Heathrow launches RFID trial to track luggage

The U.K.'s busiest airport is starting to affix radio chips to the luggage of passengers as part of a trial program aimed at reducing lost bags.

The U.K.'s busiest airport is starting to affix radio chips to the luggage of passengers as part of an experiment aimed at reducing lost bags.

The six-month trial will involve tagging around 50,000 bags a month with RFID (radio frequency identification tags) for passengers traveling or transferring on Emirates Airline between Dubai and Heathrow, said BAA, the company that runs the airport.

Barcode tags are currently used, but the barcodes can be misread by scanners, especially if the tags are wet or creased. Those problems increase costs for BAA and the airlines, as well aggravating passengers with slower baggage handling.

The RFID tags, which will be attached by staff at nine specially-equipped Emirates check-in desks, will be encoded the passenger's name and route. Higher-capacity chips could contain more data but won't be used for this trial, BAA said. Barcodes will still be used with the RFID tags.

The RFID chips can be read by scanning equipment from a short distance away as the luggage passes through Heathrow's baggage system. Once at their destination, some passengers will receive a text message on their mobile phone informing of the baggage reclaim belt, BAA said.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?