Baggage Reconciliation System

Owing to an increase in passenger volume and checked baggage, airlines come across a lot of challenges. These challenges may be monetary in nature, such as maintaining profitability while operational costs are on the rise, or operational, likeresource allocation for handling voluminous baggage load.

To top it all, these challenges have to be conquered while sustaining one’s brand influence in the market. With increasing competition, retaining passenger loyalty is as important as attracting new customers. In such a convoluted scenario, the key to remaining on top of the curve is to adopt automated means for carrying out efficient baggage handling operations. Agility and efficiency derived by automation will further trickle down to passenger end in the form of exceptional service.

MaxBrs employs automation & mobility to propel a sharp baggage handling operation. By implementing the suggested automated solution one can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the work processes undertaken by the PROs, baggage handlers and back end staff. The comprehensive end to end baggage management system provides utility to airports, airlines & handling agents, delivering a perfect baggage match.

Apart from providing better means of baggage management, the solution helps airports/airlines meet regulatory compliance pertaining to security. Three tier solution benefits are:

Security:  Enhanced security with automatic reconciliation

Baggage management: Helps identify problematic areas of baggage handling, aids in avoiding short shipment & mis- routing of baggage, curbs flight delays attributed to baggage handling

Communication: Improves communication between involved parties, keeps handlers & agents informed at all times on issues related to baggage

When baggage handling operations are made automatic, everyone benefits; airlines, passengers & airports.

  • Airlines find themselves to be better positioned to address increasing costs & competition by shaving errors and inefficiencies out of business processes. Also they attain improved customer services and loyalty. As manual activities re cut down and worker productivity is improved, operational costs are minimized. Also, solution allows a comprehensive audit trail to enable continuous improvement of baggage handling procedures, increased safety and reduced opportunity for baggage theft
  • Passengers, on the other hand, enjoy more predictable arrival of baggage when & where it is expected as well as more on-time flight departures.
  • Airports can better attract and retain airlines with improved brand positioning, enable them to globally track and trace baggage and improve public perceptions through improved passenger safety and increased security levels. Moreover, airport infrastructure can be easily & cost effectively be positioned to accommodate future passenger growth and checked baggage volumes.

To solution overcomes common operational problems such as manual intervention, use of bingo cards and erroneous/slow operations. Apart from optimizing baggage handling process & minimizing the baggage transfer time, the solution helps untangle broader issues such as:

  • Tracking & monitoring the movement of baggage through various baggage events
  • Providing real time information for loading/unloading a bag
  • Mapping baggage to ULDs & flights
  • Verifying loaded baggage against manifest & recording / reporting mismatches

The prime solution comprises of on integrated system of: Database/Application server, local area network (wired & wireless), workstations & handheld terminals (HHTs) & printers for printing barcode enabled bag tags.

The database server is the brain of the solution and:

  • Stores information on baggage, flights, passengers and PROs
  • Receives and sends baggage information messages from and to airline’s Departure Control System (DCS)
  • Collects flight details from FIDS
  • Provides information to MaxBrs workstations & HHTs

Centrally connected workstations, HHTs & wirelessly connected printers are used by PROs to access device & MIS applications for regular operations.

Functionality:

  • PRO prints the barcode enabled bag tag using custom application & thermal printer. This barcode encodes a unique bag tag number.
  • The airline DCS, for each bag tag, generates a BSM that is sent to MaxBrs via direct connectivity to DCS. BSM contains the unique bag tag number, information about the bag and associated passenger.
  • When the bag has been physically transferred and sorted, a Baggage Processed Message (BPM) is sent to the system. This is shown in the baggage history, creating a baggage trail.
  • At the loading area, each bag is scanned by the handler. System will check if the bag is ok to load or not. In case of any deviation or mismatch, a warning prompt stating the reason for mismatch will be viewed on the application screen.

The solution addresses some core issues such as:

Automatic Identification & Data Capture:

Barcode scanning at various baggage events eliminate human involvement thus rendering accuracy and agility of data capture and information processing.

Maintenance of centrality:

Central IT System communicates with DCS to equip handlers with real time information. All baggage events communicate centrally, leaving a trail for all baggage passing through the airport.

Apart from the above mentioned, some mentionable operational benefits are:

  • Ability to function in “offline” or “disconnected mode
  • Intuitive application design requiring minimal staff training
  • Full trail of all actions
  • Reporting & analysis feature for monitoring baggage statics, employee accountability etc.
  • Real time visual overview of the loading progress of all open flights
  • Notifications & alerts in case of slow processes, predicting baggage volumes

Automated operation and a centrally linked IT system play a major role in optimizing the baggage handling process. In conclusion the solution employs central data & mobile devices to catalyse a sharp operation by cutting all intricacies involved in the conventional system.