Traveling to a new place is fun—except when all of your luggage has an alternate destination in mind. If you often find yourself stressing about the whereabouts of your checked bags, American Airlines might have found a solution.
The airline has just rolled out a service dubbed Customer Baggage Notification (CBN), an alert on the American Airlines app that notifies travelers whether their luggage is ready for pick-up, delayed, or somewhere on the other side of the world.
Here’s how it works: If your bag isn't on the same plane, CBN will tell you if it's going to arrive before you do. That way, you can skip the conveyor belt and head for the Baggage Service Office, or BSO. If it's going to be late, you'll be instructed to go to the BSO to speak to an agent. If it's going to be late or waylaid, you'll be asked to fill out a Mobile Baggage Order (MBO) so the airline can deliver your luggage to your location.
The program is part of the airline industry's overall initiative to reduce the number of lost or delayed bags: Delta, for example, uses radio frequency cards to track bags. But the most effective way to make sure your underwear follows you in your travels might be to use independent tracking gadgets like Trakdot, which keeps tabs on luggage. A pricier alternative is "smart luggage," which has built-in sensors that make use of GPS and Bluetooth to keep things from getting misplaced.