Travel Industry Tracking Systems

Challenges

  • The three main areas for passenger complaints towards airlines and airports are service interruptions, long check-in and security lines, and baggage-related issues. While weather plays a part in many service interruptions, technology can play a huge part in making a bad situation much better. And clearly technology can shorten wait times and improve baggage tracking and handling.
  • Passengers are accustomed to being connected 24 X 7 to a variety mobile devices, and they expect to be able to use those devices for shopping, comparing prices and making purchases wherever they may be. This has traditionally been a challenge in airports and certainly on airplanes. The more informed passenger will demand information and services delivered when they want on their preferred personal devices wherever they are in their journey.
  • The airline industry mishandled 26 million bags in the last calendar year for which data is available (2012). At a cost of $100 per mishandled bag, the cost to the airlines during that period was $2.6B.
  • Airports are huge places filled with equipment of all types. Tracking baggage carts, fuel trucks, ramp equipment, passenger carts, fleet vehicles and other airport equipment is a huge challenge for the world’s airports.

Solutions

  • RFID technology in the form of passenger credentials, badges or bracelets at airports enables airlines to better manage the flow of passengers through their check-n lines. For example, travelers who have spent too long at an automated check-in kiosk and are holding up lines could be flagged for immediate help, or additional personnel could be temporarily assigned if the tags indicated that too many travelers in check-in lines were nearing their flight times and were in danger of missing their flights.
  • Passengers who were inconvenienced by a service interruption could find themselves using their RFID tags and mobile devices to receive directions to a new gate, discounts at a nearby shopping concourse or food coupons for use in the food court.
  • There is no reason that luggage couldn’t be tracked in the same way as the passenger. Tagging each checked bag with an individual permanent RFID baggage tag embedded with the passenger’s frequent flyer details (as opposed to a temporary bar code) enables airline personnel and passengers alike to understand where baggage is located at all times – in the airport’s baggage system, onto the airplane and off again at the plane’s destination. Passengers will know that their bag is on the airplane, and airline and airport personnel will be able to easily locate lost bags, or offload baggage when
    required, improving departure times. If a flight is cancelled the passengers will know when their baggage is offloaded.
  • Votum’s Fleet Management and Tracking technology can be used to tag and track any and all airport equipment, inside and outside of the terminals.

Benefits

  • Faster passenger check-in, shorter lines, less traveler frustration.
  • Less passenger dissatisfaction and frustration with service interruptions, additional revenue to airports, stores and restaurants from traveler purchases driven by promotions and improved real-time location data.
  • For airlines/airports, substantially reduced costs for mishandled bags (one analyst suggests that using permanent RFID tags could save $2B per year by reducing the number of mishandled bags by approximately 75%).
  • Knowing where valuable airport equipment is — baggage carts, fuel trucks, ramp equipment, passenger carts, fleet vehicles and other airport equipment – is paramount to ensure that the right equipment is in the right place at the right time, improving airport efficiency and helping to ensure passenger and employee safety.