New Kickstarter Promises to Give Your Luggage ‘a Voice’

Given the story about Alaska Airlines luggage handlers playing a 30 minute game of horseshoes with luggage not to mention the care shown by these Air Canada baggage handlers, and that you never know when your bags will have bullets planted in them or your personal items stolen right out from inside them, it seemed worth flagging an interesting kickstarter idea.

BagSentry plans to let you monitor your luggage throughout the trip. It’s not real-time monitoring, sticking a GPS beacon inside the bag would raise flags with the government and having your luggage connect to inflight internet is precisely what the government insists not be allowed. It would be cool if your bag was smart enough to clear captcha but they they’d probably ban inflight internet altogether.

Instead they collect data throughout the journey and when you hook up the BagSentry sensor with your smartphone app you can tell if the bag was opened, left outside in the rain, dropped, or otherwise abused.

The BagSentry report gives you evidence you can use when filing a claim with the airline.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this, a year ago I reported on the world’s first suitcase that comes with a smartphone app. I think the built-in stereo was overkill, but a suitcase that weighs itself is kind of cool for the sort of folks who tend to push the limit of their baggage allowance.

I try not to check luggage, and don’t check anything that I can’t afford to lose. (And if my luggage is lost or delayed I’ll turn the claim over to the coverage I have from the credit card I used to purchase the ticket.) So I’m not a donor to this kind of effort. But I also know how much many people worry about their bags so it’s the kind of product I can see a lot of people really wishing existed. Cool product, but doesn’t help prevent your bags from getting lost or finding them when they do — just helps you know what happened to them while they were out of your possession.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Pass. I’ve flown millions of miles and though I don’t often check one I have never had a bag lost or damaged by the airline. So I suspect the market is somewhat limited – buy a sturdier bag instead.

  2. I’ve had jewelry stolen from my bag in at least 2 of my last 5 flights. Pretty troubling trend. I guess a gadget like this might help, but I still don’t know how I would prove WHO did it.

  3. I give ’em a gold star for effort, but think about it: this device can only tell you something you already know. Somebody stole something out of your bag – does it make you feel better knowing your smartphone tells you you’re not imagining that? Stuff inside your bag is crushed – is it a comfort to see your phone telling you that the bag was abused? It’s not going to prevent those things, nor let you pursue any corrective action afterwards.

    I can imagine people justifying this because they think it will provide some kind of “evidence” to back up their claims. Those people who believe this would make any difference have probably never flown, maybe never left their house.

    Cute idea, but all this will do is reduce your luggage allowance by a few ounces (and lighten your wallet a bit, too).

  4. Not the same, but I was recently given a couple of Tile devices and I put one in a side pocket of my checked bag. Now I can know for certain if my bag is on the plane – especially nice when there are multiple legs. It has worked on three of four trips taken. I think on the one it did not, it was up again the metal rails in the bag.

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