Customers travelling with checked baggage will soon be able to keep tabs on their bag’s journey in the Air NZ app. After running a successful pilot programme for domestic customers in April, Air New Zealand is expanding the test run of the feature to 25 percent of app users travelling domestically and releasing the feature to 5 percent of app users travelling on an international short haul flight. Of course, passengers can also just use an Apple AirTag.
The feature allows customers to view the last recorded status of their bag(s) in the Air NZ app while they are travelling. After completing bag drop ‘Check status’ will appear on the baggage card on the flight details screen in the app. Passengers can track the progress of their luggage throughout their journey – from check in, on board, to when it arrives at their destination.
Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Nikhil Ravishankar says Air New Zealand is dedicated to becoming the world’s leading digital airline and baggage tracking shows its commitment to delivering customer-focussed innovations. “Updates to our app last year mean we are now able to be more adaptable when it comes to creating and adding digital solutions that solve pain points for customers. Baggage tracking is a perfect example of this. Customers can track the journey of their bag and receive guidance on what to do if their bag has taken a detour. In an upcoming release, customers will also be able to report and monitor mishandled baggage via the app. Piloting the features gives us the opportunity to trial and test among a small group of passengers to troubleshoot any challenges, which will allow a more seamless rollout to all app users towards the middle of this year. Baggage tracking puts information directly in the hands of our customers, streamlining processes, relieving pressure on our teams, and giving passengers peace of mind that their luggage is on the journey with them.”
When rolled out, the feature will be accessible through the Air NZ app, which is available for download on both iOS and Android devices.
Mishandled baggage came under the spotlight recently when large numbers of bags were delayed over the busy summer period, following significant weather disruptions both locally and overseas. During that period the number of mishandled bags created a significant backlog needing to be cleared through biosecurity checks prior to delivery back to their owners. To ease the pressure on teams and repatriate bags with their owners faster, Air New Zealand worked with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) Biosecurity Team to create a new digital tool for its Baggage Tracing Unit to expedite clearance processes and remove the requirement to use paper receipts.
“In partnership with MPI, we have developed a new digital system that streamlines the biosecurity baggage screening process, introducing efficiencies that ensure customers are reunited with mishandled bags faster,” says Ravishankar. “Since the challenges earlier this year, the introduction of digital tools has meant we have cleared the baggage backlog and we are now better prepared to deal with any future disruptions that may occur.”