Categories
Travel Industry Travel News Travel Technology

Delta’s New Baggage Tracking System

Almost two months ago, Delta introduced their much-anticipated new baggage tracking process. Originally announced last spring, their new checked luggage process is now active in 84 airports. If you are a frequent business traveler, make sure you take advantage of this new technology.

Delta’s New Baggage Tracking System

What makes Delta’s new tracking system so innovative? Bags checked through Delta Air Lines receive a tag. These Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags transmit an individual frequency, making them easier to locate. This is the same technology as used in E-Z Lane toll passes, id badges, electronic locks and even library books.

Once the RFID tags are attached to the luggage, they continue down the conveyor belt to the designated plane. A red light/green light system identifies the bags and their correct flow. The system shuts down when a bag is scanned and found to be headed the wrong way. If this happens, an agent easily locates the bag and moves it to the correct flow.  Delta claims it has 99.9 percent accuracy of luggage making it to their correct destination.

Mobile app provides instant information for the flyer

Delta’s conjoining app notifies the flyer when their luggage reaches baggage claim. More incredibly, it allows the flyer to see their bag’s journey throughout the day.  I already know I’ll be obsessively monitoring my bags the next time I fly with Delta!

Christopherson Business Travel is a leading travel management company in the United States. We specialize in exceptional customer service and forward thinking travel technology, making the lives of our clients and their travelers easier.

Categories
Travel News

United Offers VIP Luggage Delivery

Checking luggage at the airport is relatively easy and straightforward. You hand your bags over to an attendant and then pick them up at your destination city. Can’t get much simpler, right? Well, United Airlines has taken it lightyears past simple with their recently announced their United VIP Luggage Delivery service! This innovative service just may change how frequent business travelers fly. Rather than waiting for your luggage at baggage claim, you can head off to your important meeting or conference. United will deliver your luggage to your hotel or specified address, so you can focus on your own agenda.

United VIP luggage delivery

Available in over 250 cities throughout the U.S., this United service is provided by BagVIP. Additionally, it includes plane changes or transfers. Read the specifics below:

  • Deliveries need to be scheduled at least one hour prior to the scheduled flight departure. Reservations can be made as soon as your flight is booked. More information can be found here.
  • United guarantees the traveler will receive their baggage within four hours after their flight’s arrival.
  • For this 4 hour time window, the final destination must be within 40 miles from the airport.
  • If the destination is located between 41 and 100 miles from the airport, the baggage will arrive within six hours after the arrival of the flight.
  • Additional fees apply for this delivery service. The first bag is $29.95. Adding a second bag increases the price to $39.95. Interestingly, the rate for 3-8 bags delivered in $49.95.
  • United’s checked baggage fee also still applies

This a perfect solution if your travel day is already overbooked with meetings and dinners. Or, you could use VIP luggage delivery service for golf clubs, skis or strollers. At the reduced price to deliver 3-8 bags, I’ll consider it for my next ski trip.

Read next:

Christopherson Business Travel is an award-winning corporate travel management company. We love providing travel management solutions to busy organizations, and have the client retention rate to prove we know what we’re doing. Contact us to learn more about our innovative travel technology and consultative account management solutions.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

What Happens To Lost Luggage?

Luggage lost by the airlines has to end up somewhere, right? I don’t know about you, but this is a question that pops up out of nowhere in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. Or, as I’m anxiously waiting at the carousel in baggage claim while the bags are circling. The thought of possibly having my checked baggage lost or delayed while traveling on business often leads me to just bring a carry-on. While I’m sure I’ll always have that fear, at least now I know where the luggage may possibly end up.

What happens to Lost Luggage

The Numbers

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, only 3.68 bags of every 1,000 pieces of luggage goes unclaimed. Of those, nearly 98 percent of the luggage finds its owner within the next week. Within the next three months, half of the remaining luggage is returned. After the 90-period, the tiny remaining fraction of luggage legally becomes the property of the airlines. By this time, claims have been filed on the lost luggage and the flyer is compensated. So, what does the airline do with the luggage? They sell it!

Your Luggage’s Final Home

The Unclaimed Baggage Center (UBC), located in Scottsboro, Alabama buys the lost luggage  and then unpacks, cleans, organizes and sells the contents to shoppers. Jewelry and artwork are appraised and electronic devices are wiped clean. Even with appraisals, a few great finds have been found over the years. Including a painting priced at $60, but actually worth $20,000 and rare relics and oddities.

The UBC started in 1970 by a man named Doyle Owens. He had the ingenious idea to borrow a pickup truck, drive to Washington D.C. and took out a $300 loan to buy his first load of unclaimed luggage from airlines. Since that first truckload, the business has forged relationships with many different airlines, and hauls luggage from all across America. The Unclaimed Baggage Center building is the size of a city block and has over a million visitors every year. It also claims to be one of the top tourist attractions in Alabama.

Returns, Please?

Unfortunately, don’t expect to turn to them for your lost luggage. In regards to the question on their website, they say ‘Regrettably, “No”. . . After this point, claims have been paid out and the items are sent with no identifying information to Unclaimed Baggage to be repurposed or sold.’ So feel free to go shopping  at the UBC (aka, my new bucket list addition), but don’t get your hopes up in finding your own bag. 
Read next from our blog:

Finally, Refunds For Delayed Checked Baggage

What Is The Right Size For Carry-On Luggage?

Categories
Business Travel Travel News Travel Tips

Finally, Refunds For Delayed Checked Bags!

Thanks to a recent FAA ruling, travelers will be refunded if their checked baggages are delayed more than 12 hours or 15 hours internationally. It is a $25 rebate for the first bag and $50 for two delayed bags.  Prior to this ruling, Delta Air Lines was the only airline offering refunds for delayed bags.  Now all airlines are required to follow this ruling and set up procedures.

Sounds like good news, right?  Good news is the refund itself.  The bad news is that the refund is administered in the form of an electronic travel voucher—not cash!  Though not convenient for the traveler, it also creates a headache for the companies who booked the travel.  The refund will not be credited back to the credit card, but to be used for future travel in the form of this travel voucher. This further complicates billing and travel budgets.  The deadline for the airlines to set up these refund procedures ends in September 2017, so there is wiggle room for this system to change.

Tips to smoothly receive your refund for delayed checked bags:

According to Yahoo! Finance, while your bags are delayed, consider the following to get reimbursed for expenses:

  • Before you leave the airport, file a complaint for your missing bags. Why? Some airlines will not provide assistance of any kind until or without a formal complaint.  Some airlines allow a complaint by phone within 24 hours.  My experience has always been, “Don’t leave home without it,” …meaning hang at the airport and file the complaint so you can get your bag returned ASAP!
  • Keep all documentation. (in a safe and convenient place). Starting with your boarding pass, baggage claim ticket, plus all receipts for any expenses.  At some point, you will likely need them.
  • No shopping spree! Resist the urge to buy replacement clothes or items. Don’t expect the airlines to reimburse you completely for items that may be lost or delayed. Consider carrying on items you can’t be without, such as a tux if you are traveling to a wedding or special handouts for an important meeting (e.g. Christopherson’s signature chocolates). Though they are essential for you, the airlines probably wont pay to replace these items.
  • Check your credit card’s baggage coverage. In the case of business, know what your company credit card provides. This should be in your travel policy guidelines. There are different rules for each credit card.  As an example, Chase Sapphire Card will reimburse for essential purchases up to $100 a day for five days. Delta is the only airline with details as to what they offer as compensation:  $50 a day for the first five days a bag is delayed as long as you provide receipts.
  • Try to relax. Delayed or lost baggage is definitely a major hassle but most bags are found within 48 hours.  Personally, I dislike carry-on bags (weight, bad rotator cuff, etc.) so I usually have essentials in a small case besides a checked bag.

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company with more than 60 years of experience assisting customers. Learn more about our philosophy or talk to us about how to start a corporate travel policy.

Read next:

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Don’t Check Your Manners with Your Luggage: 3 Major Annoyances for Business Travelers

business traveler annoyances Many surveys have been conducted on what really annoys travelers, and whether it’s a frequent business traveler, the occasional vacationer, or a family with kids in tow, the major annoyances seem to be the same. Here are three of the worst, and while they seem to be common sense for most of us, they’re apparently not, since they top almost every list.

  1. Traveling while sick: Who wants to sit next to someone who is coughing and sneezing on a 3-hour flight? After all, you are going to breath the same circulated air at some time during the flight.
  2. Seat etiquette (or lack thereof): I think we’ve all had an experience with the obnoxious seat tapper–those people who sit behind you listening to their music and tapping to the beat. There’s also the space invader–those who feel they need to lean their seat back during the entire flight, knocking your laptop screen down, or just being in the way when someone needs to get out of your row. And of course there’s the seat grabber–those people who grab on to the top of your seat on the way to and from the restroom. (I personally don’t mind people using the seat back for support in situations like this, but keep in mind, I may have to use it for a flotation devise so try to keep it in one piece.) And last but not least, there’s the eternal talker. The minute you sit down you’re greeted with a barrage of twenty-one questions. What do you do for a living? Where are you from? Where are you headed? Do you want your peanuts? Don’t get me wrong, I’m OK with friendly talk, but some people never stop! This is when I usually pretend to fall asleep.
  3. Violating the overhead bin rule: With the introduction of checked bag fees there has been a dramatic increase in on-flight carry-on luggage. Most airlines are really trying to help. They are adding extended bins, larger bins, and will often check your carry-on at the gate, usually at no cost. But have you seen what some people call a carry-on? They try to pass a huge suitcase off as their small roller board. Then they have trouble lifting it into the overhead bin. It takes two body builders and a can of axle grease before the bin door can be closed!

While these are just a few of the major complaints of travelers, I’m sure we each have our own we can add to the list. And for most of us, the rule of the road (or the plane) for dealing with them is to simply bite our tongues and think to ourselves, “This too shall pass.”