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Agents Impacted by New IATA Baggage Rules

June 8, 2010 By: George Dooley

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed 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,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and CEO. “We must improve transparency so that travelers know what to expect. 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.”

The IATA says airlines will benefit from easier, faster and more accurate handling of baggage charges at check-in, reducing costly and time-consuming disputes between carriers over whose baggage allowances and charges apply for any given journey. The Association is partnering with the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), which will host the central database, and 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.

IATA said its Simplifying the Business program has delivered annual cost savings of $4 billion with e-ticketing and common-use self-service kiosks and that its 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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