It’s an awful feeling watching the baggage carousel go ‘round and ‘round without your bag appearing.
You may feel a bit anxious over whether it has arrived at your destination at all and start to worry.
Usually, your bag will just be straggling behind, but for anyone who has lost their luggage knows that it’s a nightmare. It can happen to anyone and there’s no sure-fire way to make sure it doesn’t happen.
That’s why American Airlines have just launched a new baggage alert system to help travellers save time and heartache if something does go wrong.
The system, known as Customer Baggage Notification (CBN) notifies customers of the status of their checked baggage if something has gone wrong when they arrive at their destination.
There will be three types of notifications – early baggage arrival, late baggage arrival, and late baggage arrival that requires delivery of their baggage outside the airport, known as a mobile baggage order.
Early baggage arrival alerts will advise customers that their bag arrived before them and is being stored at the baggage service office (usually the baggage help desk). The late baggage arrival, usually affecting customers on international connecting flights will send them to the same place. The mobile baggage order will alert customers that their bags will need to be delivered to them, and they can then fill in their delivery details right there in the app.
To receive the alerts, customers need to use the American Airlines app.
While it’s not the perfect solution, it’s better than panicking and not knowing where your luggage is, or where to go to collect it if it doesn’t come out on the baggage claim carousel.
In April 2017, Qatar Airways announced it was the first airline in the world to world to "achieve compliance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 at its hub in Hamad International Airport (HIA)."
The resolution stipulates airlines must track baggage from start to finish. Qatar Airways' app provides real-time notifications to passengers with relevant updates on their baggage.
It's great to see the tracking apps catching on. Delta Airways also has a feature on their website where travellers can check their baggage status.
Here's hoping all airlines adopt the system, just in case.