By Melinda Powers, Marketing Communications Manager at Cadence

Initiated by Delta and American Airlines, real-time luggage trackers should definitely be an industry standard.

As frequent travelers, we've all had at that one lost luggage nightmare. Mine was back in the pre-smartphone era, on a red-eye flight to my hometown of Buffalo, NY in the middle of winter. After realizing both (as in all) of my checked bags were missing, I sleepily accepted that I’d be spending a few days in the dark (without a clue where my bags were) and in the cold (without a winter coat).

As it turned out, one bag had fallen off the conveyer belt and the other was taken by a nice older gentleman who had mistaken my bag for his. They were both returned three days into my trip and there was not much more I could do but be relieved I had been visiting family (donning my generous mother's bulky sweaters) and not traveling on business.

Fast forward to today, locating suitcases isn't one of life's bigger mysteries. Upon checking your bag with American Airlines or Delta, you can input a few details (record locator, last name, etc.) and the airline will keep you updated on the status of your bag throughout your flight itinerary.

And worst case scenario, if your bag is delayed, lost, or taken by another well meaning traveler (poor Mr. Humphrey didn't meant to cause any trouble), you can use SITA's convenient World Tracer. After you receive a file reference number, the service allows you to check your bag’s status, receive updates and even modify delivery and contact information.

While we await the rest of our favorite airlines to follow suit, tell us in the comments section below: what’s your most memorable checked baggage story?

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