Added within a recent update to Delta’s mobile application available for iPhone, Android and Windows phone owners, air travelers now have the ability to watch the progress of checked bags before, during and after the flight. After the Delta customer launches the application on a smartphone, they select “Track My Bags” and enter either the bag tag number or the file reference number into the screen. After entering a last name as well, the app displays for the current location of the bag as well as previous areas that the bag passed though. Assuming the smartphone has a camera, the user can also scan the barcode included on the ticket supplied by Delta when checking the bag.
The details provided by the application are very similar to information that a Fedex or UPS customer can pull up to track a package. The bag is scanned when dropped off in addition to when it’s being loaded on the plane. When the bag is scanned at the destination, the application also provides the claim area location where the customer will be able to locate the luggage. When accessing the application on the plane, customers will be able to use the app, in addition to the official Delta site, without having to pay for Gogo in-flight Internet service. BlackBerry owners are going to have to wait until early 2012 to get access to the same feature as Delta hasn’t completed work on the BlackBerry version of the application yet.
While tracking bags is a great feature for air travel, Delta does charge the majority of the customers for checked bags. When traveling within the United States or Canada, economy travelers have to pay $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second. However, first class and business class travelers can check up to three bags for free.