Has it ever happened to you? The flight was great; smooth air, fabulous service and a perfect landing. And then, at the baggage carousel… You watch as they go round-and-round. Like a sick game of musical chairs, everyone grabs a bag but you. Sorry, tiger – your bag didn’t make it. In fact, it’s on a similar carousel doing the Hokey-Pokey all by its lonesome in Schenectady.
A couple of companies have solutions that will increase bag sorting reliability and do away with the annoying paper barcode tags (which will save millions of dollars). The new tech should make passengers much happier at the baggage claim.
The Airbus Emerging Technologies team thinks it’s found a way to reduce the 26 million lost/misplaced passenger bags each year. Airbus is testing their new concept, a smart suitcase called “Bag2Go.” The luggage contains a built-in sim card that allows a passenger the pre-check the bag then track it using a smartphone.
Airbus hopes the technology will significantly reduce the number of lost bags which cost air carriers about $100 each to recover – thats over $2 Billion per year in lost revenue.
Vanguard ID Systems is taking a slightly different strategy to solve the same problem. They plan to sell a $30 permanent, programmable bag tag that uses RFID and ePaper technology. Airlines will route and track the bag with scanners that read the customer data on the tag. Location data is also sent to the customer’s smartphone.
Both of these systems are being tested at airports and should be ready for use in the next year or so. I like the idea of Vanguard’s RFID luggage tag. It can be used on any piece of luggage you already own with a relatively small initial cost. The Airbus system has the tech integrated into the bag.