Baggage Tracking Worldwide With RFID at Delta Air Lines
  • Baggage Tracking Worldwide With RFID at Delta Air Lines
  • Baggage Tracking Worldwide With RFID at Delta Air Lines
  • Baggage Tracking Worldwide With RFID at Delta Air Lines
  • Baggage Tracking Worldwide With RFID at Delta Air Lines
  • Baggage Tracking Worldwide With RFID at Delta Air Lines

Baggage Tracking Worldwide With RFID at Delta Air Lines

An everyday scenario in global air traffic: The passenger stands at the baggage claim and waits unsuccessfully for his suitcase, only to find out later at the service counter that his luggage is on its way to Los Angeles and not in New York, like him. The passenger is displeased and the additional costs for reacquisition or replacement for the airline are on average 100 US dollars.

With double-digit millions of "mishandled bags", the aviation industry incurs billions in costs every year.

Reason enough for aviation companies like Delta Air Lines to to incorporate innovations that reduce the number of "mishandled bags" – and thus the costs.

Status Quo

SITA's 2019 Baggage IT Insights study shows that the total number of incorrectly carried baggage items has dropped by 47 percent over the past ten years, from 46.9 million in 2007 to 24.8 million in 2018. The costs incurred by "mishandled bags" fell by 43 percent to 2.4 billion dollars in the same period.

More than $2 billion Dollars continues to be a strong influence for airlines to incorporate technologies and solutions that further reduce costs and effort.

Delta Air Lines invested $50 million dollar in its first globally scaled RFID-Rollout in 2016.


At the passenger's baggage check-in, each individual piece of luggage is marked with an RFID baggage label at 344 Delta stations worldwide.

RFID readers and antennas installed on the baggage handling systems record each piece of baggage. Baggage control is automated and the certainty that the suitcase is transported to the according aircraft is increased.

In order to globally track luggage tagged with RFID-Baggage-Tags, Delta engineering teams have deployed a total of 4,600 Handhelds, 3,800 RFID baggage tag printers and 600 RFID reading systems along baggage conveyors worldwide as part of the initial rollout. In addition, a total of 1,500 baggage conveyor belts with integrated sensor technology are distributed across the 84 most important stations worldwide, signaling a green light when a planned piece of baggage is loaded according to a traffic light scheme.

Technology Partners

Hardware & Software

  • Zebra Technologies: UHF-RFID-Reader FX-7500
  • Feig Electronic: Handheld ECCO+
  • Zebra Technologies: Handhelds TC75 und TC77


  • Reduced cost of “misshandled bags” by 15 percent after three years. Fewer disruptions in passenger traffic.
  • Improved ability to locate items of baggage classified as dangerous to prevent disruption to air traffic.
  • Passengers can check the status of their baggage at any time via the "Fly Delta App".


  • With the UHF RFID baggage tracking solution, Delta has laid the foundation for numerous optimizations and opportunities to realize digital customer services.

Find Out More!

The trade magazine Wireless IoT in Logistics 2018/19 offers more than 15 articles on these topics: Innovative Wireless IoT technologies (RFID, LPWAN, BLE or WLAN), integration of solutions, best practice, and interviews with users and technology experts. Order your digital magazine here!

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