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Delta Now Lets You Track Your Baggage In Real-Time (thenextweb.com) 74

Let's face it, tracking down a lost bag at the airport is a pain-in-the-ass. While airlines will often compensate you with money and new clothes for your troubles, the experience is certainly not pleasant. Delta is now attempting to further reduce the number of lost bags through its real-time luggage tracker in the latest version of its mobile app. The Next Web reports: The feature apparently cost $50 million to build. It allows you to see where your stuff is -- provided that it's at one of the 84 airports that support Delta's new tracking tech. Here's how it works. All bags will get a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag. This allows Delta to track them in real-time using radio waves. Scanners positioned throughout the baggage system will allow Delta to monitor where the bag is, and relay that information to the passenger. Delta has traditionally been one of the best airlines when it comes to handling baggage. During 2012, it lost only 200,000 bags. That sounds like a lot, but bear in mind it carried 98 million passengers during the same period. You can try the feature on your next Delta flight by grabbing the app from Google Play and the App Store.
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Delta Now Lets You Track Your Baggage In Real-Time

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  • Your plane is headed to a vacation dreamland, your rfid tagged bags are headed to Minsk.YAY!

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @10:12PM (#53158925)

    Delta's new luggage ticking system is made possible by Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Said one customer - "I love the Surface Pro 4 from Microsoft. Every second counts and having Microsoft Surface technology in airports allows passengers and airline staff to analyze the location of luggage in almost real time."

    • Delta's new luggage ticking system is made possible by Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Said one customer - "I love the Surface Pro 4 from Microsoft. Every second counts and having Microsoft Surface technology in airports allows passengers and airline staff to analyze the location of luggage in almost real time."

      Makes you wonder if this system will last longer than the last major organization who adopted Microsoft tablet tech. I'm sure Belichick has an opinion...

    • One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Windows Mobile community when IDC confirmed that Windows Mobile market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming close on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Windows Mobile has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Windows Mobile is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent S

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @10:33PM (#53158997) Homepage Journal

    Your bag is... sporting someone else's RFID tag.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 26, 2016 @11:12PM (#53159087)

    A man walks up to the baggage counter in an airport with 3 suitcases. he says to the attendant, "I'd like this bag sent to Moscow, this one to London, and this one to Chicago. I myself am travelling to San Francisco."

    "I'm sorry sir, we have to send all your bags to the same destination as you are travelling to. We are unable to do as you request."

    "Why not???", demands the man angrily. "That's what you did last time!"

    • sir do you want talk to the FBI? or do you want your bags to go with you!

      • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @12:28AM (#53159317) Journal

        Actually, I've wondered about this...

        I lost a bag on a JetBlue flight to Oakland because I checked the bag but ended up missing my flight. I caught the next flight and when I arrived in Oakland, my bag was nowhere to be found.

        I thought they instituted a rule that your bags had to be on the same flight as you. The concept being that you couldn't check your bag full of explosives and then wander away from the airport. You had to be dedicated enough to die for your cause...

        Whatever happened to that?

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          Actually, I've wondered about this...

          I lost a bag on a JetBlue flight to Oakland because I checked the bag but ended up missing my flight. I caught the next flight and when I arrived in Oakland, my bag was nowhere to be found.

          I thought they instituted a rule that your bags had to be on the same flight as you. The concept being that you couldn't check your bag full of explosives and then wander away from the airport. You had to be dedicated enough to die for your cause...

          Whatever happened to that?

          Tight turnaround schedules based on tight arse consumers is what happened.

          Also, how do you miss a flight after checking in? The airport calls your name. Whenever you hear an announcement saying "Mr and Mrs Dumfuk please make yourself known to airport staff" it's because 300 people are sitting at the gate waiting for 2 passengers who are too dumb to know how to get on an airplane.

          • Also, how do you miss a flight after checking in?

            TSA security lines are running 2-3 hours in some places....and that's after you check your luggage.

          • Tight connections where your bag makes if but they don't let you board or you can make it to the gate in time

          • Fly Frontier some time. You show up 2 hours early (because that's as early as the check-in counter opens up), wait in line for over an hour and a half, due to complete incompetence or malicious intent. They pretend to check in the last ten people or so, but they've already called ahead to the gate to tell them to start loading the people on standby. The plane leaves 18 minutes early, but it's your fault for missing the flight. Then you have to pay $50 per person to go through the same thing the next day. De
    • I'm wondering if the RFID tags will send some sort of e-postcard. "Greetings from Cincinnati!"
  • This is the next wave of productivity gains. All those little things we spend time and money on add up. Sure, this is a small thing, but it's one less thing we'll be spending time on as the process is improved by tech.
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @12:56AM (#53159387)

    Will you literally be able to track your bag accurately through the airport or will it be generic "stations" like "ticketing, tram loading, tarmac, plane"?

    Either way, I'm curious about what TSA thinks about this. In theory this gives parties with ill intent some kind of idea where bags go and when and could used for nefarious purposes.

    On the up side, if your bag stalls it may be a sign you're being robbed or TSA is detailing the contents (or both!).

    • You're requested to turn off all electronics during takeoff and landing, but you can still use this app while you're in the air. If it were "Station" based like you suggest, then the entire passenger list would be calling Delta to report lost luggage even though their luggage is 4 feet below them! It would be smart for the app to provide the actual plane's location while you are in flight. It would cut down on unnecessary lost luggage complaints.
      • You're requested to turn off all electronics during takeoff and landing,

        Not anymore, not in the US.

        but you can still use this app while you're in the air.

        Does Delta provide WiFi or cellular for data while airborne?

        If it were "Station" based like you suggest, then the entire passenger list would be calling Delta to report lost luggage even though their luggage is 4 feet below them!

        Ummm, if it is "station" based, it would say "onboard", just like they are. And nobody is going to be calling Delta about a lost bag before they arrive.

        It would be smart for the app to provide the actual plane's location while you are in flight.

        Uhhh, what? Why?

    • I've been using it for a while on Delta (they've had it for at least the last few months). It shows "checked in/on plane/off plane/at pickup" level of granularity. Enough to know if there's a problem...
  • by Max_W ( 812974 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @01:15AM (#53159439)
    center and arrive at a city center with my suitcase in the same train car.

    And no need of x-rays, body searches, waiting in lines before security and passport controls, taxi drivers, cosmetics thrown to garbage, etc. Take with you about whatever you want and as much as you want.

    Just make a normal working WiFi in trains. Still in 19th century there was a direct train from Saint Petersburg to Nice via Vienna. Nowadays despite a lot of talking about European Union Association for such countries as Ukraine, it is not possible to go by train from Vienna to Kiev directly. The same as during the Cold War, nothing changed.
    • Just make a normal working WiFi in trains. Still in 19th century there was a direct train from Saint Petersburg to Nice via Vienna. Nowadays despite a lot of talking about European Union Association for such countries as Ukraine, it is not possible to go by train from Vienna to Kiev directly. The same as during the Cold War, nothing changed.

      In the past decade I went by plane between Kiev and Vienna a decent number of times. There are probably a couple of reasons for a lack of a direct train line. One is that Ukrainians need visas to go everywhere in the EU, even next door Poland. Some former members of the Warsaw Pact made it pretty easy for Ukrainians to get visas to visit there, but once Schengen came into force, that all changed. Austria wasn't particularly easy for Ukrainians to get visas for, even before Schengen. The other is that t

    • I would prefer a self driving, private car that is allowed on a special road that allows it to go as fast as it once. I take all of my luggage with me and when I get to my city the car drops to normal road speeds and drives me to my destination. No sharing nasty seats with nasty people. No illness passing. And if I see something along the way that I fancy stopping at, well, I can. On my schedule, at my time.
      • by Max_W ( 812974 )
        Millions of overpowered cars generate a lot pollution which also causes illnesses. Besides the technology is not there yet, - the combinatorial explosion is not a trivial problem.

        And good luck with a self driving car on snowy steppe roads.

  • 07:00 New York
    08:20 Bermuda
    13:15 West France
    15:20 Moscow
    19:35 Australia
    22:40 Antarctica
    23:55 Hellifweknow

  • Had this almost a decade ago.

    • by giuntag ( 833437 )
      Yeah, I was prototyping this in Milano airports as well, around 2006.
      Using RFIDs instead of barcodes on luggage tags makes a lot of sense, as you can store within the chip itself the complete story of its journey, instead of having to store it in airport databases, and later retrieve it wherever the bag is. The dream scenario was to store your hotel address on the bag and have it delivered for you all the way there.
      Also, RFID readers can scan a few hundred chips or more at a time, so it is easy to install t
  • During 2012, it lost only 200,000 bags. That sounds like a lot, but bear in mind it carried 98 million passengers during the same period.

    That sounds like a lot, and it doesn't say much if we don't know how many passengers actually checked their luggage in.

    Based on my travel habits, I would say that I check a luggage about 20% of the time - I travel mainly for business. If we assume that it is a typical pattern, that means that Delta lost 200,000 bags out of 20 million passengers with checked luggage, or 1%. It just doesn't sound like a lot, it actually IS a lot.

    Travel advice: if you check in a luggage, pack some clean underwear in your carry

    • by sethaw ( 598206 )
      About 60% of passengers check a bag if you calculate it out from TSA's numbers

      (TSA screened 708 million passengers) / (TSA screened 432 million checked bags) = 0.61
      source [tsa.gov]

      So if Delta's passengers check bags at a rate similar to the industry average then they lost about 0.3%, or roughly 1 in every 300 bags.
  • It's nice to be able to see if your bag is on the plane.
    But sometimes stuff happens and it wont get on your plane.

    But I can just imagine how some passenger will react when they start push back. And they can see that there bag is not on the plane.

    Nice feature for the passenger. But hell for the crew.

  • by cmseagle ( 1195671 ) on Thursday October 27, 2016 @06:41AM (#53160157)

    I took a trip 6 months ago and was able to use the Delta app to see updates on my bag status. It wasn't super granular - "bag checked in", "bag on plane ###", "bag on carousel" - but it was enough for me to know whether or not my bag was going to make my connection.

    The big improvement here is that they're using RFID instead of relying on the baggage handler to scan the bar code.

  • I've been doing it for years with cheap gadgets from AliExpress. You can even listen to what is said around the bagage.

  • So that they would know where our bags were instead of making us wait 3 full days in Japan without them.
  • I wonder how many people will forget to remove it after their flights? Not that there's anything wrong with having a passive tracker on your luggage.

  • During 2012, it lost only 200,000 bags. That sounds like a lot, but bear in mind it carried 98 million passengers during the same period.

    How many passengers did it lose during that period?

  • So, I wonder how long it will take before Delta is actively blocking competing technologies (Tile, etc.).

    All it would take is a decent lobbying force to convince ignorant lawmakers that someone else's RFID solution is "interfering" with their ability to rip off the customer for a service they should be providing in the first place to mitigate the losses their current tracking systems cause every day.

  • "You can try the feature on your next Delta flight by grabbing the app from Google Play and the App Store."

    However, the technology will not yet support tracking your baggage while it's in the plane, even when the plane is delayed and sitting on the tarmac for 2-6 hours, with you and your luggage trapped inside. Delta plans to roll this out as a premium feature later next year.

  • What a waste of time.

    DL has had this for YEARS. Just because you as a consumer didn't see it, didn't meant that it wasn't in the backend. Even today, there is tons of information that you as the customer cannot see. Back in 2013? They added baggage tracking to the app, but it didn't show it on a PRETTY PICTURE!!"

    You won't be able to see when they store it in cold storage. You won't see which sort belt it went thru. You won't see what TSA belt it rode on. You won't see when it gets reticketed because y

  • Now I'll know from the tarmac the exact moment my luggage hits the river!

  • Will this generate more anxiety than the current process involving Schrödinger's luggage carousel? It least this way I can ignore the state of my luggage until the moment I'm suppose to get it, and not fret about it during the entire flight -- should I actually notice something going wrong.

  • by tbq ( 874261 )
    But if it doesn't help catch the person/people stealing things out of my bags it really isn't that useful.
  • Now they will KNOW when to detonate their next shoe bomb!

There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about. -- John von Neumann

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