World Tracer is a SITA / IATA service provided for the tracking of lost or delayed baggage. It has been in operation for many years and used by many airlines, such as Qantas, Lufthansa and Emirates. The system also allows for the rapid determination of mishandled baggage.
It operates globally and can exchange information with each of the current 2200+ member airports. Luggage can be followed for up to 100 days. For even better results working with the World Tracer baggage tracing systems from other manufacturers. The interface with the Internet also allows the passenger automatic monitoring of the identification process by entering the transaction number.
Whenever a baggage is found without an owner, presumably because it has been loaded on board a different flight than the passenger it belongs to, it can be registered as an on-hand baggage. It is then matched automatically matched with different missing-baggage files (called AHL's) all over the world. Whenever an on-hand gets a likely match, the station whom has registered the missing-baggage gets an alert. The fields that are being matched are the baggage's routing, tag number, passengers surname, what kind of baggage it is, and content. When a handling agent finds an on-hand that matches one of their AHL's he/she can request the on-hand, which sends a message to whichever station registered the on-hand baggage, telling them to send it to the requesting station.
The format of the tracking number is AAABBNNNNN, where AAA is the Airport code, BB is the airline code, and NNNNN is a 5 digit tracking number. For example SINEK19666.