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Improving Baggage Tracking, Security and Customer Services with RFID in the Airline Industry

Keywords: Radio Frequency Identification , RFID , baggage handling/tracking , airline industry , customer-service

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Radio frequency identification (RFID) has been identified as one of the tengreatest contributory technologies of the 21st Century. This technology has found a rapidlygrowing market, and an increasing variety of enterprises are employing RFID to improvethe efficiency of their operations and to gain competitive advantage. In the aviationindustry, major airports/airlines have been looking for the opportunity to adopt RFID inthe area of baggage handling for a long time. Many pilot tests have been done at numerousU.S., European, and Hong Kong airports. RFID tags were found to be far more accuratethan bar codes, and their performance was also measured to be well above that of barcodes. This paper presents the state of RFID adoption planning, architecture andimplementation at a major airline, with a special focus on improved services due toimproved baggage handling, on increased airport/airline security and on frequent flierprogram services. This is accomplished by integrating RFID technology together withnetworking and database technologies.


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