I used to think it was a bit neurotic to have such tight control of my luggage that I had to know where it was every minute. I mean, many times when we traveled, the suitcases didn’t even go on the same flights. And with several connector flights, who knew where the luggage might be?
All that I knew or expected was that when we arrived at our destination, at some point in time, the baggage would come circling round the carousel. It could take an hour or two depending on the time it took the workers to offload the plane, but in the end, everyone waited, some more patient than others, and lo and behold, I we would see the parade of suitcases start.
Now, I am sure you have guessed where this story is going. One year, we went to Mexico, and I have no idea what happened, but we waited for hours for my luggage to arrive and it never did. We had taken off from Toronto, and I think the two suitcases never made it onto the plane. I reported them missing, but it was another two days before they eventually arrived.
I was thankful, on one hand that the bags had arrived, albeit late, but I was angry on the other hand that I had to wait so long. After that, I decided to find a better way than the airlines to know where my luggage was. I invested in a luggage tracking device.
I have to be honest, before I thought about the technology, I had no clue what it was. It didn’t seem logical to me that you could track your own baggage. We all know that the airlines use bar codes and scan the tags to find the baggage, but if they don’t know what happened and it is their system, how could anything else possibly work? All you have to do is read the travel forums and you know that plenty of people have had vacations and business meetings ruined from lost suitcases.
So, I set about reading and getting myself up to speed.
- First of all, I found out that there were GPS and Bluetooth models, but GPS wasn’t that great when you were out of range. Newer models were called Mobile or GMS.
- Second, I realized that to know anything, you needed a command center or somewhere that displayed the findings. In most instances, this was a cell phone. But who carries their phone on vacation? Other travelers certainly may need their phones, but I didn’t want to be burdened down.
- Third, some fancier versions of suitcases even offered built in wi-fi, USB chargers, and remote locking. These sounded like the perfect solution until airports starting restricting and banning their use. Apparently the exact problem is the lithium batteries.
- Fourth, you have to pay for service on some programs.
It does seem like there are some major disadvantages to using some sort of baggage tracer. Conversely, there are millions of people around the world employing a luggage tracking device right now.
They are very handy and if you choose to buy one, be sure to check with the airports where you are traveling and make sure you understand what you are getting.