Last updated: 06:00 PM ET, Wed August 31 2016

This Technology May Just End The Horror That Is Lost Luggage

Airlines & Airports | Delta Air Lines | Gabe Zaldivar | August 31, 2016

This Technology May Just End The Horror That Is Lost Luggage

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Delta is sticking out its figurative chest, stretching out its suspenders as it puffs out cigar smoke that bellows out in tandem with its promise of a brand new day. The airline, hopefully, has a solution for lost luggage.

Scott Mayerowitz, via NBC Philadelphia, reports on the latest chapter for Delta as it turns to radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology for its trove of luggage currently meandering across various airports.

The report illustrates how RFID technology works and how it actually might reduce not only the amount of luggage that gets delayed or lost along flights but also the time and energy it takes workers to get your bag on a plane.

Essentially, what’s good for the bag in getting to its destination in a timely manner is also good for the flight in departing from its respective gate.

Mayerowitz explains the innovation like this. Current tags mean workers must hand scan each bag, which leads to myriad things that can go wrong due to human error.

With an RFID chip embedded in the tag that is latched to your luggage the process gets automated.

That random bag that is on its incorrect destination is flagged and redirected my scanners and computers far more exacting than the human staff member.

Mayerowitz likens the entire technology to something you may be used to seeing on a daily basis: “To better understand the technology, think about your local supermarket. If every grocery item had an RFID tag, cashiers wouldn't have to scan each product at checkout. Instead, the groceries would pass by a scanner and be instantly registered. Shoppers could even leave everything in their cart, having it all tallied at once.”

This sounds like something that would stave off what might possibly be the most annoying thing about travel: lost luggage.

The report is careful to point out that the technology isn’t exactly fool proof. There will still be accidents. However, an already great system in place by Delta – failing to transport just one in 500 bags on time – will get even better to the tune of 10 percent, according to NBC Philadelphia. This reportedly amounts to 25,000 more saved bags.

And the technology, long thought to be cost prohibitive, is far cheaper these days.

READ MORE: How American Airlines is Reinventing Itself

The report certainly colors Delta as something of a test case for the rest of the industry that is on a wait-and-see status when it comes to switching from the classic model of tags to innovative ones that would technologically streamline the process.  

It’s remarkable to consider how dramatic an effect this simple switch would be for the travel process. Even waiting for your bag at the carousel would be eliminated as a notification would be possibly be sent to you to alert you that your bag was late.

Instantly the anxiety of not exactly knowing if your bag will turn up is eliminated. So, join with us in crossing our fingers that the initial phase of Delta’s RFID goes smoothly.

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