Travel News Travel Technology

How Delta is Changing Checked Baggage

Delta is making history by updating their luggage handling process, benefiting business travelers and leisure travelers alike. This new technology uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), as opposed to the existing hand-scanned barcodes. The technology uses scanners to read embedded chips in luggage tags via radio waves to track the bags.

Delta we love to flyThis system will automatically catch improperly loaded luggage and assist the luggage handlers as well. Currently, when a traveler misses their connection, ground agents must manually scan each bag to find the specific piece of luggage. With RFID scanners, inventory will be taken quickly and at defined checkpoints to efficiently find the lost bag and route it appropriately. Delta is investing $50 million in the technology and have plans to install this at 84 locations, covering all hubs and about 85 to 90 percent of its total bag volume. Delta handles 120 million bags of luggage annually, this improvement will affect the majority of the luggage.

Interestingly, Delta is the first of all airlines to make such a vast improvement on luggage technology. Additionally, they have plans for real-time tracking and monitoring for the passenger. Push notifications through the Delta app will be available for the traveler, so they know when their bags hit different checkpoints. This is believed to have a 99 percent accuracy rate, ensuring proper routing and loading.

Travelers will begin seeing this technology in the fourth quarter of 2016. Read more about Delta’s other promotions, or watch their video explaining the technology further.

Travel Management

Traveling with Fragile Items

We all have luggage that we carry with us when we travel.  Sometimes it can be a hassle to carry it along, however we have it easy compared to some others!  Have you ever wondered about the people who travel with odd-sized items?  Think of cello players, guitarists or other people who have to travel with an odd-sized or very fragile item.  How do they transport these items without putting them at risk?
Most of the airlines have contracts of carriage which will determine what the airline will and will not be responsible for and what the maximum amount the airline will be responsible for if an item is lost and/or damaged.  Typically, the airlines use verbiage like this:
“ABC Airline will not be liable for loss of money, jewelry, cameras, negotiable papers/securities, electronic/video/photographic equipment, heirlooms, antiques, artifacts, works of art, silverware, irreplaceable books/publications/manuscripts/business documents, precious metals and other similar valuable and commercial effects.  ABC Airline prohibits the foregoing items being placed in checked baggage for travel wholly between points in the U.S. as well as for international transportation.”  

Business Travel Vacation Travel

Shopping for Business Travel

Who says business travel products have to be all-black and boring?  If you haven’t shopped for travel products at Flight 001, get thee to their website ASAP.  Their tagline is “modern and innovative travel products” and I love how they organize shopping on their website by “pre-flight, in-flight and arrival” products. I have gotten many a Christmas present checked off my list by shopping at this site.
Pre-flight is colorful, fun luggage; functional toiletry holders; funky passport covers; retro luggage tags, etc.  In-flight is crazy patterned neck pillows; eye masks; travel games; and my personal favorite – the Red Eye Pak, which includes a Flight 001 eyemask, soft ear plugs, lip balm, 1 LA Fresh hydrating lotion towelette, 1 LA Fresh Dental Refresher, chiclets for popping your ears, and a bookmark – all packaged in a reusable clear zip-top pouch.  Arrival products are maps; small, light-weight umbrellas; adapters and more.

Travel News

Passenger Safety or Airline Revenue?

Is it passenger safety or airline revenue that is prompting airlines to more closely scrutinize the size of carry-on luggage that is being used by travelers? On some of my more recent flights I had noticed that many travelers were toting larger carry-on luggage with some of it ending up on the plane, but some of it checked at the gate for no additional fee. I questioned how these travelers made it as far as they did, with obviously oversized carry-on bags, and wondered if it would be just a matter of time before the airlines started charging for bags checked at the gates.
Though I appreciate the efforts of the airlines charging other passengers for luggage that technically should have been checked, I also tend to question their reasons why. Spokespersons for the airlines are indicating that it is passenger safety that they are concerned about, but could it be just another source of revenue?
FAA regulations allow carry-on luggage as large as 22x14x9 inches and passengers will have to get use to using the bag bins airlines provide at the gates to check the size of the carry-ons. Airline employees and even TSA inspectors are keeping a closer eye on the size of bags that travelers are trying to take through security lines and are informing passengers that they need to be checked prior to gate arrival.
The airlines may struggle in the beginning to make this process fair to all passengers, but regardless of the motive, whether passenger safety or airline revenue, it’s going to be harder and harder to avoid the fees charged for bags.
For additional information regarding the ancillary fees being charged by airlines and the revenue generated from these fees, there was an interesting article in USA Today written by David Grossman The paradox of baggage fees: Higher charges, lower profits. or you can contact Christopherson Business Travel (866.327.7650).