Joining the Big Three airlines, Southwest Airlines will finally unveil a baggage tracking tool that allows travelers to track checked baggage inflight via its website and mobile app, the airline confirmed to TPG.
A Southwest spokesperson said:
“In our ongoing commitment to provide a comfortable, seamless and convenient customer experience while traveling with us, Southwest Airlines has introduced the ability for Customers to track checked bags throughout their journey — from takeoff to landing. Now on Southwest.com and the Southwest mobile app, customers can view the status of their checked bag across three different milestones of each checked piece of luggage: confirming when bag tags are printed and when bags are loaded and unloaded from our aircraft.”
Southwest flyers can access this tool by clicking on “Track your checked baggage” on the left-hand side of the mobile app under “Flight” or online via this link, as shown below.
It will allow customers to track luggage in real time via the aforementioned status updates, and it’ll inform travelers when their bags are physically loaded and unloaded from the plane.
The Dallas-based carrier is the latest airline to introduce customers to real-time baggage updates to provide peace of mind ahead of the 2023 holiday season. The airline’s updates follow last year’s operational meltdown when it canceled nearly 20,000 flights over the Christmas holiday. During that time, customers were discouraged from checking bags due to the multi-hour-long waits to retrieve checked bags after canceled flights.
In the first half of 2023, U.S. carriers mishandled bags at a rate that was 0.61% lower than that of the first half of 2022, per U.S. Department of Transportation data; it also noted that carriers reported mishandling 43.4 million bags in June 2023. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics defines mishandled bags as items that are “lost, delayed, damaged or pilfered.”
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In addition to airline tracking tools, travelers can continue to keep an eye on their bags via personal electronic tracking devices, such as Apple Air Tags, which use Bluetooth to track items via nearby Apple devices, specifically compatible iPhones or iPads.
To buy: Apple AirTag, $28.99 on Amazon
Additionally, Southwest recently expanded a self-service option for customers to add checked bags digitally when they check in for their flight, up to 24 hours before arrival at the airport. This eliminates the need to print bag tags at the airport.
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