American Airlines Track BaggageDamien Moye
When I was 11 years old, I flew from California to North Carolina. My checked luggage ended up in Florida. It took several days and lots of weeping (remember, I was 11) before I got it back. If only they had the tracking baggage system back then.
American Airlines is launching a tracking baggage service. They started a free real-time online luggage tracking service in August. They’re just letting the public hear about it now because American Airline employees weren’t yet used to this kind of scanning system. This is available only when you fly American Airlines and their newly acquired US Airways. You go on their website. Click the ‘track your bags’ button. Give your name, locator, or bag tag number (the number they give you when you check your bag). The site will give you info like whether the baggage is loaded on your right aircraft or not. In the event checked baggage is misplaced, the tracking service will let you know your baggage is lost. Instead of wasting time and freaking out at the baggage claim, you can report your baggage loss to customer service immediately. This tracking service is free of charge.
Thankfully, it’s getting better. In 2007, airline workers mishandled the bags of nearly 19 of every 1,000 customers, an all-time worst. By 2013, the number fell to 6.96 per 1,000 customers. But during that time, the TSA [Transportation Security Administration] has shelled out over $3 million to disgruntle customers over mishandled baggage. This new tracking service was part of the deal in the American/US Airways merge. Usually, I’m not a fan of tracking or merging, but I think this is a good call. The numbers are going in the right direction. So if tracking is what it takes to give people their sanity, their luggage and peace of mind, then so be it. But please use this system for what it’s intended for, and don’t abuse it to infringe on customer’s privacy rights. That’s my only concern here. Will the American Airlines track baggage system help prevent more baggage mishandling?