Never lose your luggage again! Delta Airlines unveils the $50million technology that will let you track your bags on an app

  • Delta Airlines is rolling out Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bag tags
  • It's the first US carrier to use the technology to track passenger luggage
  • An app function will be available by end of 2016 to let you track your bags 

If an airline has ever lost your luggage then you will understand how frustrating it is.

But a $50million (£34.2million) innovation introduced by Delta Airlines on Friday means that you will be able to track your bags through an app on your phone.

The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology will replace the existing barcode and hand scanning procedure that's been used industry-wide since the early 90s and is the first time that the technology has been used this way in the USA.

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Delta Airlines is rolling out Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bag tags that's been embedded with a special chip to allow it to be tracked with readers

Delta Airlines is rolling out Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bag tags that's been embedded with a special chip to allow it to be tracked with readers

It has spent $50million (£34.2million) to introduce the technology to 344 airports around the world, including installing 3,800 RFID bag tag printers 

It has spent $50million (£34.2million) to introduce the technology to 344 airports around the world, including installing 3,800 RFID bag tag printers 

It's still applied to the bags in the same way but it no longer needs to be scanned via a barcode like the current tags being used 

It's still applied to the bags in the same way but it no longer needs to be scanned via a barcode like the current tags being used 

Delta is now in the process of rolling out the technology, which includes an app function that will be available by the end of this year.

The app will allow end users to track their bags at every stage of its journey, from check-in to baggage belt.  

In a statement on its website, Delta has promised that RFID will provide customers with 'improved real-time tracking of luggage throughout the travel experience'.

The technology is essentially a smart tag embedded into the luggage tags that can be read via RFID scanners.

It means that information encrypted into the tag can be scanned just by having the device near it, unlike the barcode scanners that require the code to be in front of the scanner.

The company has invested $50 million to introduce RFID at 344 airports around the globe.

This includes 4,600 scanners and 3,800 RFID bag tag printers.

There are also 600 'pier and claim readers' that will enable hands-free scanning of the luggage on the conveyor belt as it travels from the check-in gate to the plane.

At 84 of Delta's busiest locations, some 1,500 belt loaders that feed luggage into the plane are fitted with scanners able to read the RFID tag.

They will automatically flash green if the destination of the bag is correct or red if there's additional handling required. 

At 84 of Delta's busiest locations, some 1,500 belt loaders that feed luggage into the plane are fitted with scanners able to read the RFID tag

At 84 of Delta's busiest locations, some 1,500 belt loaders that feed luggage into the plane are fitted with scanners able to read the RFID tag

They will automatically flash green if the destination of the bag is correct or red if there's additional handling required

They will automatically flash green if the destination of the bag is correct or red if there's additional handling required

Delta currently handles around 120 million bags a year. 

Results from a pilot of the program has shown that the technology has a 99.9 per cent success rate in the correct routing and loading of the tagged bags. 

This is an improvement on the company's existing 95 per cent success rate at present according KSTP

However, while it's a first for US carriers, it is not the first time that the technology has been used in the world.

Hong Kong International Airport has been using the technology as far back as 2008.

It has been used on outgoing luggage on airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Dragon Air and Air China. 

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