Losing a bag while traveling is a tremendous pain. You have to deal with the airline’s customer service, spend money replacing essentials, and wait for reimbursements — all of which means spending way more time worrying about your gear than enjoying a restful or adventurous getaway.
1. The routing label gets damaged or lost.
2. You forget to pick up your bag (seriously).
3. At check in, the wrong airport code gets entered, creating an incorrect destination for your bag.
4. Your bag gets loaded onto a wrong plane through plain old human error.
These reasons add up to over $4 billion in lost revenue for airlines globally, and untold headaches for you, the weary traveler.
To try to remedy the problem of lost bags, Rimowa and Airbus worked together — blending technology and innovation into a single luggage item. The result is Rimowa’s new line of Electronic Tag Luggage, bags with built-in electronic baggage tags built in. The tag interfaces with an app on your smartphone that links up directly with the airline and your reservation, all in real time.
Basically, you pack your bag at home. Log onto the app to check in the bag. The bags are self-weighing. Right then and there the app will tell you if you’re over weight limits, so you can repack or pay an extra fee. Once you’ve checked in your bag, you go to the airport and drop the bag at a fully automated desk — that is, no waiting on line for bag drop anymore either. If your flight changes at any time, the airline’s apps will automatically update your luggage tag and your app so your bag gets to you.
This all my sound a little futuristic and sci-fi, but it’s already been implemented by Lufthansa. Eva Air, United, Thomas Cook, and Condor are testing the new electronic luggage tags right now. It’s also important to remember that this doesn’t remove the second and fourth most common reason your bag is lost — human error — though the app will go so far as to alert you if you haven’t picked up your bag.