Baggage Improvement Program at MADRID BARAJAS AIRPORT
IATA has engaged with Iberia to examine the issue of baggage mishandling and has conducted a diagnosis at MADRID BARAJAS AIRPORT (MAD) from April 23 to April 25, 2012.
The IATA BIP Diagnosis and implementation of the BIP recommendations and solutions in conjunction with Iberia’s solutions and initiatives have improved the performance in MAD.
The baggage mishandling has dropped by 34% comparing 2009 to 2012, and expected to approach 49% in 2013 (see graph below).
What IATA found in MADRID BARAJAS AIRPORT
The prioritization of bags needing reflighting in terminal 4, where bags are always reflighted and the forward message sent before the passenger arriving at the downstream station. One of the main areas to consider for improvement was the transfer procedure for short
connecting bags. All transfer bags regardless of the connection time and customs requirements were being injected into the BHS without any aircraft to aircraft delivery. The poor upstream segregation was also a large contributor to the baggage mishandling,
particularly taking its toll on domestic flights feeding international.
-49% -34% 2013E (As of May 2013) 19.8 SW upgrade, Multi-MCS, Others Injection points, Aircraft to aircraft, Oversized trays 1.8 2012 15.2 Other factors 4.0 Build carousel mgmt optimization 1.0 Inbound bags without BSM reduction 1.1 Enhanced process for returning bags to pax 1.2 Short connecting baggage process optimization 2.7 2009 29.9 2.7
“Iberia is proud to contribute to the IATA BIP and to share our improvements with the industry because we are aligned in terms of giving the passenger a world-class service, thus challenging ourselves to continuously improve and reduce mishandling rates”
Upon conducting the diagnosis visit, the IATA BIP team identified 17 issues with high potential for improvement. Out of these recommendations, the following solutions amongst others have been taken forward by Iberia for implementation.
1. Reducing the number of inbound bags without Baggage Source Message (BSM); 2. Implementation of dedicated oversized trays;
3. Enhanced process for returning bags to the passengers; 4. Optimizing the processing of short connecting baggage; 5. Optimal use of injection points and no fixed rules for all flights; 6. Optimization of the build carousel management;
7. Piloting aircraft to aircraft delivery of hot transfer baggage;
Solutions implemented by Iberia
1. Reducing the number of inbound bags without Baggage Source Message (BSM) Problem description
High number of inbound bags without BSM cause delays in the processing of bags, jeopardizing short connection transfer bags, and requires additional human resources for corrective measures. Solution
Iberia has started to create daily missing BSM reports broken down by different areas of responsibility. The reports are then addressed during systematic meetings towards the reduction of bags without BSM.
Different areas are:
Local mistake in MAD
Third party companies
Alternatively, the corrective solution is for the manual encoding agent to take the name of the passenger from the tag and put it into the system. The bag is then sent to the build carousel and on its way it is reconciled by an agent in the control center, which remotely creates the BSM allowing for the bag to be loaded at the build carousel.
Before BIP After BIP
Feedback to third parties (stations, IT, Check-In, Airlines)
Average 500 bags without BSM on a daily basis
Average 200 bags without BSM on a daily basis, hence reducing by 60% the workload at the build carousel Real time indicator with
encode manual information
All baggage at the build carousel 70% baggage reconciled remotely before getting to the build carousel
2. Implementation of dedicated oversized trays Problem description
Dealing with oversize baggage has always been through a dedicated channel as this type of baggage cannot be injected into the BHS. This introduces a lot of manual intervention and requires additional resources, but the major drawback is the inconvenience caused to passengers because of longer waiting times compared to regular baggage that is injected into the BHS and treated automatically.
To avoid this situation Iberia is currently using a customized oversized tray adapted to the MAD BHS requirements that has been designed and deployed in collaboration with Aena (Airport Authority), Siemens (BHS Supplier) and several BHS trays suppliers. With this process Iberia is able to inject 70% of the bags into the BHS. Passengers can now pick up their bags like the normal sized bags on the same arrivals carousel, hence reducing waiting times by approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
For the remaining 30% of special luggage whose size make automatic handling impossible (such as surfboards, diving equipment and other bulky items) Iberia has installed new screens above the special luggage belts in T4 with the latest information on the handling of passenger special baggage. The screens show the flight number, the luggage label an icon representing the type of items being treated and special luggage, and the estimated time it will take before it appears on the belt. The information shown on the screens is fed by baggage handling agents on the ramp equipped with a PDA and by means of an application. That allows them to identify the items, generate tracking and feed the system with real time information.
Before BIP After BIP
Collection A limited number of trucks
collected any oversize baggage at the build ground to make the operation feasible
70% of oversize baggage is treated as regular baggage and delivered to passengers in their respective reclaim belt thanks to the use of customized trays for MAD BHS operation
Delivery Injection into the dedicated
reclaim belts for oversize baggage (x2 depending on customs requirements)
(from T4S to T4)
Average 75 minutes since blocks
Average reduction of 20-30 minutes Efficiency Lack of clear criteria to deliver
this type of baggage (first come, first out operation)
Operational information available on BHS specific applications that enable a more efficient baggage delivery based on predefined criteria (connecting time, CRM attributes, resources availability, etc.)
Oversize baggage delivery in regular reclaim belts
Real time tracking and information in dedicated screens at oversize baggage reclaim belts
3. Enhanced process for returning bags to the passengers that are not travelling Problem description
Returning bags to the passengers that are not travelling is a process that requires heavy manual intervention, is time-consuming and does not positively contribute to the level of customer service if the process takes long times, which is usually the case for such type of bags but of utmost importance to deliver a high quality service to passengers.
Iberia has recently started the automatic return of baggage to the customers without manual intervention. The enabler to enhance this project comes from an unusual feature of a BHS implemented in any airport worldwide. There is a dedicated reclaim belt that is connected with the BHS. Therefore, it can be used for any contingency and incidence recovery as well as regular reclaim when the claim is idle, which also comply with security constraints as it is within the international arrivals hall.
In order to return bags to the passengers as soon as possible, all Iberia staff has the possibility to divert any baggage from the BHS to this dedicated reclaim belt with a simple check in transaction. This is of utmost importance for Iberia in cases of contingency and incidence recovery. In the event of flight cancellations, long delays, massive incidences, or just because the passenger does not want to fly, Iberia puts the technology and advantages of MAD unique baggage characteristics to the service of our clients, because they can get their baggage delivered in 15 minutes compared to an average time of 60 minutes.
Additionally, a collateral benefit of the previous solution is the ability for Iberia to deliver any local baggage to Madrid that is injected wrongly into the BHS to this dedicated reclaim belt for any incidence recovery. Because Iberia have procedures in place to inject all baggage into the BHS, the baggage tracking is ensured as much as possible and passengers can at any time double check the status of their baggage and realize whether there has been a mistake with their baggage. In that scenario, they will automatically be informed that their baggage is going to be sent to this dedicated reclaim belt, where the passenger needs to get. Because such information is available both in customer service desks and in Quick Service Points just by swiping the boarding cards over a code bar reader or proactively sent via text message by Iberia, the inconvenience caused to the passenger is minimized and mitigated with the provision of accurate and real time information.
Before BIP After BIP
Baggage collection All bags collected at build carousel Automated process where either the passenger ask for it at the customer service desk for its delivery in case of contingencies or the bags are proactively sent to the dedicated reclaim belt for incidence recovery. Baggage request A telex is sent to the ramp to look for
any particular bag
Baggage injection Once found, the agent takes the bag and has to transport it to the appropriate reclaim belt for its delivery to the passenger
Time consumed Average 60 minutes Average 15 minutes
“During 2010 ash volcanic crisis Iberia managed to return 3,000 bags per day to passengers and to store up to 5,000 bags within the BHS. We just had to wait for passengers to reclaim the baggage or wait for the system to associate a new BSM in case passengers did not want to flight or an alternative flight was assigned. No manual interaction was required and time response under these circumstances was outstanding for the benefit of our clients.”
4. Optimizing the processing of short connecting baggage Problem description
Iberia deals with a significant number of transfer bags in MAD. This requires strict compliance with segregation agreements in order to be able to efficiently and effectively process transfer bags- more importantly bags on a short connection.
One of the BIP solutions was to tackle incompliance with upstream segregation at route network level systematically addressing the fault stations and the root causes. IATA also suggested that Iberia conducted pre-flight analysis of the bags in order to optimize the prioritization of the bags. For that reason, an operational indicator was developed in order to better allocate airport resources (i.e.: parking stand, carousel and BHS injection point) so as to minimize baggage connecting times and prioritize flights accordingly.
Before BIP After BIP
Short Connect Criterion Different operational units had different understanding of short connecting baggage
There is a single criterion for short connecting baggage for all stakeholders
Real time information Lack of real time information Enough information to prioritize amongst flights based on number of short connecting bags and connecting times
Stations On and off feedback to stations Exploit available information on databases to give stations a daily feedback and even arrange a formal training at worst performance ones (work in progress)
5. Optimization of the build carousel management Problem description
In the past Iberia had to ask airport authority BHS managers to open/close any carousel based on type of aircraft service standards. In doing this, there was often wasted time because the time response was not optimum. As a result, Iberia could not neither make the best use of its human resources neither reduce the mishandling because some inefficiencies used to take place owing to the inflexibility of a standard driven process and Iberia’s lack of autonomy to open/close tasks/flights based on real time needs and not planned standards.
Two areas for improvement have been identified to better manage the build carousel. Since 2012 Iberia is autonomous to open/close remotely any carousel either from mobile devices at the build carousel or from the Hub Control Center. Iberia can now interact with the BHS and segregate the baggage at any time without the need to contact Aena. There are plenty of benefits which result from the autonomy of interacting with the BHS at Iberia’s convenience that directly has a positive impact by reducing mishandling rates and by being more efficient. Any segregation task is always initiated based on different criteria aimed at being as efficient as possible such as: number of resources available, resources’ idle capacity, number of flights to attend baggage volume in the sorter, tasks overlap, mishandling, etc.
Before BIP After BIP
Process Centralised in the host (Aena), hence higher time response
Decentralised and better time response because we can now anticipate task overlaps, improve manpower productivity, reduce mishandling, etc,
Workload Standard driven based on the
type of flight
Driven by real time needs
6. Piloting aircraft to aircraft delivery of hot transfer baggage Problem description
All transfer bags used to be injected into the BHS regardless of the connection time. Injecting bags into the BHS introduces an additional transit time before the bag can be delivered to the departing flight. In many cases these bags used to arrive on the build carousel as last minute bags causing delays and requiring additional resources to deliver the bags to the aircraft.
During the 2012 BIP diagnosis IATA recommended the delivery of hot transfer bags directly from aircraft to aircraft within the framework of security. As a result Iberia will start to deliver hot transfer bags from aircraft to aircraft (i.e. Tail-to-tail) from 2013 onwards. This will reduce the number of misconnects as the delay of injecting into the BHS will be eliminated. On the short run, it is planned to start doing tail-to-tail operation on both regional aircraft and narrow body aircraft not palletized. On the medium and long run it may also be done in the rest of narrow and wide body aircraft. A cost-benefit analysis is being performed to ensure the feasibility of such scope.
“Close collaboration, team work and focus on innovation along with the Airport Authority, BHS Supplier and IATA recommendations are key elements to strive for further cost benefits from improving baggage services efficiency while enabling innovation to remain at lowest mishandling rates possible”
IATA would like to thank Iberia for their commitment, partnership and leadership in reducing baggage mishandling across the industry. Furthermore IATA would like to express appreciation to Iberia for sharing their baggage handling performance in MADRID BARAJAS AIRPORT, their results of the IATA BIP diagnosis visit and for continuing a mutually beneficial relationship that has resulted in lowering costs for the industry and providing a better service to the passenger. IATA look forward to working with Iberia in other baggage related projects to achieve the common goal of sustainable airline and airport operations.