Imagine if you could use your mobile phone to track and retrieve your luggage at busy airports — saving you time and the inevitable hassle of waiting and waiting at the carousel, while the police sniffer dog runs around, checking everyone’s bag.

Well, China Eastern Airlines thinks it has found the solution.

The airline has launched a permanent electronic luggage tag that allows travellers to check-in and trace luggage using their mobile phones, SHINE.cn reported.

The carrier plans to release the first batch of 4,000 tags to its passengers on flights between Shanghai and Beijing.

The tag has a screen to show the passenger and flight information after coming in contact with a passenger’s smartphone. A chip embedded in the tag lets passengers follow the progress of their luggage on the phone.

“The new tag is convenient and I no longer need to remove the traditional paper tags often stuck tightly on the luggage,” said Li Rui who was one of the first travelers with an electronic tag on a Shanghai-Beijing flight during a trial period, SHINE.cn reported.

“It will be better if other carriers can also recognize the tag,” he added.

But some passengers were not impressed with the new technology.

“What if the tag goes missing during transportation,” said a passenger from Beijing surnamed Liu. “The traditional paper tag is difficult to remove but also hard to get lost,” she added.

China Eastern platinum card holders can apply for the electronic tag at ticket counters. Other passengers can apply through the airline’s app from Thursday. Frequent travelers between Shanghai and Beijing will have priority.

The service will be expanded to other flights and mainly the hub airports in the future, said Shen Chenyi, general manager of the airline’s luggage control center.

Meanwhile, Air France announced that starting in 2020, baggage checked at its Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport counters will be tagged with an RFID chip that will help track each bag all along its journey. The project is a collaboration between the airline and Paris Aéroport.

Starting in 2020, some 8 million bags checked in at Air France counters will be equipped with a tag containing an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip, the Jakarta Post reported.

The technology will be able to remotely associate each piece of luggage with its owner’s information.

This new technology, intended to reassure passengers fearful of losing their luggage, will soon be implemented across all Roissy terminals.

Sources: SHINE.cn, Jakarta Post