February 27, 2024

A hero has surfaced from the turmoil of post-pandemic travel.

This hero, who goes by secret and is unassuming, has travelled the world for the majority of the past year, intervening when airlines make mistakes in order to rescue people’s priceless holidays.

That name? It passes past a few, though. You might recognize it as Tile, Chipolo, Pebblebee, or perhaps its most well-known version, AirTag. That’s right, the underappreciated baggage tracker is the newest and most useful travel item. It’s small, lightweight, and capable of saving your dream vacation from the ravages of misplaced luggage.

We have witnessed it month after month since 2022 travel havoc was caused by airports and airlines laying off employees. Due to a  Luggage storage Coupon handlers and an increase in travelers, luggage were not being loaded into aircraft quickly enough, and thousands of unsecured bags were accumulating in airports, many of which were lost.

According to statistics from SITA, a company that provides the airline sector with a range of IT solutions, including baggage tracking, the rate of bag mishandling increased by 74.7% in 2022 over the previous year. 7.6 bags lost out of every 1,000 that were flown last year, down from 4.35 bags per 1,000 in 2021 and 5.6 bags per 1,000 in 2019.

Due to the possibility of their being moved (connections account for nearly half of the instances), bags on international flights are eight times more likely to be handled incorrectly than those on domestic flights. But even with a complicated schedule, there’s always a chance the airline may mishandle your bag—17% of mishandled luggage in 2022 were just never carried aboard the aircraft.

In a study this year for SITA, Thomas Romig, vice president for safety, security, and operations at Airports Council International (ACI), stated that “the sudden surge in travel has led to increased disruptions that are compounded by a shortage of skilled staff.”

Furthermore, the UK-based consumer publication Which?’s editor, Rory Boland, believes that 2023 may be much worse.

“Lost baggage is still a major issue this year, and things are probably going to become worse during the busiest travel season this summer. Not only are there occasional lost bags, but flights are sometimes setting off without any luggage because staffing shortages made it impossible to load them in time, the man cautions.

You have probably never misplaced a bag if it doesn’t seem like the worst thing that could happen while on vacation. Forever scarred if you lose a bag, that’s the opinion of tech journalist Kate Bevan, who has misplaced bags twice.

If fortune favors you, you may receive a call or an email informing you that the lost bag has been found. If not, you’ll have to wait forever and never know what transpired.

However, as more and more people are discovering, you can notify the airline where it is if you place a tracking device inside of it.

Furthermore, even if knowing where it is doesn’t ensure you’ll get it back, your chances are increased.

According to Boland, “tracking devices are crucial because they not only make it easier for the airline to locate your luggage but also give you piece of mind that you will eventually get your stuff back.”

A PowerPoint demonstration to get his luggage back

In January, Jai Rawat’s suitcase vanished while he was returning home to San Francisco from London Heathrow. His airline, Virgin Atlantic, sent him an email two days later informing him that the suitcase had been found and would be sent back to him “soon.”

Nevertheless, his AirTag was still visible at Heathrow nine days after his departure.

To no avail, Zinrelo’s CEO, Rawat, submitted images showing the company’s location. Zinrelo powers loyalty programs for businesses. Despite his showing them exactly where the luggage was, Virgin claimed that staff members were “trying to locate the bag.”

After 34 days, he became desperate and made a PowerPoint presentation titled “Helpful hints to find my suitcase.”

In addition to maps, satellite images, pictures from Google Streetview, and an annotated map of Heathrow Terminal 4, which indicated the precise building he believed the bag to be in, the six-page paper provided a thorough description of the bag.

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