DUDE, WHERE’S MY BAG?

homing pinWe still remember the time an airline company rang our doorbell at 3 a.m.to deliver our lost bags. At least we were home, not at a computer show where we might be forced to wear Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. Now there’s a gadget aimed at preventing all lost bags.

“HomingPIN” is a loop and a tag, a key ring or a sticker that goes on your bag to track it. When your bag is sent to Morocco instead of Miami, the airlines check the  HomingPIN’s tracing code using the WorldTracer, NetTracer and SkyAssist baggage systems used at every airport. Instead of the typical six days it takes to find a lost bag, they claim it will be found in seconds and a text message sent to the owner. (The message will say something like “tough luck.”)

You can also put a HomingPIN label on a cell phone, laptop, camera or passport. If left behind, the finder can find you by going online to homingpin.com. Then — should they choose to accept the assignment — they can send you a text message to come and get your stuff. They don’t see your address or other personal information.

The HomingPIN five-piece starter pack, with one loop and tag, one key ring and four stickers, is $10. It comes with a 12-month subscription, after which you pay $8 a year to cover 30 items.

Whatever you do, experts advise, don’t hand-write your personal information on luggage tags anymore. That can lead to identity theft or to criminals tracing you to your home while you’re on vacation.

We’re glad someone is on the case. Amazingly, 400,000 bags are lost each year. One in six cell phones is lost.  Forty-six million items are left in hotel rooms. (We lost a Kindle this way.) Sixteen percent of drivers permanently lose their keys at least once. (And, by the way, here’s Bob’s all time favorite statistic, from years ago from the National Opinion Research Center: Four percent of those responding to any survey “don’t  know,” no matter what the question.)

Leave a Reply

*