Flying long haul can be a nightmare, not only because of the potential for delays and missed connections, but also because you are not sure if the luggage which you checked in made it onto the plane you are on.
Enter Trakdot Luggage. Put this device in your luggage and it will automatically send an e-mail or text message to your smartphone at each stop.
It relies on cell tower telemetry to get a fix on its location and the supporting network notifies your smartphone to assure you that your bag has landed safely with you. If it does not arrive, you will not be notified and it means that your bag is travelling without you.
As this device relies on cellphone tower signals, it requires a subscription but the service is free for the first year. Do note that it will work only in countries which support the GSM network, so Japan and South Korea are excluded.
Set-up is done via a Web browser and there is an app that identifies the location of your bag. If you have multiple bags and devices, you can colour code each tag placed in the bag to identify the luggage.
The downside: Tracking works only at airports. You will not receive notifications if your bag gets stolen and is moved away from the airport. But the device will continue to emit a signal and you can locate the device via the app's built-in map.
On a recent trip to Berlin, I was notified upon arrival at Frankfurt Airport and Berlin's Tegel Airport and at Changi Airport on my return.
Do note that your phone must be switched on and connected to the visiting country's Wi-Fi or 3G network to receive notifications.
It can take anywhere between five and 15 minutes to receive a notification. At Changi Airport, I received the SMS notification only when I was in the taxi queue.
This article was first published on September 17, 2014.
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