Star Alliance wants it to be harder to lose bags, points

By David Flynn, May 15 2017

No business traveller likes to lose their bags or their frequent flyer points, so Star Alliance is doing something about it through a series of new 'technology hub' services connecting each member airline.

The baggage hub, which went live at the end of 2016, "allows us to track and monitor better the journey of the bags that our customers have checked through, particularly across the alliance" says newly-minted Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh, who took over the post in January this year.

An estimated 14 million travellers each year connect between member airlines on their journeys.

The baggage platform processes an average five million baggage 'messages' a day as each piece of checked luggage shuttles through the system from check-in to baggage handlers to being loaded on board, through to delivery at the airport or being forwarded onto a connecting flight.

Goh's aim is for travellers to be able to instantly check the status of their own luggage via their smartphone with updates on baggage delivery.

"The new normal is the digital experience of customers" Goh espouses. "Customers are mobile first – you expect information on demand and services at your fingertips."

Another plank of the technology hub system will make it easier for frequent flyers to claim missing miles and points after their trip.

"In the unlikely event you did not get your miles, you will be able to claim them online" Goh says.

Members in any Star Alliance frequent flyer program can now do this through the website of their preferred airline loyalty scheme, even if the miles were collected on a flight with another Star Alliance member.

It's estimated that 20,000 Star Alliance frequent flyers change their status every day of the year, either moving up one tier or dropping down a level.

This means that in many cases, quickly recovering uncredited miles can be the difference between enjoying the lounge access, business class check-in and higher checked luggage allowance afforded by Star Alliance Gold status versus the more pedestrian experience of Star Alliance Silver membership.

David Flynn is visiting Frankfurt as a guest of Star Alliance.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 49

I flew Delta, a member of SkyTeam, between CAN and the US 4 times last year and they have something similar in operation. When checking in baggage is linked to your ticket, or in my case Delta FF account, and is trackable throughout your journey via their app. What more is that there is no need to wait around the baggage carousel wondering when your luggage is arriving because you receive a push notification stating it's exiting on [x] belt.   

I do not know whether this service is available throughout the alliance, but it's seriously useful. 

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 118

So what happens if the app shows your bag is not onboard the same aeroplane as you? Seems like this is a process generating information rather than lowering lost / delayed luggage. Would have been better if they identified where the existing baggage information system fail to ensure bags connect throughout the alliance rather than just creating one more app feature.

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