Delta lets passengers on domestic routes track checked bags in real-time and guarantees a 20-minute delivery

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By Raymond Kollau,

Back in 1973, Domino’s Pizza introduced a guarantee that customers would receive their pizzas within 30 minutes of placing an order or they would receive the pizzas free. Over the years, Domino’s reduced this service guarantee to the slogan “You Got 30 Minutes,” alluding to the earlier pledge but stopping short of promising delivery in half an hour. Instead, the company introduced the Domino’s Pizza Tracker, an app and Web-based widget that lets customers check on the pizza they have ordered at every stage, providing real-time information that relieves anxiety.

Delta ‘Track My Bags’
Taking a cue from the pizza delivery business, Delta in 2011 became the first airline to make the baggage process more transparent for passengers by launching its ‘Track Checked Bags’ service.

Since bag tags are scanned during each part of the journey by airlines, Delta’s service lets passengers track their baggage in real-time as it makes its way through the Delta system, providing them with some peace of mind when they learn their luggage has been loaded onto their flight.

Available for domestic flights, Delta passengers can go online to track their checked baggage with the bag tag number they received at the time of baggage check-in. Passengers can use the ‘Track My Bag’ functionality on the Delta mobile app to scan their baggage tag with their smartphone camera.

And, as Delta has equipped its entire domestic fleet with GoGo’s in-flight Internet, passengers can even check up in the air whether their bag has made it on their flight using the free access to and the mobile app.

Surprisingly, Delta’s ‘Track My Bags’ service hasn’t been introduced by any other airline so far, who are clearly less willing to share this kind of data with passengers. The fast developments in digital luggage tags (a.k.a. ‘The Connected Bag’) will no doubt change this status quo though.

Service guarantee
Furthermore, ‘inspired’ by Alaska Airlines’ ‘baggage guarantee’ service promise, Delta now guarantees fliers’ checked luggage will arrive at the baggage carousel within 20 minutes when traveling on domestic flights. Delta will give 2,500 miles to customers’ whose bags take longer than that to reach the carousel.

Alaska Airlines has long offered its own 20-minute baggage guarantee. Like Delta, Alaska Air offers 2,500 miles to customers whose bags do not arrive to the carousel within 20 minutes. Alaska Air also gives customers the option to receive a USD25 travel voucher instead of the miles.

Delta first rolled out the 20-minute guarantee in late February on a trial basis and now has turned into a permanent feature.

“Customer response was positive and our employees are rallying to achieve the 20-minute mark, so it’s here to stay,” a Delta spokesperson told USA Today.

Passengers whose bags are slow to get to the carousel must fill out an online form at Delta’s website to receive the miles. The guarantee covers all itineraries where a traveler’s last leg is a domestic Delta flight.

Passengers must be a Delta SkyMiles member at the time of travel and are eligible only for 2,500 miles, regardless of number of bags they’ve checked. Lost, mishandled, and damaged bags are excluded, as are oversize and overweight baggage and special items.


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