RFID for Airport Baggage Tracking

rfid luggageIf you’ve ever had baggage lost on a flight, you know how frustrating it can be to get it back. While technology exists to keep better track of luggage, only 11% of airlines are now using it. This technology is RFID, and its uses are countless, but companies across a variety of different verticals are slow to adopt.

However, years have passed since RFID’s first deployment in 2005 at Hong Kong, Milan Malpensa, and Las Vegas McCarran airports. Those who have implemented it achieved a 97% luggage retrieval success rate, compared with 80% that use traditional methods.

While a fair amount of airlines are working on RFID solutions to reduce the amount of luggage lost, many are hesitant to implement a solution. If airports choose to implement an RFID system across all of their carriers, they’ll need to decide on what type of RFID tag to use (active, passive, or semi-passive), what memory size should be there, what air protocol should be implemented, and whether or not to encrypt the information. To help facilitate these decisions, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is currently working on international standards for RFID baggage tags.

While it will presumably be years before consumers begin to see the fruits of their labor, the promise of RFID luggage tags brings hope to all of those who have lost, or fear losing their precious luggage.