The July issue of Traveler magazine reports that about 10 million pieces of luggage are lost around the world every year, most of them sent to a wrong airport. Experienced travelers put nametags on their baggage, but tags aren't always reliable. However, a new intelligent luggage ID offers a more effective way of tracing lost luggage, by keeping track of the owner's itinerary, either printed on the tag or saved on a professional website.
On magellans.com, there is a luggage tag called "Retriever Luggage Tag." Actually, it's similar to ordinary tags, just a little bigger. And it includes a note that says "Here is my itinerary, please remove and examine if luggage is misplaced" in eight languages. Travelers can put their detailed itineraries - including destination, hotel information and flight details - on this tag before a trip. If airport staff find it, he or she can contact the owner and send the luggage back.
Another tag named "Global Bag Tag" uses a similar principle. It saves travelers' information on a website (www.globalbagtag.com) with a seven-digit number. The information can only be accessed by website staff and co-operating hotels, airlines and airports, so the travelers' information – and their luggage – are well-protected.
Global Bag Tag is a stainless steel tag that is easy to use. Customers get their seven-digit number when they buy a tag at www.globalbagtag.com. They will then be a member of the website and can use their number to log in. Before each trip, they can update their important personal information and trip itinerary. If luggage is lost, they can inform the website and track it, the website will help them find the pack by searching the number. Anyone who picks up the luggage can also report to the website and leave their contact information. The website will put owner and finder in touch. The company now has a world-wide cooperation with many airlines. As for misrouted luggage, airline staff can use the number to search for the owner.
However, people making connections in certain airport don't need to worry about their bags at all. Airports in Lisbon, Hong Kong, and Milan have adopted the RFID Luggage Tracking System. All bags transferred under this system get an ID that decreases mistakes and enhances efficiency in luggage transfers.
Retrieving lost luggage is a lot of trouble, no matter how quick the process. Here are some reminders to help save you time and trouble:
1. Don't pack valuables, credit cards or ID in checked luggage.
2. Put daily necessities in carry-on luggage. For example, a change of clothes, a coat, shampoo, etc.
3. Use a unique decoration to distinguish your luggage from others.
4. Clean luggage tags after a trip.