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RFID bag tracking by airlines might not fly


We're pretty RFID-happy these days — we want to use them on our kids, in our watches, and even in our elevators. One place they'd be really useful is in our luggage, to prevent that all-too-familiar occurrence of ending up on the ground to find your skivvies haven't followed. Airlines have been talking about implementing an RFID bag-tracking system for several years, but now they're in such dire financial straits that adding the tagging system doesn't look like it's in the cards. Even though they could save an estimated $650 million per year from the deployment of radio tags, it's not so clear how much will be required for an initial outlay, nor how quickly the airlines will be able to recoup the costs. For now, RFID tracking systems are seeing limited introduction at airports such as the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and Hong Kong International Airport. One American airline particularly interested in the technology is, not uncoincidentally, the one who has been consistently at the bottom of luggage-handling ratings: Delta. Good luck, Delta, though we wager it's gonna take a lot more than RFID tags to improve your customer satisfaction rankings.

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