implementation. The advances in the technology and the immense benefits it brings to the airline industry has prompted IATA to revisit and fully explore the benefits of RFID today." 

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