wefindbags.com use aviation tracking system to locate lost bags worldwide

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by Donald@wefindbags, Aug 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    We have recently launched this unique service that finds lost bags worldwide and makes sure they are efficiently returned, keeping passengers informed of progress
    What is the worst part of losing bags ? Which are the best and worst airlines from a customer service perspective ?
    Would also appreciate any comments - good or bad - about the new service
    Thanks
    Donald
     
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  2. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Donald, I looked at your site after a tweet a few days ago.

    I had a few questions:
    * It seems like you are just looking at the same UI that the carrier uses?
    * If I have your bag tag, does it get scanned and tracked differently than the airline's bag tag?

    Both these questions really relate to what functionality do you provide beyond that provided by a baggage claim agent looking at the computer and saying “we don’t know where your bag is” – because it’s outside of the computerized system.
     
  3. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    Iolaire,
    You are correct that we have the same access as the carriers. However, although it is the same system it depends on what you do with it (for example Excel can do simple arithmetic or complex whatif and lookup tables)

    The system is complex and requires years of training, our team of experts have been using it for 20 years. You also need a good knowledge of the international aviation system, and this again comes through experience.

    The basic user will use the automated scoring system, and then tell you "we don't know where your bag is". The advanced users will firstly get the right information from the passenger, and then manually interrogate the system.

    Each tag contains a unique code which corresponds to a code within the system, and this will also recover your bag.

    Wefindbags.com therefore use several techniques to find and return bags. We also give our team more time to search than an agent trying to deal with long lines of disgruntled passengers.

    All the above combine to give us an excellent recovery rate, and ability to reduce time taken to return bags

    Hope this answers your questions, happy to deal with any other queries you may have
     
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  4. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    All of this assumes the WFB tag gets scanned in, though, right? What if the air carrier never scans the WFB tag?
     
  5. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    The airline does not scan the wefindbags.com tags. The process does not therefore depend on the check in agent - you just check in as normal
    Happy to answer any other questions of you need additional information
     
  6. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    How, then, does the tag get entered into the system? Who scans it? In other words, it has to be scanned sometime for it to get entered in the system...
     
  7. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    We use the information the check in agent enters into the system
    If a bag is lost, at that point the label can be scanned by the lost and found team at any airport. That unique number corresponds to a number in the system, and allows us to redirect the bag.
    However, even if the lost & found team do not scan the tag, we still have the ability to interrogate the system and locate lost items.
    Let me know if you have any further questions
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And if they don't then it is just the same info available in WorldTracer and there are several public views into that service, including this one: http://www.worldtracer.aero/filedsp/pk.htm.
     
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  9. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Interesting. So your tag is really just an advertisement that someone might happen to scan or might not. You're really just using the same bag code the airline provides on my claim check. Interesting that you don't offer a per-use tracing service or allow for a subscription without having a WFB tag.



    Right. I think that's what several other posters are getting at. I can see where having someone who knows the system help with location could be helpful - I get that. I'm just not sure who the target for a subscription is, especially considering how infrequent it is for bags to get lost.
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And, if they do, getting any additional information beyond what is publicly available is dependent on baggage agents doing something more than the minimum.

    Oh, and having BMI and Continental listed as two of the participating airlines doesn't inspire much confidence either.

    Maybe the claims of access to contact baggage service agents at airports around the world are useful but I mostly see this as a vaporware product.
     
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  11. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    As I said, per use could be valid. Selling a useless tag is bogus.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  12. GenevaFlyer
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    GenevaFlyer Milepoint Guide

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    Just to add, based on my knowledge of WorldTracer (and personal experience with it):

    When an airline misplaces your bag, they might not enter any information into WorldTracer as long as they know where it is in their internal system (AF comes to mind). For each search request an airline enters into WorldTracer, they pay a fee, and they will try to avoid this as much as possible. Thus, information in WorldTracer can be quite limited until you are re-united with your bag.

    Example: flying from CAI to GVA via CDG, the only information in the system was:

    - Bag misplaced, case opened

    upto and including the moment that the local baggage agent in GVA called me to say they were delivering my bag. Once I received my bag at home, the system got updated with case closed.

    So yes, not really an offering in my opinion. (Unless of course, the OP has access to airline internal systems, or the baggage sorting systems at many, many airports)

    Cheers,

    GenevaFlyer
     
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  13. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    The tag is part of the product. It contains a unique code that ties into a coding sequence within World Tracer and allows airport staff to communicate directly with our team through the internal communications system.
    The 2012 stats on lost bags (per SITA) are 8.83 per 1,000 passengers, or on average one for every B737 and three for every B747 flight. Total mishandled was 26 million, which increased year on year.
    Lost bags are hugely disruptive to passengers, compounded by a lack of information from airlines. We believe the wefindbags.com product will be a valuable to anyone who has lived through this. Try asking your friends and colleagues about the product - you should be able to tell who has lived through this just by their initial response.
    Thanks for the feedback on the pricing. We only charge $24.95 for a year - how much would it be worth on per use basis ? The actual tracing, if done thoroughly can take considerable time. We did contemplate doing on a per use, but we didn't feel it would be attractive to the passenger.
    Best wishes
    Donald
     
  14. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    Mishandled bag stats for 2012 are 26 million, or 8.83 per 1,000 passengers. On average one per B737 flight.
    If you think of World Tracer as a walled city, we are on the inside, and the portal you suggested is the equivalent of looking through the window. It is unlikely to yield the desired result.
    For info, BMI still lives (although much reduced) - check out http://www.bmiregional.com/en
    Best wishes
    Donald
     
  15. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    How? You yourself said that the tag wasn't necessarily scanned by the airlines. If it's not scanned, how is it tied into the system? How would worldtracer know where my bag is without something reading the tag or it being scanned?

    As for per-use, I'd say $5 USD per use would be fair... but I'd only consider it if I couldn't get resolution from the airline, first.
     
  16. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    You are correct that the system is charged per character - which is why most postings are in abbreviated code and it takes a while to master properly.
    In your example, Air France will outsource aircraft handling at CAI and GVA. The local agent you spoke to in GVA almost certainly worked for Jet Aviation. AF will self handle in CDG. You therefore have three organisations, so almost certainly they will have used World Tracer to find your bag. We can communicate directly with all these airport teams.
    Would it have been useful for you to be informed when your bag was located, and regularly updated with a time of arrival ? How would you have been inconvenienced if this had happened on the outward leg ?
    Having been a frequent flyer, doing for example LHR/SFO or LHR/NRT for one day meetings, lost bags were my worst nightmare on outbound legs.
    Anyway, glad you were reunited with your bag !
    Best wishes
    Donald
     
  17. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    If you're checking bags for one-day meetings, something else is wrong.
     
  18. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    Mike,
    Unfortunately the $5 would not be economically viable, as it is a time consuming process recovering bags.
    I would love to prove this to you. Send over your details to donald@wefindbags.com and I will send out a set of tags. I sincerely hope it never happens, but if a bag goes missing we will find it, even if your airline gives up on it.
    Best wishes
    Donald
     
  19. GenevaFlyer
    Original Member

    GenevaFlyer Milepoint Guide

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    Hi Donald,

    1. I doubt (and I can verify since I know the right people at SITA) that SITA would change an official IATA for the benefit of one for-profit company.

    2. Since, in my example, I did check WorldTracer, there were no entries, coded or not, on the topic of my bag.

    Cheers,

    GenevaFlyer
     
  20. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    For my lost bag, the bar coded luggage tag was ripped off between BOS and DUB. Luckily, I had a fabric luggage tag with my work info listed, so they called my work and left a message. The airline had no clue where it was because the lost baggage recorded it on Air France and not Aer Lingus. Of course, the airline did not put the luggage tag in my name, but put everything under my BIL's name - which also caused problems.

    Since I was flying back through DUB a couple of days layer, I picked it up on my way back through. Even after that, Aer Lingus called me to tell me that they were still trying to locate the bag.

    I would gladly have paid $24.95 in order to have someone look for the bag, as I spent more than that to buy the things that I needed for a couple of days. And no, I never got Aer Lingus to reimburse me - my bag was not lost, it was my BIL.

    How would the service be able to find my luggage, since the tags were gone?
     
  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I didn't realize baggage handling in the rest of the world was quite so bad. In the USA the number is <3.5/1000 and trending lower, not higher. http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/reports/atcr12.htm

    Are you going to sit there and try to keep a straight face whilst telling me that's the BMI your site is referencing? Because I'm not buying it.

    Am I misreading the summary listed at http://www.sita.aero/content/baggage-report-2012?? It seems to suggest that the mishandled bags are down 20% from 2010, not that it is increasing.


    It continues to remain unclear how your product - a tag which is never scanned nor acknowledged by the airlines - can aid in the recovery of lost bags.
     
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  22. GenevaFlyer
    Original Member

    GenevaFlyer Milepoint Guide

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    And does anyone find strange that the last tweets on the topic are both from the same date:

    ScreenHunter_01 Aug. 20 17.39.jpg

    What a coincidence? (Especially since both were sent by the company and not users ...) I'm guessing that the lack of reply indicates that the bags were never found? :p

    GenevaFlyer
     
  23. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    Your info is a year out of date - please see 2013 report. Overall increase of 2.84% in 2012
     
  24. Donald@wefindbags

    Donald@wefindbags New Member

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    Firstly the pack includes stickers to go inside your bag with the same unique number as the tag. This ties into our reference number and allows the lost and found team to contact us or look it up on World Tracer.
    Secondly, we can access your report in the system, so in this case we could have found the error of logging under Air France
    Thirdly, we can access the lost bags files anywhere in the world, so even if your bag has lost its tag we can track it down. This requires years of expertise and is very time consuming. Some airlines do a basic search, others will do the full in depth interrogation.
    We would also keep you informed of progress throughout by SMS, and make sure your bag gets back to you efficiently.
    Thanks for the positive feedback. Our best supporters tend to be those that have lived through this.
    Best wishes
    Donald
     
  25. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Hmmm...
    http://www.sita.aero/content/baggage-report-2013
    Feel free to provide real data showing I'm mistaken, but that 8.83 number is below the 8.99 in 2011 and the 12.07 in 2010. And those numbers are what SITA published. They seem to have a different view than you on the trends.
     

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