Home » How Airlines Track Bags and Avoid Losing Baggage with RFID
How Airlines Track Bags and Avoid Losing Baggage with RFID

How Airlines Track Bags and Avoid Losing Baggage with RFID

Airlines have implemented new technologies for baggage tracking. And they seem to be rewarding for passengers. Airlines RFID baggage tracking is paying off to the airports and customers as well. Moreover, 8 out of every 10 passengers check luggage, with passengers checking one bag mostly. Airlines around the globe carried approximately 4.3 billion checked passenger bags in the past year. Those airlines which are already having good baggage handling processes in place have observed better tracking systems. These systems are boosting their robust and reliable baggage delivery by 38 percent. And airlines that have only recently adopted new baggage tracking processes are observing their baggage handling improve by as much as 66 percent.

Airlines RFID baggage tracking shift towards better baggage tracking systems was established by a resolution from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Further, this is requiring airlines to put systems in place for better tracking of the location of bags throughout the journey. Several airlines have implemented RFID baggage tracking systems. This is helping them in finding any bag in a haystack of bags by using RFID sensors. Delta Air Lines was an early adopter of an RFID Airlines’ bag tracking system.

Airports are now joining in the efforts by implementing new baggage handling systems. Including laser or RFID luggage tag readers that can recognize a bag more reliably. Since it travels from baggage check to the plane and from the plane to baggage claim.

Also read: How RFID is Helping Solve Luggage Problems at Airports

Airlines RFID Baggage Tracking Systems

Incorporating the technology, scanners on conveyor belts can scan the radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags attached to the luggage and reroute them if they have been sent to the wrong location, a vast enhancement on barcode hand scanning, which has been the industry standard from the ’90s.
The direct printing of RFID tags on the baggage tags is allowing the tracing of the suitcases during their whole path. Hence diminishing to the minimum the risk of loss or delay with the delivery, including security too.  RFID Airlines’ bag tracking technology is embedded in the ticket printer that the company has developed.

The antenna in the printer reads and encodes the unique data in each tag, which is then used to track the luggage at any phase of the transfer. RFID Airlines’ bag tracking works by using electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically-stored data.

Passive tags gather energy from a nearby RFID reader’s interrogating radio waves. While the active tags are having a local power source (such as a battery) and may operate hundreds of meters from the RFID reader. Firstly, in an airport when you check in, you want your luggage tagged in a very short duration. Furthermore, the tag is 50 centimeters long so if you use a Custom printer it will be tagged in a second. Whereas other printers may take 5-6 seconds, Ruggiere commented.

Also read: How RFID Solutions Help in Inventory Management

RFID operates by using radio-frequency electromagnetic fields for transferring data and automatically identifying and tracking baggage tags. RFID technology is enabling bags for identifying and tracking without the demand for human intervention.

Let us pin down the reasons for delayed bags:

  • Transfer mishandling
  • Ticketing error/ bag switch/ security/ other
  • Loading error
  • Arrival mishandling
  • Airport/ customs/ weather/ space- weight restrictions
  • Failure to load
  • Tagging error

The benefits of RFID technology include:

1. Improving End-to-End Tracking

Growing bag tracking leads to a drop in mishandled bags and efficiency gains in baggage functioning. Initial deployments have proved a reduction in mishandled baggage by 25%.

2. Improving Aircraft Loading and Off-Loading

Hence this is leading to fewer delayed flights. RFID Airlines’ bag tracking is also driving toward higher automation and proactive care. And therefore reducing manual operations.

3. Easing Adoption of Resolution

Deploying of the system and operational costs concerned with the addition of new tracking points, are minimized. In addition, the execution cost is considerably reduced with RFID compared with conventional barcode scanners.

4. Improving data consistency

Since the current baggage barcode is not containing any error correction capability. Thus, the reading of information can be inconsistent. Hence, implementing RFID will result in reading rates of over 99% without human intervention.


Today’s major airlines are facing a considerable amount of pressure from passenger service demands, rising business costs, and cut-rate competitors. Thus, forcing them to continually scan the horizon for new technologies and process enhancements. Fortunately, the sky’s the limit on the ways the airline industry can use RFID technology to save money, for better customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency.

If you are interested in using RFID technologies, connect with our industry experts at  Aeologic Technologies.  


How accurate is RFID tracking technology?

RFID augments inventory accuracy and provides more than 95 percent. Moreover, high inventory accuracy can drive increased sales. But only if retailers incorporate the data to enhance their operations and processes.

How many types of RFID are there?

RFID tags can be categorized into three categories. Furthermore, it is based on the range of frequencies they use to communicate data: low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and ultra-high frequency (UHF).