Frequently Asked Questions

What is the BagJourney API?

It is an RESTful Application Programming Interface (API) that airline’s, agents, ground handling services and other travel organisations can use to simply retrieve the current status of a bag during its journey from check in to arrival at the destination airport.

The API also enables you to list the bag tags that are on a requested flight and their real-time status using the flight number and departure airport. In addition, you can list any delayed bags for that flight and also the flight that the delayed bags will actually arrive on.

Does the BagJourney API need to integrate with airline DCS or RES systems?

No. For a customer to get the status of their own bags, the airline’s customer self service application just needs to make a single call to the API and pass the bag tag number or the PNR. To retrieve a list of bags or delayed bags for a specific flight, the ground handling operations platform makes a call to the API to retrieve a list of bag tags.

The current status of the baggage is retrieved by the BagJourney API from SITA’s BagJourney system which processes and analyses Baggage Information Messages (BIMS) from the SITA BagMessage message distribution system.

What is BagMessage and BagJourney?

BagMessage is SITA’s fully managed, secure baggage message distribution service that collects Baggage Information Messages (BIMs) from multiple baggage systems at multiple terminals and airports and also routes messages between these points. The system provides centralised management of airport messaging to provide airlines and other ground handling services easier and quicker access to baggage information, thus enabling them to improve security, reduce fraud, identify baggage handling difficulties and enhance customer experiences.

BagJourney processes the messages from BagMessage, applying business intelligence rules to the information to make it relevant and accessible for all types of baggage handling queries.

What if the airports I use are not serviced by SITA’s BagMessage or BagMessage is not fully implemented yet?

There are work-around ways to access bag messages. Please contact Peter Drummond, API Product Manager, to discuss which solution is right for your situation.

Can I get information on baggage claim locations with the bag status?

We are currently working on obtaining this specific information and will notify you when we have added this feature.

Will my passengers be alarmed if I inform them of a mishandled bag?

No. Passengers appreciate being informed early about issues with their baggage so they can adjust their plans. A recent SITA research study shows that respondents overwhelming want more mobile self-service features including access to baggage status.

“Managing baggage is one stage of the journey where Beijing passengers are particularly keen to adopt self-service … Some 94% want real-time baggage information sent to their mobiles and in the unfortunate event of a bag going missing, 92% want to report it using their mobiles.” Read Study

Will providing passengers with information cause issues for my cabin and gate agents?

No. Mobile is an excellent self-service use case. Messaging within apps (web, mobile, email, etc.) will solve or provide the passenger with a resolution, eliminating the need of assistance from human agents.

As part of the Market Trials, SITA will be conducting passenger surveys and focus groups to help ensure messages are clearly understood with a positive affect on the passenger experience. The objective of the BagTrac API is to reduce the need for human agent interaction and to lower airline operational costs while improving your service level.

What if some routes do not have bag messages available to track?

The service will not be universal at first. The BagJourney API will indicate which routes are supported.

What messages are generated during the journey of baggage from check-in to arrival?

Baggage Information Messages (BIMs) can be split into two types:

  • Notification / Information Messages (BSMs, BUMs)
    • Baggage Sources Message (BSMs) – generated at check in: flights, destination, passenger, inbound, onward and load authorization
    • Baggage Unload Message (BUM) – used to offload, (sent by DCS)
  • Status / Tracking (BPMs, BMMs)
    • Baggage Processed Message (BPMs) – generated as bags pass through the process, bag last seen @ location ‘x’, loaded to container ‘AKE12345AB’, etc
    • Baggage Manifest Message (BMM) - contain details of all bags on a flight.

What baggage event/status messages can I retrieve using the API?

SITA Lab is still working out the final list of status messages as part of our market trial. Regardless of the final list, events will support common methods for you to tailor and language localise wording to display in your apps.

Currently, BagJourney processes and analyses the above message types and delivers the current status of the bag or list of bags depending on its success or failure to get through the following check points:

  • Checked In
  • Scanned (sortation)
  • Screened (security)
  • Loaded (container, aircraft)
  • Off-Loaded (container, aircraft)
  • Re-Routed
  • Arrived (Baggage Claim)
  • Delayed

Is there language localisation support?

Yes and no. The API will return output that can be transformed within your app client to meet your needs. SITA will provide reference tables to assist in this activity.

Can the baggage status be delivered to mobile devices?

Yes. There are many ways to incorporate the API depending on your use case. For instance, you can use the baggage events message to deliver a baggage status to agents and passengers via web or mobile based self-service apps. Please see our sample mobile app examples.

In future releases, BagJourney API will also supports push notification to enable events such as delayed baggage alerts to be sent to registered Smartphone’s.

How secure is the API? What is an API key? What does it do?

In order to use any production API, a developer must first register and be approved by our team. Agreement to certain terms and conditions or a traditional contract may also be required. An API key is also issued to authenticate API calls from the subscribers’ self-service app.

API key(s) are used when calling (invoking) the API. The API key is used to authenticate the API call. If the API is invalid, access is denied.

API key(s) are also used for tracking the app API usage for billing, API health monitoring and reporting purposes. Many times developers have multiple API keys to the same API in order to differentiate between apps (for example, one key for iPhone app, a different key for Android or web app, etc.)

How do I access the API?

You can access the API from your favourite development platform. To make it easy, we provide a quick way to query the API and review the responses below.

How easy is it to develop and test apps with the API?

That all depends on you. We have tried to make it as easy as possible. We provide a way for you to test the API and review responses. If you need reference or snippets of code for your project, just ask and we can see what we can do to assist you.

Can I evaluate the API?

Yes. The API provides a comprehensive set of reports, analytics and API health monitoring. You can review these as part of your evaluation.

Does the API provide any reports or statistics?

Yes. The API provides a comprehensive set of reports, analytics and API health monitoring views.

How much does the BagJourney API cost?

Please contact Peter Drummond, API Product Manager, (peter.drummond@sita.aero) for more details on pricing.

Who is using the BagJourney API?

BagJourney is currently being trialled by some of our airlines customers.

Where can I get more information?

Please contact the following for further information. You can also contact:
Viktor Kusy
Product Manager, BagJourney API
Email:viktor.kusy@sita.aero