Emirates has announced that the Winter 2023-2024 season was its busiest such period for baggage handling since the pandemic, as well as its most successful. The Dubai-based carrier has just published its Winter period statistics from September 2023 to January 2024, showing that it handled an average of 2.7 million bags each month at its Dubai International Airport (DXB) mega-hub.
In doing so, the company claims to have maintained a remarkable 99.9% success rate in delivering passenger bags to 140 destinations served by the airline worldwide. This figure represents baggage either originating in Dubai or transferring through the airport that reaches its owner on time and at the correct destination.
On an average Emirates journey, a customer’s luggage undertakes its own journey. From the passenger placing it on a porter’s trolley, via a check-in agent and baggage belt, checked luggage arrives at what is known as the ‘Emirates Boss Room’ at Dubai. Here, it is scanned with high-tech security and is then loaded into baggage containers which are placed onto moveable dollies bound for Emirates aircraft. The baggage then flies to its new destination where it is dealt with by handlers before being reunited with its owner.
Emirates advises that on the rare occasion that baggage is delayed, an array of varying scenarios may have occurred. Sometimes baggage tags containing essential information are accidentally torn off, or a bag could fall off the underground baggage belt as it travels round a corner at a fast pace. However, if the latter occurs, the event is always captured on CCTV and can be rectified immediately.
Additionally, a transfer flight may be unavoidably delayed due to weather or a sick passenger, making it impossible to remove and reload the bag onto the passenger’s transfer flight in time. In this case, the customer’s baggage is immediately loaded onto the next available flight.
This process is managed automatically by a combination of multiple complex systems, these being the Dubai Airport baggage handling system, a baggage reconciliation system operated by dnata (Emirates’ handling agent in Dubai), and Emirates Bag Connect – an Emirates product that offers a comprehensive view of the baggage journey with timely baggage status tracking, available via the Emirates app and website.
Overall, Emirates’ rate of baggage mishandling (defined as delayed, lost or misplaced baggage) is reckoned to be just 1.3 units per 1000 at the airline’s Dubai hub. The airline also reports that, of the bags that are unavoidably delayed for various reasons, 91% are reunited with their owners within 72 hours, wherever in the world they might be.