Tag your bag: Travel experts share their thoughts with baggage trackers

By Michael Lee, CTVNews.ca Writer

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Toronto, Canada (CTV Network)-With flight cancellations and delays leaving most Canadians worried about air travel, many soon-to-be travelers may be thinking of ways to avoid airport headaches experienced by others.

For some, this may include keeping an eye on their luggage using Bluetooth or GPS trackers, small devices originally designed to track items such as the wrong keys and backpacks, but can help when flying with some at the busiest airports in the world, experts. say.

“I think now it’s a smart option, especially for flying to one of the major hubs with connecting flights,” Jennifer Weatherhead, founder of travelandstyle.ca, told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview on Tuesday. .

“Everyone has seen those videos – I’ve seen the videos and I’ve experienced them – the huge piles of bags at various airports that people have to fix and consume.”

In the case of air travel, a person can put a tracker in their suitcase to help locate it in the pile of other bags at their final destination.

Popular Bluetooth-based trackers include Apple’s AirTag, Samsung’s SmartTag and Tile, which use a mobile app to help locate the item being tracked.

Others use GPS, which can help if a bag has not yet left its destination.

Some trackers emit a sound when used or may display the most recent location of an item if it is out of Bluetooth range.

Having that tracker can provide a little extra “peace of mind” in knowing where your bag is, Weatherhead says.

He said he prefers a GPS -based tracker, whose Bluetooth doesn’t always connect properly based on personal experience, but said it ultimately drops it to whatever brand people are most comfortable with.

Trackers may be specific to some operating systems such as iOS or Android, while GPS users may require a subscription.

Apple’s AirTag, meanwhile, uses other iPhone, iPad and Mac devices on the Find My network to help track an item.

“The more security you can have in making sure you and your belongings get where you’re going, the better,” travel expert Natalie Preddie told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview Tuesday.

Having a separate paper or leather luggage tag that includes your contact information such as email or phone number on the outside of someone’s bag, along with an electronic tracker, can be a useful combination. when it comes to finding and retrieving your luggage, Preddie says.

More importantly, experts say if you can fly with just carry-on, you do.

“I really recommend flying with a carry-on to avoid it right now, because at this point it looks like we’re looking at its summer,” Preddie said.

Weatherhead also advises travelers to fly carrying only if they can.

For anyone concerned about privacy and security, especially with Bluetooth-based trackers, opting for a carry-on may be a more appropriate option, as well.

Apple AirTag has raised privacy concerns, with reports over the past year showing that tags can be placed on people’s belongings, such as wallets or cars, and used to track people without them knowing.

Apple says AirTags has a “guard against unwanted tracking” feature and shares alerts if an unknown tracker may be traveling with you.

However, even if you don’t have any checked bags, a flight may ask passengers to check in their carry-on luggage if there isn’t enough space above.

“Even if you’re carrying, it might still be a good idea to have a luggage tag in case that happens,” Weatherhead said.

If you need to check in your carry-on bag, he says make sure you have all your valuables, along with anything else you might need.

Ultimately, experts say to double check the size and weight of your luggage to make sure it complies with your aircraft’s carry-on rules, as well as any other restrictions such as allowances on liquid.

Using files from CTVNews.ca Writer Solarina Ho, CTV National News Associate Producer Christy Somos and The Canadian Press

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