Cathay Pacific Airways is using an innovative solution from Menzies Aviation designed to reduce the cost and customer service impact of misplaced or misconnecting passenger baggage at airports. Right Bags On-Board (RBOB) is Menzies’ answer to a problem that costs the airline industry millions of dollars a year. The cost to airlines of repatriating a ‘lost’ bag, once it’s located, can be as high as US$400-600.
During a three-month trial with Cathay Pacific in Los Angeles, RBOB showed its ability to ensure the correct baggage is loaded on board connecting flights, even in the shortest of transfer times. Using RBOB, Cathay Pacific achieved a sevenfold reduction in the mishandling rate for the 1,000-plus bags the airline carries from the airport each day.
Victor Wong, systems manager – services delivery at Cathay Pacific, says: “On its own initiative, Menzies has delivered a solution to resolve our baggage loading issues, especially to reconcile interline baggage at Los Angeles International Airport. In the past we relied on a manual matching system that was manpower intensive. Now, Menzies is able to deploy RBOB to search for transfer baggage on arriving flights and make this a smooth and efficient process.”
The deployment of handheld scanners using wireless technology supports RBOB’s efficiency by providing baggage handlers with information about each bag they scan, including the passenger name, flight number and bag destination, and can go right down to detailing not only which container it should go in but also its position within the container.
If the passenger does not board the flight, their bags can be located and removed quickly.
The use of wireless technology enables Menzies’ handling team to scan baggage ‘under the wing’ or indeed anywhere at the airport. This has created a proactive and focused ‘fetch’ service within Menzies’ handling operation at Los Angeles to capture the average 12-15 bags per flight that would otherwise miss their onward connection.
RBOB allows for detailed data to be captured, recorded and analysed through real-time reports that provide both Menzies and airline operations centres with graphically displayed information on handled baggage performance and mishandling