Airlines and airports are embracing new technologies as they turn to artificial intelligence (AI), making it more than just a chatbot technology. Today, AI is able to assist travelers by boosting conversations to either upgrade a seat or help find special offers for their trip or even help manage mishandled baggage.
According to SITA, a specialist in air transport communications and information technology, airlines and airports are increasingly adopting AI to manage baggage handling. Over 4.5 million bags are being handled annually by industry baggage systems, a number which is set to double in tandem with the growth in passenger numbers over the next 20 years.
But AI is set to speed up operations for the aviation sector, research indicates. With the implementation of AI, machines will enable baggage to be autonomously managed from the moment a passenger checks in their bag to when it arrives at the destination—all of this without any human intervention, according to SITA’s Intelligent Tracking: A Baggage Management Revolution report. In fact, in the future with autonomous loaders being used to transport bags between the terminal and aircraft, the baggage data will assist airlines and airports to provide more relevant information to passengers about their baggage.
International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Resolution 753 on baggage tracking—effective from June 1, 2018—mandates airlines to keep track of each bag and share that tracking information with all involved in delivering them to the passengers.
“The bag tracking data that will be generated and collected under Resolution 753 will provide the air transport industry with a rich stream of data,” says Ilya Gutlin, President of SITA. “This can be enhanced with AI tools to create greater efficiencies in baggage operations and, ultimately, to improve our experience as passengers.”
Airlines are stepping up investments in AI with 52% of them planning to invest in AI programs or R&D over the next three years. Meanwhile, research shows that 45% of airports planning to invest in R&D in the next five years. Timely investments in technology have helped the air transport industry cut its annual mishandling cost over the past decade from $4.22 billion to $2 billion.