The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) announced yesterday that it is testing a new pilot project for radio frequency-based luggage tracking for checked-in baggage. The pilot project will see the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags tied to bags, which would then send constant alerts to users regarding the location of a bag during transit.
The tag is called ‘Bagg Trax’, and will initially be offered selectively to frequent flyers – before being expanded to other travelers. According to DIAL, once more users are roped in, RFID-based checked-in bag tracking would be offered to more airports across India.
Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, chief executive of DIAL, described the introduction of the tag as one that could offer an “enhanced” passenger experience. “Passengers will not have to wait anxiously until their luggage reaches the delivery area as they will get all the information about their baggage. During this time, they can meet their other needs. The facility will also help reduce the crowd near the baggage belts,” he said.
The concept of using RFID-based checked-in luggage tracking is not a new one, with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggesting at its 75th annual general meeting, about three years ago, that RFID-based baggage tracking could help reduce the margin of error in handling of checked in bags down to a minuscule portion.
The RFID tag would be offered to a traveler at the Delhi Airport, who could subsequently scan a QR code on it at the onset of a journey. The code links to a webpage, where users can enter their own details to assign the bag an identity. Once the tag is linked to their own phone number, it will continue to offer regular alerts via SMS regarding the location of the bag.
RFID is typically considered to be a robust technology, for the long wireless reception and transmission range of radio frequencies – and the ability of RFID chips to operate without the need for bulky batteries or regular recharging of cells. This makes them durable for flight travel, too.
Numerous airports around the world have already deployed RFID based bag tracking for years now, including in Europe and USA. Going forward, it remains to be seen how swiftly India can deploy the bag-tracking tech across airports – which are not owned by a single entity, but are a mixed bag of private entities that do not necessarily have uniformity of operations.