The worst part of air travel is when you wait for your luggage at the baggage carousel, and it’s not there. You get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, especially if everything you need is in that one checked bag. A luggage tracker can be helpful, but do luggage trackers really work?
Over the years, I’ve flown and traveled extensively. We only lost our luggage one time, but once was enough always to have the fear of it happening again. With our vast experience and need to alleviate that fear, we dove deep into luggage trackers.
Do Luggage Trackers Really Work?
Actually, yes, luggage trackers do work. There are Bluetooth, GPS, and smart tags to use. The more sophisticated the tracker, the more range it has. A luggage tracker attaches to or fits in your suitcase, and you can track it from your phone with the use of an app.
Now that we answered, “Do luggage trackers really work?” let’s dive into this together and look at how each one works and how you can protect your luggage.
What Are Luggage Trackers?
Luggage trackers are small gadgets that utilize GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular data, Bluetooth, or a simple QR code. They track the location of your luggage with the information they transmit. Then, you simply attach the activated tracking device in your bag. But before you go and shop for a tracker for your next flight, it’s best to know if there are any restrictions in using a luggage tracker.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) allows the use of baggage location tracking devices that meet one of the following conditions:
- The device’s lithium battery must not exceed 0.3 grams, and
- The lithium-ion battery’s Watt-hour rating must not exceed 2.7 Wh.
Since most of the trackers are small, battery weight isn’t important. But it’s always best to call the airline ahead of your flight to be sure that a luggage tracker in your checked baggage will not cause any problems. Then, if the airline approves, you can answer, “do luggage trackers really work?” on your next flight.
How Do Luggage Trackers Really Work?
Usually, you can find your checked baggage through the bag tag attached to it by the airline staff. The bar codes contain all the information about you and your flight. So, do you still need the luggage trackers if you have the bag tags?
Luggage trackers use various technologies such as Bluetooth, GPS, and close-range radio frequencies: the tracker and the app to communicate with each other for a tag to be effective. For our discussion and to know do luggage trackers really work, we will focus on GPS and Bluetooth luggage trackers.
Bluetooth Luggage Trackers
A Bluetooth luggage tracker is a small device that lets you monitor the location of your luggage, backpack, or other items from your phone, tablet, or computer. Bluetooth links the luggage tracking device to the tracking App.
A popular Bluetooth tracker is Airtag for Apple users. However, non-Apple users can use other brands such as Tile, SmartTag (paired with a Samsung Galaxy phone), Chipolo, and Ekster.
Bluetooth Connection, How And Do Luggage Trackers Really Work?
Bluetooth on your phone activates the Bluetooth on a luggage tracker. Your phone will detect the Bluetooth luggage tracker. After pairing the tracker to your phone, you can put it in your luggage and use a Tracking App to locate and monitor it. But do luggage trackers really work when inside the luggage? Is the Bluetooth signal reliable enough to pinpoint your bag?
When you mark your luggage as “lost” in the Bluetooth tracker app, it alerts the tracking network and all Bluetooth tracking App users. When other users of the Bluetooth tracking App detect the “lost luggage,” they will send the coordinates of the missing Bluetooth tracker back to the app. The tracking App will then send you the coordinates of the “lost” Bluetooth luggage tracker.
Where do luggage trackers really work best? If the luggage is within close range, about 100 meters for Class 1 Bluetooth trackers, the tracker will sound an alarm to help you find it.
But what if you are outside the tracker range? Can you still locate your luggage? Yes! It will depend on the Tracking App network you are using. The more extensive the network, the higher the chance of finding your missing luggage.
If It Only Works For 100 M, How Do I Find My Luggage?
As mentioned above, marking your luggage as “lost” in the Bluetooth tracker app alerts the tracking network and all Bluetooth tracking App users.
Your alert goes out to all other phones with the same app. One of those phones may be within 100 M of your lost luggage, and that person’s app will notify your app of the location of your luggage.
The good thing is you have millions of people helping you find your luggage. The bad thing is that millions of people know you lost your luggage.
So “Do luggage trackers really work?” has to be a yes, but the process may need some improvement.
GPS Luggage Trackers
GPS satellites and receivers find objects on Earth. GPS luggage trackers utilize the location database of the 24 satellites orbiting the Earth, yet they are compact, like Bluetooth trackers. The satellites send data to your smartphone, GPS navigation device, or GPS tracker. But, regarding reliability, do luggage trackers really work using GPS technology?
How GPS Trackers Work
The GPS luggage trackers send signals to a web-based or smartphone App at specific times. Depending on the brand of GPS luggage tracker, you may get location alerts at pre-determined intervals or when requested through a smartphone GPS app.
When you set a pre-assigned area for your luggage, you will receive an alert or alarm when the luggage is outside the pre-assigned area.
Most GPS luggage trackers require a monthly or annual subscription to provide real-time location updates, unlike Bluetooth trackers. The smartphone App maps the luggage tracker’s location history. Tracki and Gego are two of the popular GPS luggage trackers in the market.
What networks do luggage trackers really work on? GPS luggage trackers with basic GPS functionality use 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G GSM phones.
Do Luggage Trackers Really Work To Prevent Luggage Loss?
The luggage crisis in London’s Heathrow Airport in July 2022 paved the way for a new market for tracking devices – travel luggage. But do luggage trackers really work to help prevent luggage loss? Yes and no.
Luggage trackers will help prevent the chaos and madness when passengers can’t find their checked bags. If passengers use luggage trackers, there is no reason to panic because they can track the location of their checked bags in real-time. Airport staffing problems and the over-booking of travelers are different stories.
When do luggage trackers really work, and when are they the most helpful? When another passenger picks up your bag by mistake, you can use the tracking App to determine your luggage’s location. Whether it’s a Bluetooth or GPS luggage tracker, you will get the coordinates of the location of your bag through the app on your phone.
FAQs – Do Luggage Trackers Really Work?
Here are a few questions that others have asked regarding do luggage trackers really work.
Do luggage trackers work is the real question?
Luggage trackers help find the location of lost items within 100 meters using Bluetooth technology. In addition, luggage trackers that use GPS technology can give coordinates of your lost luggage anywhere in the world
Do trackers work without the internet?
GPS luggage trackers use 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G GSM phone networks. They receive location data from satellites. Pre-loaded maps on your phone do not require an internet connection to work.
Should I put a tracker in my luggage?
If you travel internationally to an unfamiliar country, it is best to put a tracker in your luggage. With the tracking device, you can monitor the location of your luggage if you lose it to another passenger.
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Do Luggage Trackers Really Work – Conclusion
Rather than being helpless, it’s better to have a way to monitor or track your luggage. Not knowing if the airline lost your baggage or another passenger took it by mistake is nerve-racking. However, knowing if and when your luggage gets lost can be very helpful. But, if you have a tracking App that will give you the location of your luggage, all thanks to a luggage tracker.