Virgin Australia has rolled out a baggage tracking tool, enabling passengers to track the status of their checked baggage via the airline’s app.
The carrier launched a pilot of the programme in May 2023, and this week has rolled it out across more than two thirds of its domestic network.
The tracking tool is available on most domestic routes between major airports, including Sydney-Melbourne, Brisbane-Sydney, Melbourne-Gold Coast, Melbourne-Hobart, Adelaide-Melbourne and Sydney-Sunshine Coast among others.
To access the tool, passengers must download the Virgin Australia app and enable push notifications via app settings. Once enabled, notifications will be sent to the guest’s phone throughout the journey, including upon the bag being checked-in, transferred to an international partner airline, and available for collection at the final destination.
The tool will also advise the guest which carousel the baggage is available for collection from.
Virgin Australia expects more guests to check in baggage as a result of the new tracking tool, with its remaining domestic routes, including select services from Perth, expected to adopt the tool soon.
The airline has a mishandled baggage rate of 1.5 per 1,000 guests, which it says is five times better than the last recorded industry average (7.6 bags per 1,000 passengers).
Indeed air transport IT provider SITA’s latest Baggage IT Insights report showed “a surge in baggage mishandling rates”, largely owing to the resumption of international and long-haul flights and shortage of skilled staff and congestion at airports.
Virgin Australia group chief customer and digital officer, Paul Jones, commented:
“It’s our mission to be Australia’s most loved airline and that means we need to listen to our customers to ensure we are offering the services that are most important to them.
“We know the potential of lost baggage is a concern for travellers globally and anticipate today’s announcement will give many guests that extra level of comfort knowing where their bag is at every step of the journey.”
Virgin Australia has invested over AUD$400 million in digital innovation, technology and customer experience improvements over the past two years. Initiatives have included new websites, app upgrades, a new loyalty management system, and new high-speed wifi in the lounges and onboard.
The airline also recently launched ‘Rapid Rebook’, a self-service management tool for guests impacted by a flight disruption. This allows passengers to view revised flight details, explore alternative flight options, and book accommodation and transport through the app.
Virgin Australia also spent AUD$110 million on upgraded interior cabins of its existing Boeing 737 fleet, adding features such as in-seat power and inflight wifi.