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WHY BAGGAGE IS STILL

MISHANDLED AT 21ST CENTURY?


Why Baggage is still mishandled at 21st Century?

Student Name: | Student ID:

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DECLARATION OF ORIGINALITY
I hereby, declared that this research is an outcome of my own analysis and study. No previous
works from other researchers or authors are copied directly without acknowledgement. I have
clearly references all the sources (printed or electronic both) used in this work, in accordance
with the referencing requirements of Coventry University in both in-text and references.
I appreciate that any dishonest statement in respect to this work will result in penalizing action
according to the regulations of Coventry University.
I am fully aware that my work will be checked electronically for plagiarism and stored in server
for future references and plagiarism comparison.

COPYRIGHT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I declare herewith, that Coventry University has the copyright of this work.

Digital Signature: Date:

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ABSTRACT

Baggage mishandling is a long pending issue and this is considered the most intolerable matter
for the passengers regarding airport and air travel. This is the most worrying issue at present
situation. The Baggage handling system for an airline company and an airport considers as an
essential part in keeping travellers optimistic and well-experienced about the service of the
airline and airport. Airline industry has to bear a large amount of unavoidable costs due to
mishandled baggage at the airport. Although there have been many improvements and
development plans in recent years by the airline industry and airport administration to smooth
the baggage handling process, but baggage mishandling has becoming the single and largest issue
that prevents the effectiveness and smoothness of an effective air transport business.

This research analysed the key facts and issues of this baggage mishandling associated with the
aviation industry and airport management. Transfer baggage mishandling have become the
major issues for more than fifty percentage of the overall mishandled baggage. Based on the
findings of baggage mishandling issues, this research discussed some solution to this baggage
mishandling and delaying problem adopted from good practices in baggage handling. Several
improvement initiatives can be undertaken by the airline industry like Radio frequency
Identification baggage tagging system to reduce the number of mishandled baggage to a
minimum level.

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Table of Contents
..............................................................................................................................................................................1
DECLARATION OF ORIGINALITY ...........................................................................................................2
COPYRIGHT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT .....................................................................................................2
ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................................................3
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ...............................................................................................................................6
List of figures......................................................................................................................................................7
List of tables .......................................................................................................................................................7
List of Abbreviations ........................................................................................................................................7
CHAPTER 1: BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................8
1.1 Introduction...........................................................................................................................................8
1.2 Research Aim ........................................................................................................................................9
1.3 Research Objectives ......................................................................................................................... 10
1.4 Client.................................................................................................................................................... 10
1.5 Structure of the Project................................................................................................................... 11
CHAPTER 2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ....................................................................................... 13
2.1 Introduction........................................................................................................................................ 13
2.2 Research Overview .......................................................................................................................... 13
2.3 Research Philosophy ......................................................................................................................... 15
2.4 Research Approach........................................................................................................................... 17
2.5 Research Strategy.............................................................................................................................. 19
2.6 Research Methodology .................................................................................................................... 20
2.7 Time Horizon for Research ............................................................................................................ 20
2.8 Data collection and Data analysis .................................................................................................. 21
2.9 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................................... 21
CHAPTER 3 LITERATURE REVIEW ....................................................................................................... 23
3.1 Introduction........................................................................................................................................ 23
3.2 Current scenario of baggage mishandling at airline industry ................................................... 23
3.3 Reasons for baggage mishandling ................................................................................................... 26
3.4 Operational risks behind baggage mishandling ........................................................................... 29
3.5 Project Failure in baggage handling system: Denver airport failure and Heathrow T5 ..... 32
3.6 Key trends towards baggage handling innovation ...................................................................... 35
3.7 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................................... 38
CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS ............................................................................................... 39

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4.1 Introduction........................................................................................................................................ 39
4.2 Reasons for Baggage mishandling: case study analysis............................................................... 39
4.3 Proper baggage handling framework: case study analysis......................................................... 42
4.4 Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging system for baggage handling ....................... 43
4.5 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................................... 46
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMEDNATIONS ..................................................... 47
5.1 Summary.............................................................................................................................................. 47
5.2 Critical Reflections ............................................................................................................................ 48
5.3 Further Research............................................................................................................................... 50
5.4 Conclusive key findings .................................................................................................................... 50
References ....................................................................................................................................................... 52
Appendix.......................................................................................................................................................... 58

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I am using this opportunity to express my gratitude to my supervisor who helped me


throughout the course of this research and guided me in the correct way. I am thankful for his
aspiring guidance, invaluably constructive criticism and friendly advice during this research.

In performing this research, I had to take help and guidance from other authors and
researchers journals and papers, and they deserve my greatest gratitude.

I would like to thank my friends and family for their continuous motivation and support during
the whole time.

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List of figures

Figure 1: The research onion diagram (Source: Rafael 2016) .............................................................. 14


Figure 2: Research Overview (Source: Khan 2011) ............................................................................... 15
Figure 3: Deductive research approach (Source: Greener 2011) ...................................................... 18
Figure 4: Inductive research approach (Source: Greener 2011)......................................................... 19
Figure 5: Cost to the industry due to baggage mishandling (Source: SITA 2016)........................... 25
Figure 6: Reasons for baggage mishandling in 2015 (Source: SITA 2016) ......................................... 27
Figure 7: Transfer baggage being the main reason for mishandled baggage (Source: SITA 2016)29
Figure 8: No. of passengers went through UK airports for every complaint made in between
2011-15 (Source: Brown 2016) .................................................................................................................. 30
Figure 9: Operational risks and risk management in Baggage handling system (Source: Nepal and
Chotiyaputta 2016) ....................................................................................................................................... 31
Figure 10: Problems faced by Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport (BBC News 2008) ...................... 34

List of tables

Table 1: Long term trends of mishandled baggage over recent years ............................................... 24
Table 1: Comparative analysis of RFID and barcode baggage tag system (Kim 2015) ................... 45
Table 2: Reflection on objectives ............................................................................................................... 49

List of Abbreviations

RFID Radio Frequency Identification


SITA Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques

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CHAPTER 1: BACKGROUND

1.1 Introduction

Baggage handling considers being an important element in the overall airport experience. One
of the essential rights of any passenger when departing from one place to another is to find and
collect their baggage upon arrival at their destination. However, sometimes this does not
happen, since some baggage face delayed, damaged, pilfered or lost. In 2017, United Stated
Department of Transportation posted a mishandled baggage rate of 2.7% per 1000 passengers
for the year of 2016 which is below the mishandled baggage rate from the previous year 2015
of 3.13% (Harvey 2017). This statistics implies that in 2016, 27 passenger’s baggage have been
mishandled out of 1000 passenger whereas in 2017 32 passenger’s baggage have been
mishandled out of 1000 passenger. In case of air travel bags are lost and mishandled on a daily
basis has become a very common issue in today’s aviation industry. There are various areas
where baggage is delayed and mishandled at the airport and by the airline management; and
according to SITA (2016) there are several main reasons behind this baggage mishandling and
delaying such as:

 52% of baggage is being mishandled due to airport transfers,


 16% of them are due to loading baggage failure,
 7% of the baggage is mishandled by baggage loading or offloading issues etc.

Presumably every passenger has encountered direct disappointment of having our baggage lost
or delayed at the airport. Misused baggage is additionally an immense financial matter on the
carriers and airline industry, and a significant number of those are battling financially.

At present, there are still some issues regarding baggage security, proper tagging of baggage
using baggage tags, baggage tracing, and loss and mishandling of baggage, baggage handling
processes and other challenges. Unfortunately, baggage items keep going missing from airport
even by the transport security administration agents. Airline traveller baggage are misused and
mishandled due to several facts such as climate, robbery, human error and furthermore due to
the airport baggage management screening process (Correia and Wirasinghe 2010). About 66%

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of all baggage delays are created by transfer baggage mishandling and more interesting fact is
that transfer of baggage through a baggage carrying plane is still taking longer time than
passenger carrying flight.

The Baggage handling system for an airline company and an airport considers as an essential
part in keeping travellers optimistic and well-experienced about the service of the airline and
airport. It likewise can have the effect in an airplane terminal's capacity to fascinate or be a
noteworthy. On the other hand, weak management of baggage handling is a huge stress for
airport managers: rapidly connecting or arriving travellers with every one of their baggage is
one of the top needs for airport mangers and so that proficient baggage handling management
system are subsequently necessary. According to a recent report, mismanagement or
mishandling of baggage costs the air transport industry around US$2.9 billion every year (Farley
2017). Proper baggage handling management will not only reduce this huge amount of expenses
but also will increase passengers comfort and trust. Due to this mishandling and delaying of
baggage at airport and aviation industry, airline companies and airport authorities need to
undertake a lot more costs which is associated with this issue and the air transport industry is
well aware of the problems caused to the customers due to mishandled baggage and they are
working closely to improve the performance. This project will address the issues and reasons
behind the baggage mishandling and mismanagement in the aviation industry.

1.2 Research Aim

The main aim of this project is to determine and critically analyse the issues related to the
baggage handling management system in the aviation industry by evaluating the main reasons
behind the baggage mishandling and delaying of the baggage at the airport. The purpose of this
research is to find out the key facts and issues of this baggage mishandling associated with the
aviation industry and airport management. Based on the findings of baggage mishandling issues,
this research will find a solution to this baggage mishandling and delaying problem.

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1.3 Research Objectives

This research has the following objectives which will cover the research aim and this research
will be treated as successful based on the fulfilment of the research objectives.

1. Analyse the current practise in baggage handling system in airport.


2. Critically evaluate the causes of baggage delaying and mishandling.
3. Understand the baggage security, correct tagging of baggage using baggage tags, baggage
tracing, and loss and mishandling of baggage, baggage handling processes.
4. Identify the processes which is considered the main operational risks and issues
regarding mishandling of baggage.
5. Analysing the real issues behind project failure related to baggage handling process
6. Determine the current practices in ensuring the security of the baggage with proper
tags and tracing devices used by the baggage handling administration at the airport.

1.4 Client

This research would be helpful for the baggage handling management authority at the airport
and airline in order to understand the bottlenecks in the baggage handling system. Again it
would provide a detailed investigation of the main reasons of why baggage has been delayed and
mishandled, providing information for the baggage handling system at the airline industry to
understand the challenges and to improve it further. Also, this research will be helpful for the
passengers to know the basics of baggage checking procedure from the check-in point at the
airport till the baggage clearing section and provide some procedure to help minimise the
potential for baggage been lost.

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1.5 Structure of the Project

Chapter 1 Background
This chapter will introduce the readers about the background of this
project and will clearly outline the research aim, research objectives, and
brief introduction about the context of this project.
Chapter 2 Research approach
This chapter will discuss about the research approach which will be
adopted in this research. Moreover, this chapter will depict the research
methodology, research design, strategies, data collection, and data
analysis procedures which will be used in this research.
Chapter 3 Literature Review
This chapter will discuss and critically review the existing literature, case
studies, researches, and concepts of other authors and researchers. This
chapter will cover all the aspects of the literature review and will identify
the scope for future works in this area.
In this chapter, the current practice in baggage handling system in airport
will be discussed to find out the reasons behind baggage delaying and
mismanagement.
Chapter 4 Results and Analysis
All the data collected (which is mainly secondary data for this research)
for this research will be analysed in this chapter and based on the data
analysis results will be drawn to meet the project objectives pre-set in
this project. The current practices in ensuring the security of the baggage
with proper tags and tracing devices used by the baggage handling
management at the airport will be analysed and finally an effective process
for smooth baggage handling management process will be discussed.
Chapter 5 Conclusions and Recommendations
This would be the final chapter for this research. In this chapter, all the
findings from the previous chapter will be concluded. This chapter will
conclude recommendations for further study and scopes for future

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research.
References All the references and citation used in the previous chapters will be
referenced in Harvard style.
Appendices This section will include all the relevant data in detail and which have
been referred to the main body of this research.

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CHAPTER 2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

2.1 Introduction

This chapter clarifies how the research will be conducted and furthermore it gives valid reasons
for the techniques utilized in this research. Such information is imperative to give legitimacy and
unwavering quality to the discoveries and proposals of the research. In particular, it clarifies
how the data will be gathered; how it will be collected and prepared to finalize the conclusions.
Research is a procedure, a progression of exercises expanding after some time. It includes
various things, for example, decision of the research plan, the collection of information and
assessment of results. Choosing the suitable research approach and methodology is one of the
prerequisite for a good research.

This chapter will discuss about the research approach, research design focusing on different
types of research, data collection techniques, and reasons for choosing particular research
approach. This research will use qualitative research methods and intends to use case study
research strategy. Also this chapter will discuss about the ethical considerations and limitation
in conducting this research.

2.2 Research Overview

This section will discuss the stages through which the researcher will follow throughout the
research in order to formulate an effective methodology. The following diagram is ‘research
onion diagram’ developed by Saunders et al., (2007) which describe different stages of research
methodology. First, the research philosophy focuses on the definition by creating the
preliminary point for the best suited research approach which is then used in the second stage.
In the third stage, research strategy is fixed and in the following stage data collection method
has been identified which will be used in the methodology. The advantage of research onion
diagram is that it formulates a series of stages through which different practices for data
collection can be assumed and it also describes the methodological form of the research. This

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section will provide a detailed understanding about the research philosophy, research approach,
strategy and data collection method which will be employed throughout the research.

Figure 1: The research onion diagram (Source: Rafael 2016)

The following figure provides a top down view of the phases of the Research Process as:
Research Process; Research Philosophy; Methodologies and Data Collection, together it helps
to provide a better understanding of the research design.

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Research
Process

Deductive Inductive

Research
philosophy
(Interpretivism )

Qualitative Quantitative

Research
Methodology

Action Grounded
research Survey Ethnography Experiment Time Horizon
theory

Cross
section

Longitudinal
Case study

Data collection

Multi Mono
Mixed
method

Figure 2: Research Overview (Source: Khan 2011)

2.3 Research Philosophy

Research philosophy can be defined as the arrangement of views concerning the way of the
authenticity being researched (Bryman 2012). It is the hidden meaning of the way of knowledge.
The suppositions made by a Research philosophy give the legitimization to how the examination
will be embraced (Flick 2015). Research philosophy in researches can vary on the objectives of

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research and on the most ideal way that may be utilized to accomplish these objectives (Booth
et al. 1995). These are not really inconsistent with each other, but rather the decision of
research logic is characterized by the sort of information being examined in the research (May
2011). Accordingly, understanding the Research philosophy being utilized in a research can help
clarify the ideas conclusive throughout the research and how this fits the research methodology
being utilized.

There are basically two main ontological frameworks which can be used in methodological form
of a research as positivism and constructionism (Monette et al. 2005). On the other hand, these
two ontological frameworks can also be defined as empiricism and interpretivism (Bryman
2012) but in this case the underlying assumptions are quite similar. Research philosophy is the
outer layer of the research onion diagram and there are five main components such as
pragmatism, postmodernism, interpretivism, critical realism, and positivism. The Positivism
element of research philosophy expects that reality exists freely of the thing being researches
which implies the importance of phenomena is stable between subjects. Again, interpretivism
element critically examines the qualitative understanding about the subject matter and it uses
conciliation as general rule (Bridges 2017). Pragmatism deals with the mixed or multiple data
collection method in either qualitative or quantitative research approach. Pragmatism is the
most appropriate epistemology for social research (Bridges 2017). The most important
characteristic of pragmatism research is that it discards the difference between realism and anti-
realism as in case of social research the main argument is in between positivism and
interpretivism philosophy. On the other hand, critical realism is just opposite to positivism
philosophy as it deals with existing and scientific knowledge based theory that is based on a
number of ontological principles. Critical realism research philosophy deals with the methods
which are chosen to fit within the subject matter and of course it could be either qualitative or
quantitative (Bridges 2017). From epistemological viewpoint, this philosophy can be used to
develop theoretical explanations about the existing phenomena in the world. Again, axiology
can be defined as a branch of research philosophy that deals with the researches or studies of
judgements about value (Heron 1996). This also could consist of the values from our ethics and
aesthetics fields and this is the process of social investigation. If the researcher wants to make
the findings from the research credible then the researcher must play an important role with

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personal values throughout the whole stages of the research. According to Heron (1996),
axiological research philosophy enables researchers to articulate personal values in making own
judgements about the research and findings.

According to ontological framework, interpretivist paradigm is concerned with world and


knowledge based contextual and social issue whereas in case of pragmatic paradigm, reality is
the real-world impacts of thoughts (Porpora 2015). Interpretivist paradigm uses qualitative
research methodology which includes narrative, interviews, phenomenology, observations, case
study etc. On the other hand, pragmatism paradigm can use mixed method, design-based
research and action oriented research etc. (Klenke et al. 2016). As this research will be focused
on understanding and critically evaluating the reasons and issues behind the baggage mishandling
and delaying issues in airline industry and mismanagement of baggage at the airport, this
research will use interpretivism approach. In this research, the issues of baggage mishandling
will be viewed as a subjective reality and will be understood based on the meanings and
understanding about the situation. The aim of this research is to understand the situation about
mishandled baggage at 21st century rather than making any predictions. Considering these
research philosophies the researcher will use interpretivist approach in this research. Through
this interpretivism approach this research will be able to analyse more comprehensive and
multifaceted situation to critically evaluate and understand the subject matter of this research.
Moreover, the interpretivism approach will enable the researcher with more flexibility from
methodological form of research.

2.4 Research Approach

This section will outline the appropriate research approach for this research. There are two
different approaches as deductive and inductive research approach. Deductive approach works
on the available theory by formulating hypothesis and then uses the deductive approach to test
the hypothesis (Silverman 2013). This approach is best applicable for such studies where the
subject matter is focused in investigating whether it’s observed information and scenario meets
the expectations from previous research experiences in the similar context (Wiles et al. 2011).
An advantage of deductive approach is that it can be used with qualitative research methods;

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however, in those cases the objectives for the research need to be set in a different way from
previous researches rather than through hypothesis testing (Saunders et al. 2007). This
deductive approach is referred as a top-down approach.

Theory

Hypothesis

Observation

Confirmation

Figure 3: Deductive research approach (Source: Greener 2011)

On the other hand, inductive research can be defined as a move from specific approach to a
more general approach (Bryman and Bell 2015). According to Beiske (2007), in this approach
research starts with creating observation points and then patterns are observed within the
collected data. This is however, defined as bottom up approach. In this approach, qualitative
methodology can be used using interviews to collect the information regarding the subject
matter and then patterns are looked for from the responses of the respondents.

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Theory

Tentative Hypothesis

Pattern

Observation

Figure 4: Inductive research approach (Source: Greener 2011)

Inductive research approach will be used in this research as this research intends to understand
the reasons behind delaying and mishandling of baggage at airport. The reason behind using
inductive reasoning is that this research will start with a certain observation regarding the
baggage mismanagement issues at airport and then it will explore the key reasons behind the
baggage mishandling and delaying in order to create relevant findings.

2.5 Research Strategy

The research strategy defines how a researcher plans to complete the research (Saunders et al.
2007). There are numerous approaches which can be used in the research strategy such as
experimental research, case study based research, interviews, action based research, surveys,
or systematic literature review.

Case study research is the evaluation of a single unit with a specific end goal to build up its key
elements and draw speculations (Bryman 2012). It can offer knowledge into the particular way
of any case, and can set up the significance of culture and setting in contrasts between cases
(Silverman 2013). This type of research is successful in financial research, for example, looking
at the encounters of two organizations, or contrasting the impact of interest in distinction
settings. In this research case study research will be used. A single case study research will be
used in this research as this research intends to identify specific factors and issues related to
the baggage mishandling and delaying issues at 21st century. The case study on baggage

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mishandling and delayed baggage at Birmingham airport will be considered in this regard.
Consequently the baggage handling process at Kansai Airport, Japan and Changi Airport,
Singapore will be reviewed and compared with the same of Birmingham airport to find out
some workable and effective solution towards reducing baggage mishandling. The case study
will involve observation based detailed investigation of a current issues within real life situation
using different secondary sources. The benefit of utilizing the case study research is that it gives
a rich comprehension of the background of the research and the procedures being established.

2.6 Research Methodology

Methodological choice is the research methodology defined in the onion diagram and there are
three different methodological choices such as: (1) mono-method in which only one method
(either qualitative or quantitative method) will be used, (2) mixed-method, where both
qualitative and quantitative research method will be applied, and (3) multi-method, where
numerous research methods will be used (Bernard 2013). This research will go for mono-
method and will use only qualitative research method as it will not conduct any statistical
testing. Only secondary sources will be used in this research and case study based qualitative
research methodology will be used.

There are two types of research methodology such as qualitative and quantitative and in this
research qualitative research method will be used. Quantitative research is based on the
quantitative data and it holds various measurable benchmarks for the legitimacy of the
approach, for example, the quantity of respondents that are required to set up a statistically
critical outcome (Booth et al. 1995). On the other hand, Hannes and Lockwood (2012) implies
that qualitative research is usually used in order to investigate the issues and problems related
to social phenomena, rather than seeking a relevant connection between well-known variables.

2.7 Time Horizon for Research

Every research has a timeframe before which the research needs to be completed and this
planned timeline is defined as the time horizon. There are two type of time horizon cross-
sectional and longitudinal. Cross-sectional is when study a specific phenomenon at specific time.
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While a longitudinal studies gives you the time and ability to study change and progress of a
phenomena more than once over an extended period of time (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill
2015). In this research cross-sectional time horizon will be used as the research is looking for a
specific phenomenon and also as it is an academic course it is time constraint.

2.8 Data collection and Data analysis

Data collection and data analysis section in the research is fully relied on the methodological
approach (Bryman 2012) and the data collection and analysis process helps to get research’s
reliability and validity (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2015). There are two sources of data
which is primary sources (derived from first-hand sources) and secondary sources (which is
collected from previous researches and published sources). The primary data can be such
information derived from responses from surveys and interviews. On the other hand,
secondary data are mainly derived from works or opinions of other researches in the similar
subject matter.

As secondary data will be used since data and information required are available and accessible.
Specifics articles about everything related to the topic of baggage system, operational
management, operations and other relevant documents will be used. In order to find out
baggage mishandling and delaying problems, secondary information will be extracted from IATA
website and different airline company’s website from their annual report. Monthly review
report from LBC (an organization of airline managers which meets at least once a month to
identify and analyse baggage handling problems) will be reviewed and used for secondary
information. Again the report on baggage mishandling and damaged baggage at Birmingham
airport will be considered in this regard.

2.9 Conclusion

In this chapter, different stages of research onion diagram have been described and justification
has been made for the chosen research philosophy, research design, research approach,
research strategy, and data collection methods for this research. Case study will be conducted
in order to find out the real reasons behind the baggage mismanagement, mishandling, and
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delaying related issues at the airport from various published sources. For this reason, a good
range of secondary data will be collected.

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CHAPTER 3 LITERATURE REVIEW

3.1 Introduction

The previous chapter of this research detailed the approaches and strategies undertaken to
explore and investigate the components of this study. As mentioned in chapter 1, this chapter
will discuss and critically review the existing literature, case studies, researches, and concepts of
other authors and researchers. This chapter will cover all the aspects of the literature review
and will identify the scope for future works in this area. This chapter will start by analysing and
understanding the current practice in baggage handling system in airport to find out the reasons
behind baggage delaying and mismanagement.

Before going into detail regarding baggage mishandling issues in the airline industry, firstly, it is
important to understand what a mishandled baggage is. According to United States Congress
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (2007), Mishandled baggage can be
easily defined as a report of a damaged, delayed, or stolen baggage which is logged by either an
airline or the assigned baggage management authority on behalf of the passengers. Mishandled
baggage reports are handled as a claim issued by the passengers. This is the main question for
this research to find out what are the key reasons behind the baggage mismanagement and
mishandling at present. This chapter will help in understanding the baggage security, correct
tagging of baggage using baggage tags, baggage tracing, and loss and mishandling of baggage,
baggage handling processes. Later on this chapter, the current practices in ensuring the security
of the baggage with proper tags and tracing devices used by the baggage handling administration
at the airport will be discussed.

3.2 Current scenario of baggage mishandling at airline industry

Baggage mishandling is a long pending issue and this is considered the most hateful matter for
the passengers regarding airport and air travel. This is the most worrying issue at present
situation. Although there have been many improvements and development plans in recent years
by the airline industry and airport administration to smooth the baggage handling process, but

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baggage mishandling has becoming the single and largest issue that prevents the effectiveness
and smoothness of an effective air transport business (USDT 2017). Moreover, due to this
hassle it is hampering the modernized passenger’s process. Even the long term trends for this
baggage mishandling issue has shown a positive sign of improvement but this is not enough to
improve the efficacy of the streamlined air transport business model for the airline industry.
The below figure showed a historical trend for the baggage mishandling issue over the year till
2015. As the total numbers of passengers are increasing day by day, it is very much alarming
with the trend of baggage mishandling rate which showed a decline last few years.

Table 1: Long term trends of mishandled baggage over recent years

2003 2007 2014 2015

Total Passengers (Billions) 1.89 2.48 3.3 3.5

Total Baggage mishandled (Millions) 24.9 46.9 24.1 23.1

Mishandled baggage per 1000 passengers 13.2 18.88 7.3 6.5

Source: (SITA 2016)

According to the 2016 annual report of SITA, nearly 3.5 billion passengers travel which has
been increased from last 2014. From 2007 to 2014, the numbers of passengers travelling has
increased 33.3%. In 2003, the number of total baggage mishandled was 24.9 million out of 1.89
billion passengers while in 2007 this number of mishandled baggage has been increased by 88.4%
and became 46.9 million out of 2.48 billion passenger. Although in 2014, the number of
mishandled baggage decreased to 24.1 million out of 3.3 billion passengers and it is being
decreased further to 23.1 million in 2015. In case of the mishandled baggage per 1000 passenger
the number goes down in 2015 from 7.3 (in 2014) to 6.5. This rate of mishandled baggage per
1000 passenger has been decreasing from 2007 till 2015 at a rate of 61.3% (SITA 2016). Taking
into account the increase of numbers of passengers travel in 2015, the rate of mishandled
baggage per 1000 passenger is dropped by 10.5% from 2014.

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Due to this baggage mishandling issue, it costs $2.3 billion to the aviation industry in 2015 while
in 2014 the costs due to mishandled baggage were $2.39 billion. In 2015 the cost for the
aviation industry due to mishandled baggage decreased by 3.75% over the past year (SITA
2016). On the other hand, baggage mishandling cost per passenger has decreased to $0.65 by
9.7% from the previous year.

5
4.5
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Cost to the industry due to mishandled baggage ($ billion)


Cost per passenger due to mishandled baggage ($ USD)

Figure 5: Cost to the industry due to baggage mishandling (Source: SITA 2016)

Despite the sluggish global economic conditions in the recent years, the number of flyers have
been significantly increased and the rate of baggage mishandling have been decreased over the
year and in 2016 the percentage of mishandled baggage has reached to the lowest of all time
highlighting the positive impact of remarkable efforts, technological innovations and investments
of airline industry. Considering the increasing number of passengers the airline industry invested
lots of efforts and made effective utilization of technology in order to improve the end to end
baggage tracking. In doing so they have already introduced and applied electronic tagging
system, permanent tags, RFID baggage tracking technology, both way communication between
the airports/ airlines and the passengers and other baggage tracking tools. Moreover, according
to SITA (2016), airline industry will keep baggage tracking on their first priority over the next
three-four years in order to ensure that airlines or airports can track every baggage completely

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in the course of implementation of Air Transport Associations Resolution 753 (SITA 2016).
According to this resolution, by June 2018 each airline should be equipped with the services so
that they can track each baggage from the loading point till the baggage delivery systems. With
all those efforts and innovations airlines and airports have managed to reduce the rate of
mishandled baggage in last few years and if this continues then it will be improved even further.
Despite all the improvements to prevent baggage mishandling, this is still a serious issue to the
aviation industry as it costs billions of dollars every year.

3.3 Reasons for baggage mishandling

The above section showed the picture of the mishandled baggage issues faced by the aviation
industry over the years and this is not for a single reason. There are several reasons behind the
baggage mishandling. When passengers along with their baggage are travelling, during the transit
from one aircraft to another one or from one baggage carrier plane to another one are the
main issue regarding baggage mishandling. There are many complexities present at the transit
baggage transfer and this is the main reason that is paying off the mishandled baggage issue. The
most common reasons for baggage mishandling founded by SITA are as follows:

 Transfer mishandling
 Failure to load
 Loading and unloading error
 Arrival baggage mishandling
 Airport/ customers/ bad weather/ space-weight restriction
 Ticketing issues/ checking issues/ security issues
 Tagging issue

Firstly, transfer baggage mishandling in this criteria have become the major issues of
around 45% of the overall mishandled baggage. In 2014, the percentage of baggage mishandling
due to transfer mishandling of baggage was 49%, thus nearly 8.43 million of baggage were being
mishandled and delayed due to this issue (Oppenheimer 2017). The issue with transfer baggage
mishandling could be in the term of arriving plane or flight delay of the outgoing flight. Both can
be brought about by serious climate condition, air traffic control team issues, aviation authority
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issues, or any sorts of security delays. Delays decrease the real time accessible to make a
connection within the tasks in baggage management system, bringing about postponed baggage.

The second most crucial reason for baggage mishandling is failure to load and in 2015 this
issue accounted for 19% of the baggage mishandling problem. This can happen when a flight
passenger shows up past the point of boarding for check-in, when there is a very late gate
change or if the standardized tag on the baggage tag is not perused legitimately when the
baggage is being sorted or, for any reason, the baggage must be checked and scrutinized
physically. This sector of baggage mishandling has been increased from the previous year from
15% to 19% (SITA 2016).

Reasons behind mishandled baggage in


2015
4% Transfer mishandling

16% Failure to Load

Loading error
45%
8% Arrival mishandling

Airport/customers/space-weight
4% restrcition/ and weather issues
Ticketing error/ checking issue/
security
4%
Tagging issue
19%

Figure 6: Reasons for baggage mishandling in 2015 (Source: SITA 2016)

Another noteworthy reason is loading-unloading error which contributed nearly 6% in 2014


while in 2015 the percentage has been decreased to 4% from the previous year. Loading error
can be defined as a reason of baggage mishandling which can be of different form like a baggage
can be boarded into a different flight than the passenger’s flight. Loading errors happen when
baggage is loaded into a wrong flight, wrong compartment or even in a wrong container of a
plane, resulting delay in unloading in the final destination or transit airport of the passenger.

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Similarly offloading error can be happened when the baggage is not taken into the right place or
baggage offloading belt from which passenger needs to take their baggage (Rhoades 2016).
Offloading error includes a baggage which is mixed with connecting baggage at the destination
airport or a baggage could be loaded wrongly to the different destination airport.

On the other hand, security issues, baggage switches from one passenger to another or from
one carrying plane to another, and errors in ticketing contributed to 4% of the baggage
mishandling problems in 2015. Arrival station mishandling of baggage is quite similar to the
offloading error discussed above and it can be occurred when baggage is not delivered timely to
the cargo station instead of baggage claiming area. Moreover, arrival station mishandling
accounted for 4%, failures of loading of baggage accounted for 4%; airport/ weather/ space-
weight restrictions were also accounted for 8% of the mishandled baggage (SITA 2016). Space-
weight restriction can be defined as some delays when there is no space or weight available
for the baggage to load into a particular flight. For this reason, this particular baggage needs to
load into another carrier flight and resulting baggage mishandling. Ticketing error is another
concern in this case which occurs when different flight is marked and recorded into the baggage
tag or on the ticket of the passenger. According to SITA, in 2015 16% of the mishandled
baggage was reported due to this issue. Bag switch is similar to the ticketing error and it
happens when the check-in agent wrongly placed one passenger’s name into another
passenger’s baggage. Last but not least there are still some problems which cause the baggage
mishandling like tagging error which was 4% in 2015 (SITA 2016). Tagging error happens
when an improper tag with a damaged barcode is placed into the baggage or when the baggage’s
tag is filling up with wrong information than the passenger’s information.

Considering above discussion and figures it can be concluded that transfer baggage mishandling
so far being the largest contributor and largest issue in the baggage mishandling issue faced by
the industry. This is the main problem because it usually happen when passenger and their
baggage are moving from one plane to another or often one carrier flight to another to reach
to the final airport. If the trends of this issue tends to rise further then by 2020 transfer baggage
mishandling would become the main issue of mishandled baggage.

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70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0
2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022

Transfer baggage mishandled Other reasons

Figure 7: Transfer baggage being the main reason for mishandled baggage (Source:
SITA 2016)

3.4 Operational risks behind baggage mishandling

Although there are several reasons behind mishandled baggage as discussed in the previous
section, but these problems are happened due to operational management and key decision
making failure by the airline industry and airport administration. A live example of this failure is
the baggage handling system automation project of 1990s at Denver airport which turned into a
total failure (Song, Kim and Lee 2016). On the other hand, Bristol airport has been identified as
the most complaint filed by the passengers due to mishandled baggage in 2015. Although
according to the complaint for mishandled baggage from 2011 to 2015, Birmingham airport, UK
is the worst airport as reported by the passengers (Brown 2016). The following figure shows
the number of passengers went through airports for every complaint over the five years period.

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No. of passengers went through UK airports for every
complaint

Leeds Liverpo East


Birmin Manch Heathr Gatwic Newca Londo Stanste
Luton Bradfo ol john Midlan Bristol
gham ester ow k stle n city d
rd lennon ds
No. of complaints 48491868481070220097700110577571322507133510713225071597703277375826983625160128

Figure 8: No. of passengers went through UK airports for every complaint made in
between 2011-15 (Source: Brown 2016)

According to Lott (2017), largest airports are at more operation risks regarding baggage
mishandling than small airports. He stated:

“80 of the top airports account for 80% of the world's mishandled baggage”

Bigger air terminals actually have more issues because of the recurrence of corresponding
flights, which regularly have the most astounding risks of mishandling and delaying baggage.
Loader (2007) characterizes operational risk as the risk related with human mistake, different
types of error within the system or frameworks and lacking methodology and controls amid
the handling of business related exchanges and the loss of financial values by an inability to
execute the process effectively. He additionally recommends that operational risk can be
separated into further sub-segments like:

 Operations risk
 technology risks
 Malicious risks

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 Coverage risks
 Legal and restrictive risks (Nepal and Chotiyaputta 2016).

Risk Management
• Operational risk
• Technological Risk
• Coverage risks
• Malicious Risks
• Legal risks
Operational risk • Restrictive risks Common Risks
• Marketing functions • Legislation
• Operation function • Economic
• Product service • Staffs
development function
• Technology

Baggage
Handling
Management

Figure 9: Operational risks and risk management in Baggage handling system


(Source: Nepal and Chotiyaputta 2016)

As indicated by Kazda and Caves (2015), the baggage mishandling with process still has an
extensive human error, prompting to numerous risk and security concerns. It implies the
amount of baggage have additionally expanded with the increase of passenger. It brings about
new difficulties the organizations are confronting: Traffic rising and things volumes higher than
at no other time, stricter security directions, cost weights expanding year-by-year, and so
forth. Thus the baggage recognizable proof or tagging system must be precise, solid and
efficient. The notoriety of an air terminal can be harmed due to the human error including
baggage mishandling that can happen, prompting to a specific number of lost or misplaced
bags (Flouris and Yilmaz 2011).

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Of the considerable number of things that influence operations risk, technological
advancements are the greatest companion and in the meantime a potential bad dream. Only
the chiefs of the administration who grasp innovation and have the vision to create it will be
set up for the progressions and difficulties that operations confront in the coming years.
Innovation drives organizations like airline industry, operations administrators drive
innovation (Flouris and Yilmaz 2009). Getting it happen effectively is the biggest challenge for
managers in both operations and innovation. At Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, the baggage
handling framework comprises of two corresponding frameworks, a primary baggage handling
framework overlaid with a most optimized plan of another fast track baggage handling system.
The most optimized plan of fast track baggage handling system empowers baggage to sidestep
the fundamental sorter to pass on time-basic exchange or late baggage to individual stands
(Doherty 2003). According to Doherty (2003), the technology can become a threat is the
baggage system failure at Denver. Denver Airport in Colorado, USA, was originally scheduled
to open in October 1993 with a single system for all three concourses. This became February
1995, opening with separate system for each concourse, with varying degrees of automation,
but finally the integrated automation system for baggage handling failed (Montealegre and Keil
1998).

System failure can create different problems in baggage handling system. Other than the reasons
for mishandled baggage reported in the previous section these operational risks like human
error and technological failure can cause a great harm to the normal baggage handling system.

3.5 Project Failure in baggage handling system: Denver airport failure


and Heathrow T5

A dysfunctional decision making process can lead to project failure and make the project a
complete disaster and the Denver airport baggage handling system and IT system failure at
Heathrow airport’s terminal 5 are two classic examples. In 1990, Denver airport took an
innovative project for their baggage handling system through system automation with a 26 mile
long conveyor system and thousands of carts (Powell and Buede 2009). That project was a real
time computer controlled system which was then intended to ensure less baggage delaying and

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mishandling, fewer flight delays and great savings in terms of labor costs. But the project took
two more years than the deadline and costs 29.5% of the budgeted cost (Montealegre and Keil
2000). There were several modes of failure into the decision making when the project initiated
but the major reason was making key decision underestimating the complexity of the project.
That project was more than ten times bigger than any automated system and the key decision
makers underestimated such complexity and risks involved with the project (Neufville 1994).
Other contributing factors that led to the disastrous project failure of automated baggage
handling system at Denver airport are changes in the system requirements, lack of experts, lack
of in-place backup or recovery process in case of system failure, underestimation of costs and
time etc.

According to Neufville (1994), there were two essential limitations that added to the project
failure at Denver airport, first is that the baggage handling framework was excluded to the first
outline of the project plan, the geometry of the terminal which was at that point in
development was too tight for the baggage handling framework to fit in, the baggage handling
framework must be compelled to fit in the limits of the airport terminal passenger buildings, the
underground passage that links the concourses and the terminal. The other vital reason was
that the timetable of the framework was excessively tight which did not permit the framework
to be tested for no less than six months to authorize restorations. There was no reinforcement
system that can adapt to the abnormal state of expected things and there were no front roads
between the aircraft and check-in counters.

It is not so much that Denver airport terminals haven't attempted to settle the baggage handling
system. At the point when development started on the new Denver International Airport, it
should accompany a totally new mechanized framework for taking care of baggage handling
system and exchanges. The objective was to supplant the standard dependence on difficult
work with a completely computerized stuff framework that would likewise coordinate each of
the three terminals. It would lessen airplane’s turn-around time for quicker administration to
passengers. But the project went 16 months past its due date, cost $560 million over plan, and
performed only a small amount of its unique computerization objectives (Neufville 1994).
Rather than coordinating the three concourses and all airlines, it was just utilized at one
concourse, for one aircraft, for outbound flights as it were. Furthermore, after valiantly

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endeavoring to utilize the framework for a long time, the main airline that really adopted the
new system finally bowed out because of high maintenance costs.

In 2008, a new IT system was opened at terminal 5 of Heathrow airport which led to a chaos in
baggage handling from the very beginning and more than 100 flights delayed and cancelled due
to this total failure (Brady and Davies 2010). In case of the IT system failure at Heathrow
airport’s terminal 5, similar types of issues are found in management operation process. The
problems happened due to a combination of factors among which some were technical
including malfunctions of the sophisticated new baggage handling system which was designed to
handle 12,000 bags per hour (BBC News 2008). Some of the major failures were circulation of
the baggage buildup to the conveyor system and then to the check-in counter, backlog of
baggage in overall due to shortage of baggage handlers, and delayed and mishandled baggage
(Morris 2016). The main reasons were shortage of car parking provision, car halting, and
suspension in staff security screening, lack of training to the baggage handlers and staffs, and lack
of staff signage (Corcoran 2014). The following figure shows the real problems that happened
at terminal 5, Heathrow airport:

Figure 10: Problems faced by Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport (BBC News 2008)

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1. Passengers and staffs have faced trouble in locating their cars at designated parking areas
2. Check-in counters had been delayed in opening which results long due at the check-in
counter
3. Passengers who arrived early had to wait a long period to get their baggage
4. Conveyor belts have been jammed and caused a long queues for baggage handling
5. Due to the failure of baggage system the check-in counters at terminal 5 was been
dismissed
6. At the first baggage drop desk, due to long queues, all baggage check-in counters were
being suspended.

Similar to Denver airport’s project failure, the Heathrow project failure was due to lack of
proper management decision in the initiation, planning, execution, and controlling stages of the
project. Terminal 5 Project is determined to be both successful and fail over the result their
planning and heading over stage. Conversely, when analysing the project as whole, Heathrow
terminal 5 projects was a successful one which was completed on time with appropriate
amount of budget while their focus on improving baggage handling process was a total failure.

3.6 Key trends towards baggage handling innovation

With the increase number of passenger flying around the world, the focus for the airlines and
airline industry has been increasing on the improvement of proper baggage handling. The key
focus of innovation and improvement is on giving the passenger self-service options to make the
baggage handling system easier and more effective than before. Currently several improvement
and innovation initiatives have been taken by the global airline industry and some of them are as
follows:

 Self-tagging options for the passengers


 Radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging system
 Home printed tagging service
 Baggage-drop initiative for the passengers etc.

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Self-tagging options and facilities kiosk has become the norm over the last three years;
airline industry is now focusing on the services so that passengers can take control of their
baggage and tagging process. Over the last few years several airline companies have introduced
home-printed baggage tags, permanent electronic tags, and airline trailing options. Airlines are
also keeping an eye on ensuring their self-service investments today are future-proofed to take
advantage of upcoming baggage processes at the airport. In 2016, more than 765 self-service
kiosks has been deployed by Air France-KLM in their Paris and Amsterdam hub and it will be
deployed further in 50 more airports soon (SITA 2016). To support the move to self-baggage
tagging process for the passenger, the kiosks are equipped with extra storage for tags, and to
facilitate responsive customer service. They are also equipped with audio and camera features
for remote support from airline staff. According to SITA annual report, 2016, the kiosks will
accommodate future services such as check-in and payment using near field communication
technology. Despite of the fact, it is argued that those self-tagging electronic tag system targets
mainly niche group of frequent flyers, but in order to target the mass group of frequent flyer
airline industry is looking for development in home printed tag system for the passengers.

RFID tagging system is the latest baggage tracking technology which could save up to $3
billion USD and can be able to decrease the baggage mishandling issues drastically. RFID
systems can also have other benefits such as unlike barcoded bags, which employees must
search for individually, radio frequency enables workers to take inventory of a full room of bags
simultaneously (Curran and Fischer 2012). As a result, they can more rapidly reroute baggage
when a passenger misses a flight or has other itinerary troubles. As a result, there will be much
closer monitoring of inbound bags; and a major focus on exchanging baggage information, not
just among airline industry but also to passengers, which will go some way to relieving the
stress many passengers feel while waiting for their luggage at the baggage belt (Kim 2015). Some
of the major airline like Etihad airways has implemented the baggage tracking technology in
2015 which will help the airline’s administration and airline crew to check the condition of
passenger’s baggage through web application (SITA 2016). Moreover, LATAM Airlines Group
which is the biggest airline group of Latin America has introduced a new real time baggage
tracking system. This will help them to track the baggage as they are handling more than 30
million of baggage per year. This system has been implemented in another 13 airports by the

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end of 2016. This electronic baggage tagging system has developed its foothold in 2016 after the
approval from IATA and airlines of USA (SITA 2016).

Home printed tagging service has been offered by some of the airline companies outside
EU in 2015. Air Asia launched the first home tagging system in Malaysia for the flights to Kuala
Lumpur and Kuching (Jaikrishna 2017). Moreover, Swiss airlines have launched this home tag
printing system in August 2016 for the flights departing from Geneva and this facility will be
deployed in the Zurich airport (Rokou 2017). This home printed tagging system permits
travellers to print up to four pack labels as some portion of the online registration prepare.
These labels are folded and embedded into re-usable straightforward plastic pockets. At the
airplane terminal, the enrolled and labelled things can be submitted, either at the self-service
baggage drop machine or at any staffed baggage drop work area.

Self-service baggage-drop innovations in 2015 have been focused on creating greater


flexibility, to allow airports and their partners to maximize use of their resources and to
provide their passengers with services that best fit their needs. There will be initiatives to make
self-service bag-drop increasingly simpler for passengers in near future. A percentage of bags
each year become separated from their tag which creates problems in baggage handling. With
the unique identification service developed this problem can be solved. Air New Zealand
launched five self-bag-drop stations featuring biometric technology at Auckland International
Airport in December, with a further eight planned to be installed early this year (Garcia 2016).
The airline says these new bag-drops will speed up the check-in process for its passengers.
They also complement the online and self-service kiosk check-in options, enabling its customers
to take control of their check-in experience.

With the increasing number of passenger, airline industry has to utilize technological innovation
to improve the end-to-end baggage process. Permanent tags, electronic baggage tags and
baggage tracking tools, RFID technology, and proper communication tools between the baggage
handling administration of the airport and the passenger needs to be developed further in order
to prevent the problems associated with mishandled baggage.

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3.7 Conclusion

From carrying out the literature review, it can be concluded that a lot of literature is being
biased towards the following key points:

 Baggage mishandling issue costs billions of dollars to the airline industry every year;
although the number is decreasing every year but proper management needs to be
taken care of for a smooth baggage handling process by the airport administration and
airline industry.
 Transfer baggage mishandling being the most serious problem which is accounted for
nearly 50% of the mishandled baggage among other reasons for baggage mishandling.
 Operation management in the baggage handling process plays a vital role and through
proper planning and operational management the number of mishandled baggage can be
reduced to a minimum and the risks can be managed. Operational risks like human
error and technological failure can cause a great harm to the normal baggage handling
system.
 Several improvement and innovation initiatives have been taken by the global airline
industry like creating options for self-tagging for the passenger, home-printed tags to
give control of the baggage to the passenger, baggage drop initiatives, and electronic
tools for baggage tracking and checking real-time information.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS

4.1 Introduction

This section will discuss and analyse key findings and the results of research within the entire
project. By the end of this section, a key conclusive statement will be made with detailed
recommendations.

In order to keep a consistent flow and structure within this chapter, this chapter will be divided
into two main section: critically evaluating the baggage handling system of Birmingham airport to
understand the real causes behind baggage mishandling and operation drawbacks which triggers
the problem; and then the baggage handling system of Kansai International airport, Japan and
Changi Airport, Singapore will be analysed in order to find out the recommendations which can
be adopted for a proper baggage handling procedures. The baggage handling process and
adopted methods in these two airports will be compared against the baggage handling process
at Birmingham airport in order to find out the gap in the baggage handling process in case of
Birmingham airport.

4.2 Reasons for Baggage mishandling: case study analysis

This case study of Birmingham Airport is done to evaluate the causes of baggage mishandling at
airline industry in whole. Birmingham airport is one of the most complained airports in the UK
considering complain about damaged baggage. Passengers are ten times more likely to get their
baggage lost or damaged in Birmingham airport than other airports in UK (Brown 2016). In
Birmingham airport, according to baggage mishandling reporting and baggage mismanagement,
Emirates airline is the most complained airline about baggage mishandling followed by British
airways. At Birmingham airport there are more than nine million of baggage are handled every
year (Brown 2016). Considering the baggage handling system, Birmingham airport does not
have their own management to handle the baggage, so the mishandled baggage complain should
be into account for the airlines themselves and their contracted third party baggage handling
authorities. So the baggage handling authorities and the airline industry should be take proper

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steps in order to improve their baggage handling system. Worst performing was Emirates
followed by British Airways, then Turkish Airlines, Ryan air and Easy Jet. When the number of
total passengers which went through the airports during the period factored in, Birmingham
airport came to the last out of all major airports in UK followed by Manchester and Heathrow
airport.

The reason behind the baggage mishandling is not a single case that causes this serious problem
at aviation industry. These baggage mishandling is starting from the operational problem and till
the end. Considering the scenario of airport, passengers enter the arriving terminal at the
departure hall where passenger checked in themselves and their baggage which will be part of
the departure control system named as Distributed Control System (DCS) (Feng et al. 2009).
When DCS enters all the necessary information regarding the passenger and the baggage, the
baggage has been tagged with long baggage tag with barcode while the passenger has given with
the boarding pass along with the baggage tag. The main part of the bag tag is attached with the
baggage while the smallest part of the baggage tag strip is given to the passenger that contains
small barcode to check with the main tag attached to the boarding pass of the passenger. This
barcode of the checked in baggage has been considered as the identification of the baggage till
the final destination of the baggage.

The main identified reason for baggage mishandling is the issue with in-use barcode scanner
system for the checked in baggage of the passenger. Almost all the airports in the world
currently using a paper printed barcode and a barcode scanner system for the identification of
the baggage. The main issues with the barcode scanner and the system are as follows:

 The barcode needs optical sight, without the line of sight, it cannot be read
 Concurrently the scanner is able to read only a single barcode, which is time consuming
 Barcode baggage tag read rates average 85%
 Barcode is printed on a paper that easily crumples, thus the scanner is not able to
decode the information properly
 After printing the barcode it is not possible to overwrite the information (only by
printing a new one)

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 The paper of the barcode is long, full of information that comes off easily, thus making it
impossible for the baggage handler to identify where the luggage is supposed to be sent
and the airline is unable to find it in the computer database. It will be regarded as the
airline’s mistake, and the airline has to compensate the passenger (Bite 2010).
 The barcode is printed on a long-hanging paper, which is only attached at the middle or
at a suitable part to the luggage. The most important part of the paper is just hanging
down – without being fixed to the luggage- so it can easily come off or someone can
tear it away.

According to the baggage report published by SITA (2016), the number one reason to
mishandled baggage is because of transfer mishandling. At Birmingham airport nearly half of the
baggage is being mishandled due to transfer mishandling or lost during a transfer and during a
missed connection to another carrier. From the literature review, it has been found that in
2015, nearly 45% of the baggage mishandling issue is accounted for transfer mishandling and this
is the similar case for Birmingham airport as 50% of the mishandled baggage or lost luggage is
due to mishandling during the correction flight or transit (Brown 2016). Ticketing errors, bag
switches and security issues are other important reasons for mishandled baggage as in
Birmingham airport nearly 19% of lost or mishandled baggage is accounted for overall baggage
mishandling. Similarly, from the literature review, it has been found that in 2015, nearly 16% of
the baggage mishandling issue is accounted for ticketing errors, bag switches and security issues
at the airline industry (SITA 2016).

There are quite a few noteworthy reasons behind the baggage mishandling and delaying at
Birmingham airport and following reasons are based on passenger’s experiences about the
mishandled and delayed baggage at Birmingham airport (Authi 2016).

 These challenges are driven by high levels of unauthorised absence and issues related to
staff retention across the airport baggage handling stations. Although airport authority
have recognised that this is not an acceptable situation that passengers should have to
face, and they should try with everything in their control to mitigate and improve the
current situation as a matter of urgency. Moreover, the baggage handler teams at
Birmingham airport are experiencing manpower shortages that are impacting on the

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operation, in particular baggage delivery. All these cause mishandled and delayed
baggage.
 Moreover, one of the main baggage handlers named Aviator confirmed that they will not
continue their business operation at any UK airports and Birmingham airport has faced
the biggest challenge due to this issue as they were the main baggage handler authority
at Birmingham airport. Questions have been raised that the baggage handling companies
operating at the airport have not employed enough staff to deal with the increased
demand.
 Due to system failure passengers have to wait longer in the baggage delivery counter
and also in the check-in counter for the departure flights

4.3 Proper baggage handling framework: case study analysis

This case study analysis of Kansai International Airport and Changi Airport is done to
determine the current practices in ensuring the security of the baggage with proper tags and
tracing devices used by the baggage handling administration at the airport Although baggage
mishandling is a normal issues and airline industries are trying to reduce the number of
mishandled baggage and its associated cost every year, but proper implementation of baggage
handling framework is more than effective in reducing mishandled baggage. Kansai International
Airport in Japan has never lost a single baggage since it opened in 1994 (Ryan 2015). Based on
an artificial island in Osaka Bay, it was intended to mitigate the load of passenger from Osaka
International Airport. This airport was exceptionally complimented for the small span it takes
for travellers to get their baggage and the attention to detail provided by staff who put baggage
on carousels with handles confronting out to make it simpler for travellers to gather their
baggage. And the reason behind this best baggage handling system among all other airports in
the world is the implementation of Smart security and Smart lane system in the baggage
handling system (Kansai Airports Corporate Communication Dept. 2016). The smart lane
accelerated the speed of cabin baggage screening through automation, lessening the
requirement for both travellers and airplane terminal labourers to move plate. Travellers will
advance through security in the smart lanes, and will be screened by body scanners. Also, an
average security path in air terminals in Japan is 7 meters in length; the Smart Lane will be 17

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meters, permitting numerous individuals to utilize the path in the meantime, and in addition
permitting a lot of space to take off coats and different articles of clothing, and also space to put
things of dress back on. This again lessens holding up time. Ticket checks will be positioned in
the line prompting the security paths, as opposed to simply before the security machine when
the traveller is occupied adapting to baggage. These paths will have the limit with regards to
300 travellers for every hour, a noteworthy increment on the current 180 (Kansai Airports
Corporate Communication Dept. 2016).

Another noteworthy mention is proper baggage handling system is Changi Airport, Singapore.
Among Changi Airport's determinations for Terminal 3, the most astounding needs were quick,
protected, dependable and adaptable transport of baggage. Short preparing time was required
to deal with each pack from registration to choose make-up position. To meet Changi's
prerequisites, the framework for Terminal 3 depends on two tilt-plate sorters, a 13,000 m
(42,651 ft) CrisBag framework for the rapid association amongst terminals and for early baggage
stockpiling, registration transports, conveyors, baggage claim carousels and a SCADA control
framework (Song et al. 2016). The CrisBag transports empower 100% track and follow at all
circumstances. At the point when stacked on the framework, everything is put in a numbered
tote and the pack's IATA standardized tag information is converged with the transport's RFID
data. An exceptional transport configuration permits delicate transportation of all baggage
types, shapes and sizes, including out of gage, at rates of up to 7 m/sec (23 ft/sec), boosting
Changi Airport's competitive advantage in baggage handling system.

4.4 Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging system for baggage


handling

Radio frequency identification (RFID) can be defined as a baggage tracking technology which is
incorporated within a silicon chip (Li and Lo 2012). The chip can emit radio frequency signal
and the when the signal matches with the definite serial number of the passenger baggage, then
the baggage can be identified easily. This RFID technology offers the baggage to be sorted out
automatically and can be loaded faster than the barcode systems. In this case the number of
mishandled baggage has been reduced greatly and hence the costs associated with the

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mishandled baggage can be reduced (Frey et al. 2017). The main advantages of RFID technology
over the barcode scanner system are shown below:

 Like barcode scanner system the RFID tag doesn’t need an optical sight to read as it
works with antenna system
 At the same time RFID can read many baggage rather than barcode scanner code
 It is able to talk-write to a single tag allowing system update of the baggage under
processing
 Baggage reading rate for RFID tag is much faster than barcode baggage tag which
provides more speed in handling baggage and mishandling baggage rate can be reduced
significantly (Kim 2015).

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Table 2: Comparative analysis of RFID and barcode baggage tag system (Kim 2015)

Features Barcode baggage tagging RFID Technology


Possibility of Scanner points Active tag: Always; Passive tag:
reading access points
accuracy of 80-90% 95-99%
reading
Read & Write Read Read and write
Update one time Anytime
Baggage No With the passenger
identification in
real time
Data Definite Indefinite
Location Top baggage Everywhere
Removable and Easily Impossible
vulnerability
Reading after Mishandling would require Can be identified correctly
vulnerability
Configuration Long paper with strip of barcode Can be embedded in everything
Technical Barcode embedded paper and Tag, read writer, antenna for the
components printer, scanner reading and International database
possibility
Environments Disposable can be used further; recyclable
Speed Slow Fast
Automation Manually Automated
Manpower Needed No need
Price $ 0.06- $ 0.08 $0.20- $0.42
Cost Cheap The tags are expensive and the
implementation cost is much higher
than scanner and barcode system
Maintenance Need to be wiped out daily Little maintenance is necessary

RFID technology has been taken into consideration by the aviation industry and it is being
already implemented by several airline companies. Delta airline is actualizing $50 million on
their new baggage handling framework in view of Radio frequency identification (RFID)
innovation that is relied upon to lessen the quantity of the baggage lost and misused by 25%
(Morrow 2016). The innovation itself is not new. As for example, McCarran International

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Airport in Las Vegas, has been utilizing radio frequencies to track baggage it handles since 2005.
Furthermore, Australia's Qantas started utilizing RFID technology following for regular fliers
inside its residential system in 2010 (Martin 2016). With enhanced precision comes more
prominent effectiveness, as the fewer mishandling the Radio frequency identification (RFID)
framework makes, the fewer workers must be conveyed to give manual examining and
reinforcement. Thus, airplane terminals and aircrafts that make utilization of RFID can include
additional checkpoints which thusly additionally lessen the shot of a baggage being mishandled
or lost. It is seen from Delta Airline and others that have utilized RFID following are that it
diminishes rate of mishandled baggage by 25% (Morrow 2016).

4.5 Conclusion

This chapter critically evaluated the causes of baggage mishandling from the check in point to
the final destination of the baggage. Again in this chapter Radio frequency identification (RFID)
baggage tag system had been discussed along with its competitive advantages over barcode
tagging system which is being used in many airports. It is found that transfer mishandling is the
main reason behind mishandled baggage. Moreover, it is identified that as baggage tag is
considered as the main identification system of the baggage so using barcode scanner tag on the
baggage sometimes promotes the mishandling due to its vulnerability.

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CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMEDNATIONS

5.1 Summary

Baggage handling considers being an important element in the overall airport experience. It was
the aim of this research to understand the key issues behind mishandled baggage at 21st century.
Although with continuous efforts and development attempts by the aviation industry,
mishandled baggage rate is being reduced over the recent years but still the airlines and aviation
industry need to bear huge amount of costs due to mishandled baggage every year. There are
various areas where baggage is delayed and mishandled at the airport; and there are several
main reasons behind this baggage mishandling and delaying such as: more than fifty percent of
baggage is being mishandled due to airport transfers, due to loading baggage failure, loading or
offloading issues etc.

In order to find out the baggage mishandling reasons, the case of Birmingham airport has been
taken into consideration in this research and the reasons behind mishandled baggage have been
met with the existing literature regarding baggage mishandling at the airline industry.
Birmingham airport is most complained airport in the UK considering complain about damaged
baggage while this airport used to handle more than nine million of baggage every year.
Passengers are ten times more likely to get their baggage lost or damaged in Birmingham
airport than other airports in UK. Birmingham Airport come bottom out of all major airports in
England and Wales followed by Manchester and Heathrow Airport. Considering the baggage
handling system, most of the airports do not have their own management to handle the
baggage, so the mishandled baggage complain should be into account for the airlines themselves
and their contacted third party baggage handling authorities. So the baggage handling authorities
and the airline industry should be take proper steps in order to improve their baggage handling
system through technological advancement and manpower development.

Although baggage mishandling is a common issues and airline industries are trying to reduce the
number of mishandled baggage and its associated cost every year, but proper implementation of
baggage handling framework is more than effective in reducing mishandled baggage.
Implementation of RFID baggage tagging technology and execution of Smart security and Smart

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lane system in the baggage handling system would be a proper step towards an effective baggage
handling system.

5.2 Critical Reflections

This research aimed to determine and critically analyse the issues related to the baggage
handling management system in the aviation industry by evaluating the main reasons behind the
baggage mishandling and delaying of the baggage at the airport. The main purpose of this
research was to find out the key facts and issues of this baggage mishandling associated with the
aviation industry and airport management.

In order to successfully meet this aim, 6 key objectives were produced (Chapter 1, Section 1.3).
Each objective within this project has been successfully met by:

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Table 3: Reflection on objectives

Objective Status Evidence of Objective success


Analysing the current practise This objective was critically reviewed with the help
in baggage handling system in of existing literature and current scenario of
airport baggage handling mismanagement at the aviation
industry. Section 3.2 of chapter 3, critically
reviewed the current trends of baggage
mishandling and costs incurred by the aviation
industry due to the mishandled baggage.
Critical evaluation of the causes This objective was fulfilled through secondary
of baggage delaying and research in order to find out the picture of the
mishandling mishandled baggage issues faced by the aviation
industry over the years. Section 3.3 of chapter 3
analysed the reasons behind mishandled baggage.
Again, in chapter 4 the causes of baggage
mishandling at Birmingham airport has been
conducted through secondary research.
Understanding the baggage This objective was fulfilled through literature
security, correct tagging of review in order to understand the baggage
baggage using baggage tags, security, correct tagging of baggage using baggage
baggage tracing, and loss and tags, baggage tracing, and loss and mishandling of
mishandling of baggage, baggage baggage, baggage handling processes.
handling processes
Identifying the processes which This objective was critically reviewed with the help
is considered the main of existing literature. Section 3.4 in chapter 3
operational risks and issues discussed the main reasons behind operation risks
regarding mishandling of behind baggage mishandling at aviation industry.
baggage
Analysing the real issues behind This objective is met by critically analysing the
project failure related to project failure of Denver international airport and
baggage handling process Heathrow airport terminal 5 related to the
development of newly baggage handling system.
Secondary sources have been studied to meet this
objective.
Determining the current This objective was to collate, analyse and discuss
practices in ensuring the the results from the case study analysis to find out
security of the baggage with the current practices in ensuring the security of
proper tags and tracing devices the baggage with proper tags and tracing devices
used by the baggage handling used by the baggage handling administration at the
administration at the airport airport.

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Overall I found this research very interesting and informative. This research has increased my
level of understanding about the key facts of airline industry to a great extent and I believe it
will do the same for the reader. Through I have faced some difficulties while doing this research
as finding out the actual and appropriate information about baggage mishandling was a bit
challenging as no airport or airline industry will publish the actual data of mishandled baggage. It
would be much effective if I got the chance to conduct this research through quantitative
research methods by questionnaire survey, interview and others. But overall I am happy to
conclude this research by fulfilling the desired output and objectives of this research.

5.3 Further Research

 This research was intended to conduct a secondary research in order to find out the
problems faced by the aviation industry in terms of baggage mishandling and delaying.
Further research needs to be conducted based on primary data through interviews and
questionnaires as this will reveal the real experiences from both passengers and the
staffs who have been facing the baggage mishandling problems.
 As this research critically analysed the overall situations of the airline industry in terms
of mishandled baggage. To get more precise information about baggage mishandling, a
thorough study would be essential to find out the issues and challenges related to
mishandled baggage at a particular airport or airline.
 This research discussed several key reasons behind baggage mishandling like transfer
mishandling, loading-unloading errors etc., while further research can extract more
information about each issues behind mishandled baggage and from these
recommendations can be concluded to improve in such areas.

5.4 Conclusive key findings

This project set out to explore the issues related to the baggage handling management system
in the aviation industry by evaluating the main reasons behind the baggage mishandling and
delaying of the baggage at the airport. Conclusive key findings from this research are as follows:

Page | 50
 Transfer baggage remains the largest contributor to the baggage mishandling, accounting
for more than 50% over the recent years. Followed by this, other key reasons behind
mishandled baggage are loading-unloading error, arrival baggage mishandling, tagging
issue, check-in issues, security issues, and failure to load etc.

 In case of baggage handling system through IT system development and implementation


or new infrastructure development to tackle the baggage mishandling handling at the
airport, proper management decision in the initiation, planning, execution, and
controlling stages of the project need to be in place. Otherwise the project will lead
towards a complete disaster. Operation management in the baggage handling process
plays a vital role and through proper planning and operational management the number
of mishandled baggage can be reduced to a minimum and the risks can be managed.
 Several development initiatives would be great to improve the baggage handling process
at the airline industry like introducing permanent baggage tags, home-printed baggage
tags, and self-baggage drop etc. RFID tagging system is the latest baggage tracking
technology which could save billions of dollars of airline industry and can be able to
decrease the baggage mishandling issues drastically. The costs caused by baggage
mishandling and delaying are very high for both the airlines and the airports while the
implementation of RFID technology would lessen these costs tremendously.

Considering the negative effect that mishandled baggage at the airline industry can have on
impression of the passengers of their general travelling understanding and perception, combined
with the target of airline industry to improve baggage handling rate so as to ensure both their
standings and profits, it is essential to see inventive development activities being generated and
conducted.

Page | 51
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Appendix

Gantt chart timeline for this project:

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04-10-16 24-10-16 13-11-16 03-12-16 23-12-16 12-01-17 01-02-17 21-02-17 13-03-17 02-04-17 22-04-17
Read about strategies for finding topic
Check out the topic area
Brain storm precise question
Plan resources
Finalise research topic
Write up dissertation proposal
Meet with supervisor
Finalise proposal
Submit proposal
Collect and sort data
Meet with supervisor
Write up etical profile
Finalise ethical profile
Submite ethical profile
Chapter 1: Introduction
Make a plan to write introduction
Collect and sort data
write up introduction
Finalise introduction
Chapter 2: Literature Review
make a plan to write literature review
Collect and sort data
Write up literature review
Meet with supervisor
Finalise literature review
chapter 3: Research Methodology
Make a plan to write research methodology
Collect and sort data
Write up research methodology
Meet with supervisor
Finalise research methodology
chapter 4: Findings and Data Analysis
Make a plan to write findings and data analysis chapter
Analyse and write up findings
Meet with supervisor
Finalise findings and data analysis chapter
chapter 5: Discussion
Make a plan to write discussion chapter
Collect and sort data
Analyse and write up discussion chapter
Meet with supervisor
Finalise discussion chapter
chapter 6: Conclusion and Recomendation
Make a plan to write conclusion and recommendation
Collect and sort data
Write up conclusion and recommendation chapter
Make a plan to write discussion chapter
Finalise conclusion and recommedation chapter
Submission
Add appendixs
Proofreading
Final finalisation
Draft submission
Final submission