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Background and Implementation Status
In 2010, ATPCO, IATA, and the travel industry came together to develop an industry-standard solution to help airlines communicate their baggage rules to passengers at the time of pricing, reservations, and check-in. IATA had recently established regulations to outline how baggage rules should be applied on interline itineraries, including codeshare and alliance carrier travel. These new rules, known as Resolution 302, required each airline to establish its own baggage rates and make this information available to customers at all touch points.
ATPCO was designated by IATA and tasked by the industry to develop and deploy a comprehensive solution to support the industry requirement for collecting and distributing all airline baggage policies. As such, we enhanced our existing Optional Services solution to include Baggage Allowance and Charges, a comprehensive global repository of carriers’ baggage rules. Through the second half of 2010 and into 2011, ATPCO collected and processed baggage policies into Baggage Allowance and Charges from more than 250 airlines worldwide.
In January 2011, ATPCO began distributing this data to global distribution systems and pricing engines through hourly subscriptions. The data was also made available through Excel downloads and various views in ATPCO’s GFS product.
In March 2011, ATPCO launched two new distribution solutions—Baggage Calculator Integrated and Baggage Calculator Online—that would help airlines identify a specific passenger’s applicable baggage allowance and charges at the time of pricing, reservations, and check-in. Baggage Calculator Integrated was made available in March 2011, and it is an XML-based Web service to which an airline can link from its own pricing, reservations, or departure control system. The Baggage Calculator Online is a Web-based application that can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer, and it was released in April 2011.
In January 2012, ATPCO added several new features to Baggage Allowance and Charges, including functionality to support embargoes and pre-paid baggage. These enhancements were aligned with the US Department of Transportation’s disclosure requirements regarding baggage, which went into effect for all online flights to, from, and within the United States on 24 January. We also added functionality, including the capability to file carry-on baggage, to Baggage Allowance and Charges in June 2012, meeting both customer requests and new US DOT requirements. These were available on 24 June, one month before the US DOT began enforcement of its baggage disclosure requirements for interline and codeshare flights to, from, and within the United States.
Carrier Implementation Status
More than 370 carriers have submitted their baggage policies to the Baggage Allowance and Charges database so far. These airlines’ policies are currently available in the Baggage Allowance and Charges database.