Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is the major advance in baggage handling technology that has emerged over the last few years. While only a handful of airports around the world are using RFID, the technology is gaining momentum as an efficient way to optimize the baggage handling process beyond conventional technology based on bar-coded baggage tags.
RFID’s ascension as the preferred baggage tracking technology can largely be attributed to its ability to provide virtually perfect end-to-end sorting, tracking and tracing. Because bar code-based systems require a line-of-sight read by a laser, damaged and folded-under bag tags result in read accuracies of only 85 to 90 percent. The remaining 10 to 15 percent leaves a wide margin for error in matching bags to the right passenger and flight.
RFID-based systems, because they use radio frequency waves and do not require a line-of-sight read, are able to read bag tags from virtually any vantage point, even those lying underneath a bag. As such, RFID-based systems avoid the potential for lost luggage that can occur with bar code-based systems, ultimately increasing passenger satisfaction.