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Jenny Lucas examines photos from her 40th birthday celebrations in Greece, only to discover that the clothes and jewelry she was wearing in the photos are lost forever.

Technology Because although she had a wonderful holiday, her luggage went missing when she checked it in for her flight to London Gatwick.

“I had a great time, but I went back into depression,” he says. “I look at some of the photos and think, ‘Oh no, that was in the bag, too.'”

Two months later, easyJet has confirmed that his luggage has been permanently lost. An EasyJet spokesperson told the BBC: “We are very sorry that Mrs Lucas’s bag has gone missing and understand the frustration this has caused.”

As newspaper headlines and social media posts around the world have shown in recent months, Ms Lucas’s case is not unique, with some observers calling it the “summer of lost luggage”.

This situation has been attributed to understaffing at both carriers, airport security staff who have to scan all checked baggage, and ground handling companies that normally carry all those suitcases and bags onto planes. Work to take away and then come back. to carousels.

With many of these teams suffering vacations during the pandemic, they are no longer able to cope with the demand for vacations abroad again. This has given rise to images of hundreds of missing suitcases lying in warehouses.

And Spain’s Mapfre, an insurance company, said the number of passengers reporting missing luggage this summer was 30 percent higher than in 2019, the last year of normal travel before the pandemic.

While no global estimates of the volume of delayed or lost baggage are available this year yet, 2019 figures show the problem is ever-present.

This year, 19 million bags and suitcases worldwide arrived late, and 1.3 million were never seen again, according to an annual report by baggage management software provider SITA. Add in damaged or stolen luggage, and there are 5.6 items “mishandled” per 1,000 passengers.

To try to control their belongings, a growing number of travelers are turning to technology. Specifically, they’re attaching GPS trackers to your belongings, such as Apple’s AirTag.

Ms Lucas says she has not used GPS tags before but “definitely will” from now on. “Anything to keep my stuff from getting lost again,” she says.

Yet while these tagging devices may give travelers peace of mind. Travel industry expert Eric Leopold says they don’t solve the underlying problem: preventing delays that prevent bags from boarding flights like their owners.

“Bag tracking is useful when it arrives 99% of the time and is mishandled 1%. But when thousands of bags are stuck in London or elsewhere. The tags help move piles of bags. Don’t help,” he says. Mr. Leopold, the founder. From Air Travel Consultancy Three Dot.

SeeTrue is a company that hopes to help airports and airlines move baggage more efficiently in the first place. The Israeli firm makes software that can perform security scans on checked goods faster than human security personnel.

“SeeTrue uses artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms to detect contraband in bags,” says CEO Assaf Frenkel. “It connects to existing X-ray and CT scanners, detects in real-time, faster and more accurately than most human eyes. Is always on and never gets tired or distracted.

“As a result, baggage is delivered to aircraft in a timely manner and is not left behind.”

For UK technology company AirPortr, its approach to tackling this problem is to eliminate. The need for passengers to queue at the airport to check their bags before their flight.

Instead, travelers can arrange to have their luggage door-to-door using its app and website.

Currently technology available on British Airways and Swiss International Airlines flights between London and Geneva. An airport worker will collect a person’s bag from their home address. This driver will then take you to the departure airport baggage area in the bowels of the terminal building. Instead of going to the departure lounge.

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