Each of us has come across a situation when you arrived after a long flight to your final destination, went through passport control, as waiting for your checked baggage, but it did not arrive with you. Next, you need to find an airline employee to file a complaint and wait for your suitcase at home.
The mood is spoiled, but this is a feature of air travel, sometimes luggage is lost. I would like to identify the problems of the aviation business in terms of organizing the process of providing service for such passengers who, unfortunately, did not find their luggage upon arrival.
I would like to draw my observations and conclusions based on the experience of working at major airports in the United States of America, and in particular, Miami International Airport. Miami (MIA) became the leading airport for international passenger traffic in the United States in 2021, handling more than 13 million passengers, according to a report by the Airports Council International. And it continues to set new records each month for passenger growth.
Most international airlines at non-home airports use the services of handling companies to provide such service to passengers in the respective baggage claim area.
From the existing practice, this service is limited to the allocation of an agent for the duration of the flight, usually it is 4-5 hours only. The rest of the time, the passenger unable to receive any information about the unarrived baggage. If passenger will decide to go to the airport and find out the status of his lost suitcase directly with the staff, he simply will not find the lost and found centralized office, because it does not exist. At Miami International Airport, handling companies do not pay much attention to this service, minimizing their costs. The service available to airlines in Miami now is limited to providing a lost & found agent to airlines. Airlines by themselves train the agents and provide a workplace and any required tools. Airlines store their mishandled luggage in their offices where space is extremely limited. This greatly affects the level of passenger service and affects operational processes in general.
Handling companies do not have centralized baggage service offices, do not have customer service for passengers regarding mishandled baggage, do not have storage for delayed luggage.
The need for specialized companies that provide mishandled baggage services on the local market is now more relevant than ever. Due to the growth in air traffic at Miami Airport and the increased duties on the staff of existing handling companies, you may simply not find a baggage agent in the baggage claim area.
This niche of business in airport handling industry is not occupied and a specialized company, with the appropriate documentation, can easily join the airport community. The time to enter the field seems particularly opportune since after pandemic most of ground handling companies are failing to provide adequate level of service and airlines are looking for ways to keep their standards of passenger care.
Research on the issue was conducted by Konstantin Shabashov.