Have you ever had a tight connection where you had to run across the airport and just barely made it to the gate before the door was closed? While catching your breath in your seat, you may wonder “Did my bag make it on the flight?”
Find Where Your Bag is at All Times
It can be a stressful feeling not knowing if you’ll be reunited with your bag when you see all the other bags revolving around the baggage carousel. Put your mind at ease by using these methods to track your luggage from the plane.
Online Baggage Tracking
The “Big 3” U.S. legacy airlines provide online baggage tracking by simply entering your bag tag number online or through the airline’s mobile app. If you get a chance to check before your plane leaves the gate, log in to your airline’s website and see if your bag was scanned onto the same aircraft where you are sitting. The American Airlines baggage tracker and Delta baggage tracker can be accessed via their respective websites, but United requires that you download its app in order to track checked baggage. If you’re unable to check before you take off, you can oftentimes log in to your airline’s website for free if your flight features in-flight Wi-Fi.
Of course, this technology relies on your bag getting scanned by the baggage handlers on the ground as it is placed on the aircraft. While the legacy carriers attempt to scan each bag for each flight, there are times when the technology malfunctions or there is a rush to get all of the bags loaded and cargo doors closed for an on-time departure. This means your bag may not get scanned even when it has been loaded on the aircraft.
Related: 7 Ways to Avoid Lost Luggage on Your Next Trip
GSM and Bluetooth Tracking Devices
Since not all airlines provide online baggage tracking and relying on baggage scanners is never a sure thing, a GSM or Bluetooth tracking device for your checked baggage could be a great way to take some stress out of travel. These devices can be placed either on the inside or outside of your luggage allowing you to track its location with your cell phone. Rest easy on your flight by knowing where your bag is with these tracking devices.
This device is super easy to use and provides worldwide coverage. Just pack the small device into your bag and get real-time tracking information from your mobile phone. It is compliant with all airline regulations and works with both IOS and Android smartphones. It also has a backup Bluetooth tracker. The downside is that it requires a service plan after the first 30 days. Service plans cost $14.95/month, which can be reduced to $6.33/month if you choose to pay for a full year of service at once with an annual plan.
- Amazon User Review: “I am using this primarily for travel and, so far, it does what I need it to. It lets me know when it arrives to an airport. It takes a few minutes after a flight because (of TSA regulations) it goes to sleep on the flight and needs a few minutes to wake up. But it's nice to know that when I’m waiting and waiting for my luggage to come down the carousel that my bag is in the same city that I’m in.”
- Price: Starting at $99.95 on Amazon
- Average Star Rating: 3.8
A great Bluetooth tracking device you can use for anything from your keys to your checked luggage is Tile. Buy a single Tile Mate or a pack, with many varieties to choose from. This device is great to use near the baggage carousel to know when your bag is close so you can avoid the crowds waiting for bags. It can sometimes also give you piece of mind on the plane if it is able to connect from your phone to the device in the belly of the plane while you’re sitting at the gate.
- Amazon User Review: “I'm a super fast mover, busy busy multitasking all of the time, I travel the world for work and a at the very worst of a multitasking moment sometimes I lose track of one thing-- my phone, my wallet, luckily not my backpack (yet). Luggage... yes sometimes I've had to find my luggage with Tile!”
- Price: Starting at $19.99 on Amazon
- Average Star Rating: 4.3
Related: The U.S. Airlines Most Likely to Lose Your Luggage
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