Coordinated baggage handling among airlines is a very important function of airline responsibility. So far advances have made it better but lack of compliance may develop into a large issue over time.
At JFK each airline terminal and airlines can independently choose their handlers but it is always better to work together for the benefit of the customer said Jim Groark, Chairman of the Interline Committee.
Since the January storm Grayson, the Port Authority has strongly recommended that airlines at JFK do a better a job of handling by having better procedures to track and reunite lost baggage with customers and the airlines ar under the gun to improve their services.
The Kaamco Interline Committee, has been at the forefront of efficient and scalable affordability working with airlines though a Kaamco contract offering better service and pricing.
According to Groark he and the committee anticipated the need for accurate tracking and this was an integral part of the Interline program offering to the airlines. Groark points to the
The 753 IATA program that mandates four important aspects of compliance: scan at check-in, scan at aircraft loading, a destination time stamp, and a transferring time stamp.
While there is some cooperation between the Interline contracted airlines which total about 50 airlines, and non non-Interline airlines, there are gaps that could be closed when other airlines use other means to move baggage from one place to another.
According to Groark, the system works but could work much better if all airlines had and shared tracking data with each other rather than having to seek information once a bag is lost.
This proof of custody transfer is critical for satisfying IATA compliance, Port Authority pressure and the public needs.
Terminal One has gone one step further by establishing a terminal common use baggage service area where lost bags can be tracked from any participating airline in the terminal and reunification with the passenger is less of a headache.
Delta has addressed baggage handling with a mobile app and used RFID technology to track its baggage movements.
“At best, any delayed bag is a hassle for a customer,” said Gil West, Delta’s Chief Operating Officer. “We get that, so we’ve made investments and developed some out-of-the-box partnerships to take some of the stress out of that hassle by making the process of getting that bag easier.”
There are other airlines and entities that handle baggage outside of the Interline contract such as Triangle handling American Airlines while Jet Blue and Delta do their own. Working together with these airlines is something Groark sees as a win-win for all airlines and hopes to close the gap over time with other airlines recognizing the success of the Interline program.