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Lost baggage is one of the top complaints among air travelers—especially since passengers typically pay airlines a fee for checking in luggage. But to cut down on mishandled bags and customer angst, Delta has introduced a way for its passengers to track their checked luggage online from a cell phone or laptop.
When Delta passengers check in luggage online or at an airport's kiosk or service desk, they'll receive a unique tracking number. The number can be used on Delta's website to trace the baggage from check-in all the way to the final destination airport's luggage carousel. If luggage is lost, that same number can be used to file a claim online rather than through a fax form.
The move to better baggage handling will undoubtedly comfort passengers. But it also comes at a time when the U.S. government is stepping up to enforce travelers' rights. Sweeping new Department of Transportation regulations, for example, require airline companies to issue refunds of baggage fees to customers who have had their luggage lost.
Delta has shown significant improvement in mishandled baggage complaints, says the DOT. Its figures show there are fewer than three complaints of lost luggage per 1,000 customers—a 27 percent improvement over the 4.04 luggage complaints per 1,000 customers in the previous year.
Still, an independent research report on airline quality recently said Delta scored the highest in customer complaints when compared to 15 other major U.S.-based airliners.
What do you think? Will an online baggage tracking system make you more open to flying with Delta? Or are there other airliners you'd rather fly?