Air France will introduce RFID bag tracking technology at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport from 2020 in a move aimed at improving efficiency and giving passengers more information about their luggage.
The French carrier has struck a deal with Paris Aeroport to introduce tags equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips to about 8 million pieces of baggage a year.
The airline says the technology will gradually be deployed to its other airports.
In addition to responding to the growing desire by passengers to know where their bags are, the companies say the tags will improve baggage identification and tracking, giving gains in operational performance and reducing associated operating costs.
It will also help them comply with the International Air Transport Association’s Resolution 753.
This requires bags to be tracked throughout their journey from check-in through to boarding, transfer and arrival.
It also recommends the global deployment of RFID chips.
“Air France and Paris Aéroport have a common challenge in terms of customer satisfaction and the smooth running of our operations,’’ said Air France chief operating officer Alain-Hervé Bernard.
“With more than 50 million customers carried on board our flights each year, RFID technology provides us with an innovative solution to improve the tracking and identification of baggage, guarantee its transit under optimal safety and security conditions, reduce our costs and improve our operational performance by reducing the time it takes to find missing items.”
Charles de Gaulle airport managing director Marc Houalla said the RFID technology would improve checked baggage processing by reducing handling and transfer times, optimizing capacity and significantly facilitating baggage tracking.
“This technology is a must in our aim to be one of the best airports in the world for baggage handling,” he said.
A recent report from aviation technology company SITA suggested airlines will struggle to further reduce the global rate of mishandled baggage without the help of new technology.
SIA found the mishandled baggage rate had plateaued at about 5.7 per thousand passengers in the past three years after a big fall over the past decade.
The rate in 2018 was 5.69 mishandled bags per thousand passengers, up 2.2 percent compared to 2017.