Monday, July 26, 2010
It’s official: Bermuda is now the greatest place on Earth to lose your luggage. Thanks to new self-service kiosks that were unveiled on Friday at L.F. Wade International—the first airport in the world to receive so-called WorldTracer Kiosks—travelers who experience baggage delays can now track their lost luggage with a few taps of a screen. Designed by air industry tech firm SITA, the slim stand-alone machines are linked to a global tracing system for mishandled baggage. So if your checked luggage is delayed upon arrival, simply scan the barcode sticker given to you at check-in and the kiosk’s screen will instantly tell you the whereabouts of your bags. The kiosk registers the missing luggage as lost, then asks for passenger contact information so the airline can notify you when the lost baggage reappears. “SITA is very pleased to announce L.F. Wade International Airport as a new customer,” says Sandra Girona, SITA Regional Vice President. “The airport will be transformed into a showcase for how the industry can reap major benefits from the innovative use of IT for passenger self-service in a way that is attractive to both airlines and passengers.” The addition of the kiosks to L.F. Wade International is part of a proposed multi-million dollar overhaul, which may include a new terminal, runways and self-service check-in systems. Considering more than 25 million bags were mishandled worldwide last year, the kiosks are a welcome addition. And besides, I could think of worse places to be stuck without your bags. Here's a very real lost-bag-in-Bermuda scenario: Scan barcode, go to hotel, buy new bathing suit, order rum swizzle. Repeat until bag arrives—but just that last part, of course.