Lost luggage is a primary concern for travellers and one that airlines are keen to address. In the first half of 2014 there were over 1.6 million cases of lost luggage in the US, according to the US Department of Transportation. According to an article by Andrew Price, Head of Airport Operations at IATA, the estimated cost of all baggage operations is around $29 billion a year. Little wonder then that anything that helps with making luggage handling more efficient has to be a good thing and the airline industry is moving towards new electronic solutions that address these concerns.
Individual travellers can already track their own luggage using consumer tracking tags like LugLoc. These palm-sized gadgets use cellphone technology to recognise location and report back to the company. Meanwhile, the traveller uses a smartphone app to establish where the bag is. These devices recognise when they are on board an airplane and automatically switch to airplane mode, and are also approved by aviation and security authorities.
If you’ve ever experienced the loss of your luggage, temporary or otherwise, you will recall how incredibly frustrating the situation can be. You know very well the feeling of dread that begins to creep into your gut as the crowd around the carousel thins and vacates the area. You know the displeasure of waiting in a line of other luggage-less travelers to speak to the airline’s customer service reps and you definitely know the inconvenience (if you’re still traveling) of making do without your razor, your pajamas, your blowdryer, etc.