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Delta Airlines eliminates lost luggage with first-of-its-kind mobile feature

Delta Airlines is adding a convenient new feature to its mobile app that aims to make the air travel process a bit less frustrating through mobile with a bag-tracking feature.

Lost baggage is one of the most common and annoying problems faced at an airport. Delta is trying to combat that problem through a new feature that lets users see a satellite map showing the latest location their bag was scanned in.


Bag tracking
The new feature makes use of radio frequency identification, or RFID, tracking technology that Delta introduced earlier this year. All luggage checked through Delta is fitted with an RFID tag to make sure it does nto get lost.

The upside of using RFID for internal tracking is that Delta can now bring that same functionality to the consumer-facing mobile app, letting travelers follow their luggage as it travels from their hands to the cargo and to their destination, removing the anxiety of not knowing where baggage is and reducing the chances of luggage being lost.

The RFID technology is currently being used at 84 airports in the US, and Delta is planning on expanding it to more.

When travelers want to see where their bags are, they can open up the Delta mobile app and go to the luggage-viewing tab. Once there, the app shows them a zoomed out view of the entire US, locates the baggage, and then zooms into the airport where users can follow along the journey their baggage takes through a series of pins that mark each station where the luggage checks in.

Not only can consumers now see exactly where their baggage is, they, along with Delta, can know immediately if a bag fails to check in at the right place at the right time. If it does not check in, Delta will know to make sure it is found quickly.

Later this year, Delta will be adding optional push notifications so that travelers can be notified at every step of the journey where their baggage is. Other minor updates to the app include integrating the Today screen and the boarding pass into one place and automatically updating electronic boarding passes when information changes.

Mobilizing air travel
More and more industries are beginning to mobilize, most notable the retail and shopping worlds, but the travel industry is just as vulnerable to the problems of neglecting mobile and just as capable of reaping its rewards.

Delta is proving this maxim true by spending this year working on its mobile app. In February, the airline began piloting a few additions to its mobile presence with the integration of Apple Pay for mobile payments, letting consumers make their purchases quickly and seamlessly through the app (see story).

They also added the ability to request an upgrade through the app.

Now, Delta is targeting even more of the common grievances consumers have with air travel ? losing baggage, specifically.

By adding bag tracking, not only are they giving travelers a practical new tool to use, they are also psychologically offering them a level of assurance that their baggage matters and it will be taken care of.

Mobile has the power to tackle even the most age-old of problems plaguing industries with decades of existence behind them. Losing baggage is one of the oldest problems with mass air travel and mobile is finally helping it become a thing of the past.