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Luggage tracking devices

Columbia, South...
Level Contributor
25 posts
202 reviews
63 helpful votes
Luggage tracking devices

Has anyone used any of the luggage tracking devices and if so, do they help find missing luggage? We are flying Charlotte to Stockholm changing planes AND airlines in Paris (from USAir to AF) and we are concerned about our checked bags making it thru.

London, United...
Level Contributor
27,179 posts
29 reviews
55 helpful votes
1. Re: Luggage tracking devices

I've not used one, it's basically a GPS for your bag. It won't ensure your bag makes it with you, also if someone steals your bag and bins the GPS someplace it's not going to help either, but I guess if the bag was misplaced you could tell the airline " hey it's in x country" . Not sure that would help them find it though to be honest. More useful to just put a sheet of paper with your contact details inside so if if does get misplaced and tags ripped off then can identify it.

Level Contributor
6,357 posts
34 reviews
28 helpful votes
2. Re: Luggage tracking devices

As we all know, it's very hard to get a good signal on either GPS or mobile/cellphone type devices when they are underground or surrounded by lots of concrete and steel. Oh, wait, I've just described the baggage sorting area of an airport terminal.

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
7,424 posts
74 reviews
51 helpful votes
3. Re: Luggage tracking devices

Clearly that would be illegal.

In the USA, all checked luggage that is found to be emitting radio signals (or radiation, or strong odors) is pulled aside and sent to a disposal site deep inside a Colorado mountain. Don't expect to see it again.

Owners are arrested at baggage claim.

I probably just made that up.

Edited: June 28, 2014, 1:54 pm
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
34,891 posts
7 reviews
16 helpful votes
4. Re: Luggage tracking devices

While technology wise they may work (just like "Find my iPhone") as Andy says the chances of getting the signal from the depths of a baggage storage facility could be very slim.

Take the following precautions and hopefully you'll be fine -

0) When you check on, double check that the airline's baggage label/tag has YOUR flight schedule on it, and not (inadvertently) someone else's like the previous guy that checked in.

1) Label your bags. The flimsy self-write labels at the check in desks are the best, as they're the ones least likely to get accidentally ripped off the by baggage handling systems.

2) Make your bags recognizable and distinguishable. I have University of Oregon stickers (the big "O", not Donald Duck) on my black Samsonites that I use for checked bags.

3) Take photos of your bags so they can be uploaded to the missing bag report.

4) As a last resort put a sheet of paper with your contact details, flight and hotel schedule inside the bag. If they open it they'll finally see whose it is.

5) Pack at least one change of clothes - preferably two - in your carry ons, so you have something to bide you over for a day or two while they search and hopefully get you your bags.

6) If there are two or more flying then spread your clothes across all bags (don't have separate his and hers). Then, if one bag goes astray you all have something to wear, rather than one person having nothing.

Happy travels.

Salisbury, United...
Level Contributor
10,735 posts
147 reviews
93 helpful votes
5. Re: Luggage tracking devices

And if you have a connecting flight leave plenty of time between connections. Short connection times are one reason a bag will miss the flight even if you do make it.

Keep things in perspective as only very few bags are lost or delayed the vast majority of bags are not lost or delayed.

IMHO I would not waste my money on a tracking devise. Aren't you supposed to switch this type of devise off if flying?

South of England
Level Contributor
3,703 posts
185 reviews
87 helpful votes
6. Re: Luggage tracking devices

Some very good tips and advice from USBusinessTraveller @post#4

Columbia, South...
Level Contributor
25 posts
202 reviews
63 helpful votes
7. Re: Luggage tracking devices

Thanks for all the advice. I will just not worry and follow all advice. We do already pack half his and hers in each bag. I will include itinerary in top of each bag with email address and have several days clothes in carryons.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
57,097 posts
1,883 reviews
1,771 helpful votes
8. Re: Luggage tracking devices


<<0) When you check on, double check that the airline's baggage label/tag has YOUR flight schedule on it, and not (inadvertently) someone else's like the previous guy that checked in.>>

I failed to do this - check the final destination - once on LHR - SFO - PHX. Luckily, we averted an issue, when we claimed luggage for US Customs. The re-check person was quick to issue the SFO - PHX baggage tag, when we showed our boarding passes. Saved having to go into ticketing with bags. He got a nice tip. Now, wife will never let me make that mistake again, and always makes it a point to inquire, "exactly WHERE are they checked through to?"

Only suggestion in the list, that we do not routinely do is the photo. Good idea.

That list should be made into a FAQ, or Sticky.



Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
99,911 posts
17 reviews
18 helpful votes
9. Re: Luggage tracking devices

GPS devices do not emit any kind of radiation, so there is no danger of the luggage being destroyed by over-zealous security officers. (GPS devices just receive signals from satellites.)

10. Re: Luggage tracking devices

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