Berlin - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced Automated Carrier Baggage Rules (ACBR), the latest project in IATA’s Simplifying the Business program. ACBR will provide a central database for interline baggage rules, enabling airlines, travel agents, and passengers to know what baggage rules will apply for any given itinerary.

“Baggage rules are becoming increasingly complex and confusing. We must improve transparency so that travelers know what to expect,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“Airlines have a variety of different rules and fees depending on the number of bags checked, class of travel, frequent flyer status and routings. ACBR will put all of that information in one place so passengers can have a complete understanding of baggage fees before they buy their tickets—even for complicated journeys.”

Airlines will benefit from easier, faster and more accurate handling of baggage charges at check-in. This will reduce costly and time-consuming disputes between carriers over whose baggage allowances and charges apply for any given journey.

IATA is partnering with the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), who will host the central database. IATA will populate the database by mobilizing airlines to submit their baggage rules to ATPCO by September 2010 for implementation in early 2011.

Travel agents and airlines that link to the new database through existing reservations and ticketing systems will enable passengers to receive baggage fee and allowance information at the time of booking.

Simplifying the Business is reducing costs for the industry and improving service for passengers. Simplifying the Business has delivered annual cost savings of $4 billion with e-ticketing and common-use self-service kiosks. Bar Coded Boarding Passes, Baggage Improvement Program, Fast Travel, IATA e-freight and IATA e-services will deliver a further $12.8 billion in cost savings.

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Notes for editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.
  • Simplifying the Business was founded in 2004 with a mission to lower industry costs and improve passenger service.
  • 100% BCBP (Bar Coded Boarding Passes) is expected by the end of 2010, saving the industry an additional US$1.5 billion annually
  • The Baggage Improvement Program (BIP) aims to cut mishandling in half by 2010, saving the industry US$1.9 billion annually
  • Fast Travel consists of five projects – bags ready-to-go, document check, flight re-booking, self boarding and bag recovery - that can save the industry US$1.6 billion every year
  • IATA e-freight can save the industry US$4.9 billion every year by converting 20 paper documents into electronic messages
  • IATA e-services saves the industry US$2.9 billion a year
  • ATPCO collects and distributes fare and fare related information electronically for over 450 airlines and distributes this information to all major pricing systems to support worldwide shopping and ticket sales. ATPCO will leverage its capability and network relations to provide the central database and electronic distribution of airline baggage rules.
  • IATA Corporate Communications has launched a Twitter account @iata2press, specially catered for the media. Follow us now at for the latest industry updates.