Lost luggage? Call Aviation Concept Logistics
Actress Claudine Baretto and her husband would have been spared the embarrassment of having been part of nasty brawl with columnist MonTulfo if she simply reported the loss of her luggage to an airline employee instead of berating another, following a trip from Boracay to Manila last May.
To avoid such headline-grabbing scene, airline companies usually advised passengers who lost their luggage not to take their anger out on the baggage agent.
“Although the person at the counter represents an airline, he or she didn’t personally lose your bag for you,” according to Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and sales.
She said what passengers should do is report the matter to the airlines concerned, and probably, within a few hours, your baggage would find its way to your home. It takes within 24 hours to 15 days for international flights.
Airline personnel usually instruct passengers to fill-out a lost-luggage form, and then to call up a given number. That number would probably belong to a private company, whose tasks, among others, are to locate lost pieces of baggage.
Aviation Concept Logistics (ACL) is one such company, and aside from tracing lost luggage, the company also provides “centralized solutions” to air carriers that requires : flight dispatch, aircraft servicing, staffing, crewing, flight planning, weight and balance, hotels bookings, providing cabin staff, to name a few.
Rabbi Vincent Ang, operations manager, said that ACL uses software to trace lost luggage. Once a baggage is located, it is reported back to the particular air carrier and eventually, the luggage ends up at the owner’s hands.
Mishandled baggage cost the airline industry worldwide an estimated $2.94 billion in 2011, according to the latest available data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Although the airline industry raked in profit estimated at $16 billion, the $2.94 billion eats up part of that profit.
However, passengers should be assured that 99.1 percent of checked baggage was delivered on time to the passenger during 2011, the highest rate of successful delivery since the report was first produced and represents saving of $650 million to the air transport industry, according to SITA (Societe International de Telecommunications Aeronautiques), the IT provider for the air transport industry.
A word of advice; “Don’t leave the airport without making a report.” Ang said.
Finding lost baggage is just one of the tasks ACL does.
Since the advent of LCC’s, most of their activities are now “outsourced” enabling these budget carriers to slash the cost of air tickets.
With the price of fuel soaring to unprecedented heights and along with it, the sky-rocketing of airline tickets, people find LCC’s not only a convenient choice but a financial boon as well.
But how is this arrangement possible, one might ask?
To save on expenses, many airlines have done away with ticketing counters, ground-handling services, food catering, and a host of services that have been taken over by private entities like ACL which also arranges air ambulance to those suddenly stricken by sickness in a foreign land; like dialing an aerial 911.
Anthony Decoste, ACL managing director, oversees the operation of this world-wide network of interconnected banks of computers, running 24/7 on one of the top floors of an imposing building in Makati City.
He said each of his employees is an expert in their chosen field of specialization; some providing computations of load planning for every flight, others about flight plans to and from destinations; or dealing with flight disruptions and how to solve the ensuing problems associated with an aborted flight, such as transferring some passengers to another airline because they are in dire need to reach their destinations due so previous commitments.
“We put a heavy emphasis on technology and equipment to deal with the complexity of our jobs efficiently,” Decoste added.
The company is registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and has connections with many of the big names in the insurance business, which forms an integral part of their operations.