Home Travel News

Track my bag: NZ, VA follow US airlines with live luggage tracking

Air New Zealand has expanded its luggage tracking program pilot to up to 25 per cent of its app users on domestic flights and five per cent of users on short international flights, including to Australia, as Virgin Australia debuts a similar service.

Air New Zealand has expanded its luggage tracking program pilot to up to 25 per cent of its app users on domestic flights and five per cent of users on short international flights, including to Australia, as Virgin Australia debuts a similar service.

Air New Zealand introduced its baggage tracking program in April 2023 for select domestic flights.

Passengers can track the progress of their luggage in the Air NZ app throughout their journey – from check-in to inflight and when it arrives at their destination.

The feature allows customers to view the last recorded status of their bags in the Air NZ app while travelling. After completing the bag drop, ‘Check status’ appears on the baggage card on the app’s flight details screen.

Air NZ App Baggage tracking feature
Baggage tracking features in the Air NZ app.

Virgin Australia also announced the introduction of a bag-tracking feature to its app, starting with a trial on flights between Brisbane and Sydney this week.

VA is the first Australian airline to offer baggage tracking.

The free service is available on the Virgin Australia app by enabling notifications. Passengers will receive a push notification when bags are checked in and again at their destination to retrieve items from the luggage carousel.

What other airlines offer bag tracking?

The carriers follow the lead of United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which all integrate real-time baggage tracking into their mobile apps and have done for over a decade.

There are few other airlines outside the US that provide this service despite baggage handling becoming a global aviation issue as travel rebounded after the pandemic.

Korean Air offers baggage tracking on its departing flights from Seoul Incheon International Airport only, while China Eastern has a similar service for certain domestic routes via WeChat.

Singapore Changi Airport is currently testing its iChangi Baggage Tracker, which will be rolled out to all flights.

With the air transport industry due to double by 2035, IATA aims to launch a global Bagjourney service that enables passengers to track their bags at airports and on flights around the world, including lost luggage returning to owners.

In other baggage handling moves, Qatar Airways joined the likes of Alaska Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, China Southern, KLM and Air Dolomiti to use BAGTAG technology that allows passengers to check in luggage from anywhere using their smartphones.