We’ve all been there at one time or another: Arriving at your holiday destination, euphoria turns to aggravation upon the discovery your bags are missing in action. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), about 1 percent of luggage worldwide was mishandled last year, costing an estimated $2.6 billion. Fortunately, a number of apps have arrived on the scene to help alleviate the situation. The question is; just how useful are they?
Apple’s solution is iBeacon, which can be placed in your suitcase for short-range tracking. However, maximum range is only 20m and can be hampered if it is packed too deeply in your luggage. itunes.apple.com/us/app/travel-radar-luggage-tracking
An option with greater range capability is the Trace Me Luggage Tracker. Airline baggage services staff worldwide can enter the unique serial identification number into the airline's SITA WorldTracer unclaimed baggage record. Once found, the owner will be notified by sms and email that the luggage is being held at a specific airline and location. The owner can then contact the airline for appropriate action. www.tracemeluggagetracker.com
SuperSmartTag features a code that reports your bag online. Once the bag code is submitted, an e-mail or phone call will be received to notify that your luggage has been found. Enter your itinerary on the SuperSmartTag site and airport staff will be able to view your travel plans and forward your luggage to your next destination. www.supersmarttag.com.
Delta passengers can download Fly Delta, a free smartphone app that enables passengers to track their bags, even while in flight. Upon entering the bag receipt number the number on your bag receipt or scanning with the barcode with your phone passengers can follow luggage from departure to arrival. The app is available for iPhone, Windows Phone, Android and BlackBerry. Download at www.delta.com.