The end of lost luggage is near! Know with certainty your bags will meet you on the other side. 2 big airlines are testing new technology that will change the industry and your travels, sooner than you think!
On the horizon: New e-bag tag eliminating waiting time, lost luggage and theft
It is a $2 BILLION dollar a year problem for airlines, and a major pain-in-the-you-know what for you: lost luggage. Over 20m bags get lost a year. A year! Wouldn’t it be nice to know, with certainty, that you won’t have to buy fresh undies for that big meeting in Cleveland tomorrow? Finally there’s technology for that that could become an industry standard. Hallelujah!
Air France-KLM is the latest airline, joining British Airways and Airbus, in a new digital luggage tag experiment. The technology being used by Air France-KLM is the brainchild of FastTrack.
Before zipping up your suitcase, throw in the eTrack sensor inside and then attach eTag, an electronic luggage tag, to the handle of your suitcase, just as you would a paper luggage tag. Make sure they are both turned on before dropping off at the airport, in a predetermined spot – essentially eliminating the wait time on line for checking in luggage.
Using an app, you can track your luggage from point A to B. You get an alert if your bag goes to Moscow instead of Miami. The tag also works as an alarm which goes off if it is removed, from say your hotel room, if you set it up that way.
Well, there are all sorts of questions for me with this one. What if your e-tag gets lost or stolen? FastTrack says because the app and tag are registered to the user, both are rendered useless in the hands of any unauthorised user. If your bag gets stolen, it can still be tracked and retrieved using the eTrack inside.
What if the battery dies and how in the world does it relay signal to you at 30,000 feet? GSM technology, which the company charges for, is used to locate the bag. Part of the appeal of this product is the patented algorithm which took 2 years to develop. The software knows when it is on board an airplane and automatically goes to sleep to save on battery power, part of the genius. It also knows to wake up when doors are open again.
And if you don’t have a smartphone? Well then NO E-TAG FOR YOU!
For Early Adopters…
Air France-KLM begins testing the tag later this year for frequent fliers. If that’s you, call the airline to see if you can be a part of the experience. There’s no way to buy this technology yet and FastTrack has yet to divulge pricing details. Knowing the airlines though, expect there to be fees for this service.
I see great potential for tracking all sorts of things with this product. Hide it in your kid’s backpack to ensure he gets to school or find the whereabouts of your spouse – if you’re into that kind of stuff. Lost luggage. Lost husband. Same thing.