Checking in your bags will soon be easier than ever. British Airways will be the next major airline to roll out RFID luggage tracking for its passengers. Travelers with a ViewTag can tag their bags before even arriving at the airport. After checking-in with BA's mobile app, you'll be able to sync your flight information to your bag with your smartphone.
British Airways passengers can pre-order their RFID luggage tags directly from the airline, which are available at the introductory price of £63 (roughly $80). The reusable bag tags are equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy and an E Ink display that shows your flight information. Each tag is rated for over 3,000 screen changes and doesn't need to be recharged. At present, the tags can only be used on direct flights.
The move by British Airways reflects a greater trend of the airline industry embracing radio frequency identification technology. Delta rolled out RFID luggage tags back in 2016, allowing passengers to view their bag's location on the FlyDelta mobile app. Last summer, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) voted to deploy RFID globally by 2020. At that point, all bags will be tracked with RFID baggage tags from the moment they're checked. This will allow passengers and airline employees to view their bag's location at all times.
Losing your luggage is every traveler's worst nightmare, but airlines have gotten better at prevention. Over the past decade, airlines have seen a 70 percent drop in lost luggage according to SITA. Still, tracking down lost or mishandled baggage costs the airline industry a significant chunk of change -- an estimated $2 billion back in 2016. Deploying RFID tracking will likely save airlines some money, not to mention spare headaches for travelers.