Luggage Tags - The next place RFID technology will show up is airline
You just never know where and when something new will show up using RFID
technology. This past week there have been rumors about using RFID on
luggage tags. Delta airlines started doing this program but it was shelved
when the airline started having financial trouble.
This idea to put RFID could change the way luggage is made and requiring the
luggage makers to have it built in when the luggage is made. It is still too
early to tell if this will happen as it is just an idea that has been talked
about on all the RFID newsgroups.
Does this responsibility fall on the luggage maker, the airlines, or the
airports themselves. That is the current problem. No one wants to take the
added expense that RFID tags have. There are currently two airports that are
testing a form of RFID tags and that is McCarran airport in Las Vegas and at
Hong Kong international airport.
There is also a similar RFID system being tried out in Narita airport in
Tokyo Japan. This system is supposedly more complex but it can read more
information from the tags. This is another problem which system will be
The problem with the tags are that there is already RFID in the airport and
they are looking to see how or if it will interfere with the other systems.
The airports currently use RFID to record maintenance work and such.
Another problem is that the luggage bins themselves might interfere since
most of them are made out of metal. No airport wants to go through that
additional expense of replacing the luggage conveyors. I can see if you were building an airport you would make sure that
you would not have metal luggage bins in the first place but to retrofit
them is an added expense that no one wants to pay.
It will be saving the airlines money in the long run installing
RFID tags on
the luggage as it cost them millions every year replacing lost luggage or
delivering it to vacationers in hotels when it is found.
You also have to think that the government at some point in the USA will
make this a requirement for security reasons. They would be able to track
100% of the bags that are on planes back to their owners. I think it should
be worldwide as I am sure once one country will mandate it they all will
Once again who is going to pay for it is the big question. As the price of
RFID tags drop I am sure that it will be more cost effective for whoever is
going to pick up the price.