World Airports Turn to RFID Tags to Frustrate Baggage Thieves

Despite initial expense, many airports and airlines find that tags could save millions

There is also a move towards internet booking or e-ticketing by the beginning of 2008. Iata says an e-ticket costs $1 to process while the current paper ticket cost $10 each. E-ticketing will save the airline industry at least $3bn a year, it says.

The passenger self-service kiosks will save an additional $1bn a year with 40% market penetration. But there is concern from labour analysts that the automation of check-in procedures could lead to job cuts.

Air Transport World quotes Iata as saying that one major European airline slashed its expenses by nearly $200m a year after investing $75m in automated check-in facilities and cutting back on call centre staff. The challenge for airlines and airport operators is therefore to find a balance between putting passengers in charge of their travel arrangements and ensuring that their existing staff are not marginalised in the process.