Baggage tracking on mobile devices comes one step closer to reality
Thursday 08 September 2011
Travelers concerned about losing their luggage will soon be able to check on its whereabouts using multiple devices.
Travel IT firm Amadeus announced this week that it was working with airline technology company SITA to allow passengers to track their baggage, no matter where it is in the world, using tools that could range from mobile devices to social media sites.
The partnership, aimed at reducing the 29 million bags which were delayed around the world in 2010, uses sophisticated tagging to keep track of a bag's whereabouts from the moment it is checked in to when it appears on the conveyor belt at arrivals.
Although much of the technology is already in place, the new scheme will launch in 54 airports worldwide and will integrate the work of Amadeus and SITA to allow passengers to request information on their bags in 'real-time'.
It's one of a series of developments aimed at streamlining the baggage process for passengers, often cited as one of the most frustrating areas of the travel experience.
In recent years, airlines including KLM and Qantas have adopted a self baggage-drop scheme, encouraging flyers to tag and drop their baggage themselves and in some places reducing bag drop time to 30 seconds.
Qantas now issues 'Q Bag Tags' for its frequent flyers which synchronize details on a passenger boarding pass or Qantas card with baggage, meaning no paper attachments are required.
At the other end, there is a growing trend for airports to streamline the collection experience, with Bermuda's LF Wade International becoming one of the first in the world to introduce a computer to deal with lost luggage enquiries, instead of a member of staff.
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