If you’ve ever experienced the loss of your luggage, temporary or otherwise, you will recall how incredibly frustrating the situation can be. You know very well the feeling of dread that begins to creep into your gut as the crowd around the carousel thins and vacates the area. You know the displeasure of waiting in a line of other luggage-less travelers to speak to the airline’s customer service reps and you definitely know the inconvenience (if you’re still traveling) of making do without your razor, your pajamas, your blowdryer, etc.
Several companies are now offering solutions that can help travelers find peace of mind when it comes to suitcases gone AWOL. These systems for tracking luggage all feature small devices with Bluetooth and/or GPS technology and a smartphone app, but vary a bit in terms battery life, bonus features, and pricing and subscription models. Some, like the PocketFinder Luggage Tracker (US $129.95) are designed for use in a variety of scenarios and require you the user to pay a monthly fee. Others, such as the Miami-based LugLoc (€69.99, or approximately US $87.00) are a little less expensive up-front and come with five free traces with the option to purchase more using the special app. This model allows travelers to pay only for what they use.
LugLoc is compliant with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to relevant Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines, and it features a “Triaxial Accelerometer” which switches tracking device off when the aircraft gains lift, thus avoiding avionic interference. The company is also working towards offering a follow-up service that frees users from the chore of calling airline service departments and is collaborating with an upper-tier luggage maker to offer the world’s first “smart” suitcases.
Runway Girl Network caught up with LugLoc executive vice president Carlos Esnal during Future Travel Experience Global 2014 conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.