IATA Announces Baggage Project

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced its Automated Carrier Baggage Rules (ACBR), the latest project in IATA’s Simplifying the Business (STB) programme on June 8.  ACBR will provide a central database for interline baggage rules, enabling airlines, travel agents, and passengers to know what baggage rules will apply for any given itinerary.
“Baggage rules are becoming increasingly complex and confusing.  We must improve transparency so that travellers know what to expect,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“Airlines have a variety of different rules and fees depending on the number of bags checked, class of travel, frequent flyer status and routings.  ACBR will put all of that information in one place so passengers can have a complete understanding of baggage fees before they buy their tickets – even for complicated journeys.”
IATA says airlines will benefit from easier, faster and more accurate handling of baggage charges at check-in that will: “reduce costly and time-consuming disputes between carriers over whose baggage allowances and charges apply for any given journey.”
IATA is partnering with the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), who will host the central database.  IATA will populate the database by mobilizing airlines to submit their baggage rules to ATPCO by September 2010 for implementation in early 2011.
Travel agents and airlines that link to the new database through existing reservations and ticketing systems will enable passengers to receive baggage fee and allowance information at the time at the time of booking.
IATA says it long-running STB programme is reducing costs for the industry and improving service for passengers.  It is already estimated to have delivered annual cost savings of US$4 billion with e-ticketing and common-use self-service kiosks.  Looking forward IATA says that bar coded boarding passes, together with its Baggage Improvement and Fast Travel programmes and the IATA e-freight and IATA e-services will deliver a further US$12.8 billion in cost savings.