A year-long global campaign aims to cut the number of bags mishandled by airlines in addition to increasing efficiency in baggage operations.

Iata has teamed up with Airlines for America for the initiative.

It comes a year ahead of airlines committing to being able to track a bag when it is accepted at the airport, loaded onto the aircraft, transferred to the arrival system or put into the transfer system for carriage by another carrier.

Airlines should also be able to share the tracking information with interline carriers as needed.

The baggage tracking campaign will help airlines prepare for the June 2018 deadline for the implementation of a resolution designed to cut the number of lost bags with a series of initiatives tailored to various stakeholders.

These include regional workshops and an awareness campaign for travellers.

More than four billion bags are carried by airlines globally a year, with les than 0.43% going astray, according to Iata.

The airline trade body’s global head of baggage Andrew Price said: “Arriving without a bag is a very frustrating experience for our customers.

“Over the last decade we have reduced mishandled baggage by 54% with improved processes.

“The next step is to realise the full benefits of baggage tracking to further improve performance.

“In the rare cases when a bag does not arrive with the passenger there will be much more information available to facilitate a quicker reunion.

“And the benefits don’t stop there. Tracking bags will enable proactive reporting, speed up aircraft readiness for departure, facilitate the automation of baggage processes and also reduce fraud.”

Airlines for America passenger services managing director Patty Edwards added: “Implementation of baggage tracking is a collaborative effort between airlines and airports to improve the passenger experience.

“Airlines and airports are working together to ensure the infrastructure is available to provide this enhanced service to our customers.”