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Consumer Protection

It is vital that governments, regulators and the flying public understand the balance between protecting consumer rights and protecting sustainable air services.

Appropriate regulations, globally coordinated, can give passengers confidence while ensuring the freedom to fly.

Rather than regulations “defending” passengers, they should be framed as a partnership between consumers and the industry, to encourage competition, innovation, consumer confidence and enhanced air connectivity.

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Delays Bags Overlapping regimes Refunds Choice EU 261 Accessibility

Airlines understand that delayed and mishandled bags are annoying for travelers. That is why they're making the most of technology that allows them to contact their passengers to let them know about disruptions ahead of time,  keep customers updated, and, when possible, offer an alternative solution. 

Airlines are highly incentivized  - without a regulatory requirement - to partner and invest in new solutions that make sure passengers and their bags arrive together.

Recent improvements:

  • 3.5 Billion passengers enplaned in 2015
  • 6.5 mishandled bags per thousand passengers in 2015
  • The air transport industry has cut the rate of mishandled bags by 50.7% globally since 2007, creating US $ 22.4 billion in total estimated cost savings

Source SITA - 2016 Air Industry Insights The Baggage Report

What the industry is doing to prevent mishandled baggage

  • See what the IATA baggage program is doing for passengers, enabling airlines to meet passenger expectations of greater control and access to information
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), a techonology incorporated into a silicon chip, enables easy bag tracking
  • Re-useable electronic baggage tags for greater convenience and efficiency
  • We consistently aim to make sure that we as an industry share global standards and talk to each other. Through resolutions and recommendations, IATA provides the industry standards for processing baggage. Our baggage standards are being continuously developed by our working groups, whose members are representatives from airlines, airports, ground handlers and industry suppliers.

These efforts, and much more, reduce the chances of your bag getting lost – so you always know where your shirts, socks and shoes are.

About baggage allowances

Providing airlines the freedom to determine their own baggage policies enables them to create allowances in line with consumer needs and market considerations. Brazil is one of the only countries in the world to require airlines to offer a mandatory baggage allowance (of two pieces of checked baggage per customer on international flights). Other governments, like China, the European Union and the US, let airlines determine their own allowances and simply require airlines to disclose what those allowances are.

This is a better system for consumers because they can then choose the offering that best suits them – whether they are a business traveler with carry-on baggage only, or a student seeking special allowances for extra bags.

Read our position paper on baggage allowance (pdf).

Resources

​Below are posters and postcards to download that are part of a broader campaign to inject a new, fresh perspective in the global converstion on consumer protection.

Share them and get involved in starting the conversation. It’s about choice, convenience and connectivity. Let’s change the debate.​ 

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