Wall Street Journal Gets RFID Right—For Once

The venerable newspaper has written a positive story about how RFID is being used to reduce the number of passenger bags lost by airlines each year.
Published: October 9, 2009

The Wall Street Journal has published a number of negative articles about RFID in the past (see Let Misperceptions of RFID Become Reality), so it was great to see an accurate and largely positive story about the technology being utilized to reduce lost airline luggage (see Airline Industry Gets Smarter With Bags).

The article notes that an estimated 33 million bags are misdirected or lost each year, at a cost of approximately $100 per bag. That’s $3.3 billion in costs to an industry that’s already reeling from higher fuel costs and reduced traffic due to the current recession.

The article discusses the successful use of RFID at airports in Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Las Vegas. It’s clear that the technology can put a big dent in the lost-baggage problem, and we have two presentations about this very issue scheduled for RFID Journal LIVE! Europe, taking place on Oct. 19-21 in Frankfurt, Germany.

At the event, Marc Lindike, VP of IT consulting for Munich International Airport, will explain how the airport deployed an RFID-enabled system leveraging GPS and Wi-Fi technologies to improve its ability to track baggage dollies, cargo dollies and rental dollies.

Sithamparanathan Sabesan, a researcher at Cambridge University’s Centre for Photonic Systems, will discuss the Intelligent Airport project, a three-year research effort into how RFID can manage a wide range of fixed and mobile equipment. Uses for RFID in large airports and other facilities include information and entertainment services, security cameras, biometric sensors, and explosive and chemical detectors, as well as logistical support for retailers, facility services and operations.

Now, if the Globe and Mail would just write a positive article about RFID (see Globe and Mail Fraud and The Globe and Mail—Misinforming Readers Once Again), we’d know the tide has turned and people are recognizing the technology’s many benefits.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark’s opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or click here.