So, studies confirm, and we agree that the number one problem that the travel and hospitality industry needs to solve for the customer is lost luggage. "Travelers annually leave millions of personally important items such as wallets, keys, cellphones and eyeglasses behind in hotels, airports, airplanes and rental cars".
And what about the costs of lost luggage to those businesses in the travel and hospitality industry, what are those numbers doing to their bottom line? Lost and mishandled bags and luggage globally cost the airline industry roughly 2.5 billion in 2009 and as of 2011 in the US; and a new ruling was passed requiring refund fees on luggage that could cost airlines 600k a month. Even though airlines now charge baggage fees and make large profits on these it is still a big cost and problem.
To boot, the global travel industry is growing rapidly with forecast released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicating international aviation will handle 38 million ton of air cargo, up 12.5 million ton from the 26 million tons carried in 2009.
So what do you do? According to Ran Rosin and Dori Chitayat of tag-a-bag, you tag it.
"Tag-a-bag changes the lost & found market as we know it", said Dori. "We do this by combining new mobile technologies and leveraging social networks & crowdsourcing. In addition, we allow product / service providers a point of interaction with their users, when they actually use their products. This provides valuable insights as to how their products are being used. Tag-a-bag also pushes the boundaries of the lost & found by creating interactions between you and your bag, which turns it into a companion... for instance; upon arrival to a destination it will tell you the next items on your itinerary, or provide local cab fares".
Interesting approach. What items do you need or care about most? I imagine how then when you purchase those items, when you buy a purse, laptop bag or new piece of luggage, it can be sold directly with the labels or tags, or you could get those yourself and add them so you can track and trace your own stuff. Create your own connected travel assistant via mobile and a tag to tap, your own YouPS. Could this be the new travel version of the Android butler?