As the largest domestic carrier in the United States,99) Southwest used data attained from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) O&D (Origin and Destination) Survey for the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2019, based on domestic originating passengers to calculate. This data can be accessed via Diio Mi at https://mi.diio.net and the only major U.S. airline that allows every Customer's bags to fly free®,1010) Southwest Airlines is the only major U.S. airline that offers to all ticketed Customers, up to two checked bags that fly free. Size and weight limits apply. you could say that our Ground Operations Employees have their hands full.
Prior to 2019, we used a manual system to track bags. While this system served us well for years, many of our Employees felt the process was tedious, with room for improvement. As the number of Customers (and bags!) we served continued to grow, we saw an opportunity to take a major step forward and evolve our processes.
In November 2018, our Employees began to test digital baggage scanning at three system locations: San Diego (SAN), Seattle/Tacoma (SEA), and Sacramento (SMF). We knew that electronically transmitting bag counts would make our processes more accurate and efficient. Thanks to a concerted effort from our Employees to provide feedback, make adjustments, and operationalize the new process, we finished our rollout of Commodity Tracking in all domestic locations in December 2019—just over a year after we began testing!
We’re thrilled by what we’ve experienced so far. Our Mishandled Baggage Ratio (MBR)—which tracks the number of bags that don’t make it, or are damaged en route to their final destination—has dropped consistently as we’ve rolled out the new system.
Digital scanning means less manual paperwork for Employees, which improves their day-to-day experience and leaves more time for them to provide Legendary Customer Service. Less paper also means less waste! In the event that bags don’t arrive as expected, Commodity Tracking allows for advanced system-wide reporting—which helps Employees locate delayed or missing bags quickly for our Customers. And, most importantly, fewer lost bags means happier Customers!
In early 2020, we expect to integrate Commodity Tracking into our Southwest Cargo Suite so that we can scan and electronically submit data on all commodities (not just baggage). Additionally, the Commodity Tracking system is expected to extend to all international locations.
So far, Commodity Tracking has been a hit with Employees and Customers alike. But it’s only the most recent in a long list of innovations for our Company, as we strive to maintain our high level of operational performance for our Customers (and their baggage).