As many of you gear up for holiday travel, you may have the lingering concern of losing your luggage. Most airlines will credit you a couple of hundred dollars for a lost and unrecoverable bag, but this rarely covers the actual cost of the contents. You can also buy insurance but that doesn’t help when you are standing around the carousel waiting to start your vacation and your luggage never shows up.
Do bags really get lost?
SITA’s baggage report 2015 provides some interesting industry information. Passenger numbers rose 5.5% from 2013 to 2014. The Passengers Without Bags (PaWoB) statistic rose to 7.3 bags per thousand passengers (previous year was 6.96).
The statistic is more worrisome than some realize.
The low-tech solution
There are many high-tech solutions (think GPS trackers) but these are techniques you have to perform to locate your bag. A less high tech but very effective product is Trace Me.
Trace Me is a plastified card with a unique identifying bar code. You register this code online. When an airport staff scan it (or law enforcement, baggage handlers, etc.), you are notified via text message letting you know where it was scanned . It also tells the scanning agent whom the bag belongs to. Then the airline performs its delivery magic to reunite you with your “stuff”.
Who is SITA and How does this work?
SITA is a Geneva-based airline technology provider. Trace Me uses their WorldTracer global bag-tracing and matching system.
WorldTracer was developed by SITA in co-operation with IATA and is a global lost and found system for luggage. WorldTracer is used at 2,800 airports worldwide so Trace Me will work in most airports worldwide.
WorldTracer stores your tracking information in their database and is a member of the Worldtracer system. As soon as any WorldTracer user scans the unique bar code, they are presented with your information and Trace Me knows your luggage was scanned (when, where and by which entity).
Where can I buy it
If you search the web, there are a handful of online retailers that sell it. The most popular one seems to be TravelSmiths at a cost of $19.