By Jordi Lippe-McGraw. Photos: Getty.
We’ve all been there: You finally arrive at your destination only to realize your luggage is stuck somewhere in limbo. Then you spend the rest of the afternoon on the phone and at customer service desks trying to determine where your bags have jetted off to. That’s exactly how you wanted to spend the opening hours of vacation, right? Well, one airline is making sure that never happens again. Qatar Airways just announced that as the first airline in the world “achieve compliance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753,” it is tracking every piece of baggage from the start of the journey all the way through to its finish. We know what you’re thinking: aren’t they all supposed to be doing that? Amazingly, no. But, that will change.
Resolution 753 by the IATA, an airline organization that helps determine industry standards, was developed and issued in 2016 to help minimize mishandled bags, lost luggage, and theft. According to the SITA Baggage Report, 23.1 million bags were mishandled in 2015, but the organization believes this new requirement will reduce that number by up to 25 percent by 2022, saving airlines $3 billion. The resolution states that it’s mandatory that all 265 IATA airlines, which includes United Airlines, British Airways, and Delta Airlines, have to come up with a certified system to reduce these traveler headaches. The airlines have until June 1, 2018 to comply, but Qatar Airways had their program approved over a year in advance.
Qatar Airways' program gives passengers real time updates on their checked baggage through a “Track My Bags” feature on its website and mobile app. As you settle into your seat, you can see what stage of the handling process your bag is in, whether it’s at check-in, in transfer, or arriving at your destination. If there is a disruption in your luggage, you'll be able to know sooner and come up with a plan of action with the airline. For now, it's currently available only at Qatar Airways’ hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha.
While the exact statistics of the airline's mishandled baggage are unknown, transportation research and technology company SITA did call out Qatar in their 2015 Baggage Report as being one of the best.
Qatar Airways is on a bit of a roll lately. The airline was one of the first to find a way around the electronics ban by offering loaner laptops and will roll out business class “suites” this June, complete with quasi-double-beds. Your move, every other airline.
This story originally appeared on Conde Nast Traveler.
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