Samsonite device tracks baggage around world
Few experiences can be as boring and irritating as stepping off a long flight to find your baggage has not made it, not to mention the process of trying to find out when it will arrive.
A new wireless tracking device launched Wednesday by Samsonite International will not stop a bag from getting lost, but at least it can tell you where it is.
By slipping the Tumi Global Locator into your baggage before leaving, it can be tracked using GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and connection to the internet through a free smartphone app every 20-30 minutes.
Tumi, a maker of upscale travel bags and accessories, was acquired by Samsonite last year.
About half the size of a smartphone and weighing just 150 grams, the device barely takes up any space inside a suitcase. It also powers down automatically upon takeoff and wakes up upon landing. The battery lasts about 100 hours and can be recharged between trips.
The device has been approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for use in U.S. airports, Samsonite said.
The data connection is provided by AT&T, while the technology was developed by U.S. technology company LugTrack.
The gadget should hopefully take away the headache waiting at the carousel for a bag that is never going to come. Moreover, endless discussions with airline staff trying to locate missing bags ought to be a thing of the past if you can show they are in another country.
More than 21.6 million bags were mishandled globally in 2016, according to Samsonite. That works out to 5.7 bags being lost per 1,000 passengers.
The problem could get even worse as the number of air travelers is expected to double over the next two decades, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Peace of mind does come at a cost, however. The device itself is priced at $150, and there is a separate yearly $50 data connection fee.