By Sue Pelletier
Luggage trackers can be a frequent flier’s best friend—if you haven’t given up on checking your luggage altogether, that is. As of October 2022, the latest data available from the Air Travel Consumer Report, 197,599 bags were mishandled in some way. Granted that’s just 0.49 percent of the more than 40 million bags that got on board last year, but if yours was one of the 197,000+ that went AWOL, you know just how annoying that can be.
While luggage trackers, which track your bag via GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, cellular data or a QR code, can’t actually get your bag into your hands in time for you to change into your show-staff outfit, they can at least let you know just how far afield your suitcase has strayed. Here are a few that may be worth checking out:
This Bluetooth tracker is unusual in that it works with both iOS and Android phone operating systems. If your bag is in the hood, this luggage tracker can find it using Bluetooth. If it’s in Cincinnati and you’re in San Diego, you also can use Tile to find its location on a map. An added plus: If you lose your phone, just press the Tile on your luggage and it will find your phone for you.
While the Apple AirTag only works with iPhones, if you have one, this is a good pick. It also has a replaceable battery, so you don’t have to buy a new set when the battery goes dead. It uses Bluetooth to find nearby bags, and pings off other Apple devices when it’s out of range. An added plus: This one doesn’t require a subscription.
This luggage tracker literally can go the distance—there are no limits to how far it can track a bag anywhere it the world, thanks to its use of 4G LTE technology and GPS satellites. And the battery can be recharged. However, it will cost you $19.95 a month to use it.
Dynotag’s web-enabled luggage tracker is, like the Apple AirTag, subscription-free and, since it works using a web browser, it also doesn’t have a battery to worry about. Instead, whoever finds your bag just scans in the QR code on the device, and it sends you an email telling you where and when the scan happened.
This location-enabled luggage tracker, like Dynotag, uses a QR code to let you know via email, text or voice message where you bag has wandered off to. The only downside, like the Dynotag, is you have to depend on the kindness of strangers to scan in the code.