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Delta passengers will be able to track their bags through their phone

If you've ever wondered what happens to your checked bags when you hand them over at the airport, Delta is revealing all.
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If you've ever wondered what happens to your checked bags when you hand them over at the airport, Delta is revealing all.

The airline is adding a new feature to its Fly Delta app that will allow smartphone users to track their "bag's journey" as it makes its way through the airport, and after it arrives at the destination, according to a news release.

It's been made possible by the new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bag tracking system it is rolling out at 84 U.S. airports and a number of international airports in the coming months.

It will mean mobile app users can access a map to follow their bag as it goes through the various checkpoints in the belly of the airport before being loaded onto their plane.

"We’re the first carrier to offer this level of visibility," said Bill Lentsch, Delta senior VP of airline operations and cuastomer service, said in the release. "From the moment our customers drop off their bag, we want them to know we’re looking out for it every step of the way and working to take the stress out of flying one innovation at a time."

Delta says the map display will initially show a zoomed out map of the U.S., and will then automatically zoom to the airport the user is at, so they can follow their bag along its journey "via pins," which can be tapped to provide extra information about the bag's location.

Later this year, the app will be upgraded to provide push notifications that give customers up-to-the-minute updates on their checked bags.

USA Today reports that Delta is investing $50 million in RFID technology, replacing traditional barcoded bag tags with new tags embedded with a microchip, which can be read using radio wave scanners.

The intention is to significantly reduce lost and delayed luggage, with 1 out of every 500 bags carried by Delta failing to arrive on time. This, the newspaper notes, is already one of the industry's best records.

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