Travelers who previously were content to keep tabs of their frequent flier miles online now have a new toy of sorts at Delta.com -- they can track their lost or waylaid checked bags.
Over the last few months, Delta Air Lines has implemented several baggage-related solutions.
For example, Delta passengers can now track their bags via the bag tag number or, if the bags have gone missing, by the file reference number on their property irregularity report. They can get the tracking under way here.
So how does Delta know where the bags are if they haven't arrived at the intended destination?
The airline scans the bag tags during each part of the process with a handheld device except at check-in, which starts the transaction, says Delta spokesman Paul Skrbec.
Meanwhile, SkyMiles members can sign in to receive alerts about the status of their checked bags. SkyMiles members merely have to log-in to Delta.com, select "profile," then "Contact me" in the menu options and choose "Last-minute Updates."
Delta already used this service to enable Medallion customers to track the status of upgrades, but now all SkyMiles members can examine the status of their checked bags.
In other tweaks to the baggage process, Delta's self-service kiosks at 18 of its top U.S. airports now enable passengers to view the status of their bags, the carousel where they are supposed to arrive, and file a lost bag claim, if necessary.
And, on Delta.com, where previously you needed to fax a form to report a missing bag, online forms are now available.
Delta also has decided to provide a Delayed Bag Fee Rebate if bags are not recieved within 12 hours of a reported delay. The rebates come in the form of electronic travel vouchers worth $25 for the first checked bag and $50 for two. The vouchers can be used toward future travel.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation stated it will impose a rule requiring airlines to refund checked bag fees if the bags are lost.
Delta wrote about its bag initiatives on the Delta Blog today.
The Cranky Flier broke the news about some of these improvements earlier in the day.
Last year, Qantas outlined an approach to baggage tracking using RFID technology.