From this morning passengers flying with Air New Zealand will know exactly where their checked luggage is on the network. Which could be good news, or not.
After an extensive trial of a luggage tracking app in April, the national carrier has pushed go on the feature, which is accessed via the Air New Zealand app.
Now travellers on domestic and international services will be able to access notifications via the app to tell them the last recorded status of their bag.
After luggage makes its way from “processing” via ground handling to “onboard” the aircraft, the app will - hopefully - let travellers know when checked luggage is “at destination”.
Most importantly - it will also let them know if the bags have not made it onto the plane.
Woe betide travellers who receive the dreaded “delayed” update, but it’s good to get a heads-up.
In a trial phase 8000 customers were invited to try the app.
Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer, Leanne Geraghty, said that it has been a highly requested feature from travellers since the end of the pandemic.
“We heard from them that being able to track their bags’ location would make their experience even more stress-free, so we quickly began making that customer request a reality.”
The post-pandemic restart and other major air travel disruptions at the beginning of the year led to mountains of mishandled luggage in New Zealand airports and abroad. A record amount of luggage was lost last year, when more than 26 million mishandled bags world wide were reported by airport IT company SITA.
If for whatever reason bags do go on an unexpected detour, Air New Zealand says they will let passengers know.
“The app now provides customers with the ability to report delayed or damaged baggage,” says Geraghty, as well as monitor the status of an existing report further simplifying the reunification process and allowing customers to easily monitor their bags’ delivery.
App aims to streamline luggage claims and, eventually, MPI screening
The feature was piloted on a large-scale trial in April.
At the time the airline’s chief digital officer Nikhil Ravishankar said it not only offered new possibilities to smooth out luggage handling but also was exploring ways to streamline screening with MPI at the border for international travel.
“Since the challenges earlier this year, the introduction of digital tools has meant we have cleared the baggage backlog and we are now better prepared to deal with any future disruptions that may occur,” he said.
The luggage tracking feature was developed in conjunction with the MPI’s move to a digital, paperless screening system that allows the airline to see when late luggage has cleared biosecurity screening and Customs, allowing mishandled bags to be reunited with travellers more quickly.
The app is available on iOS and Android devices.