Cape Town - We've all been there... stuck at the airport when your luggage has been left behind somewhere in Costa Rica or Cote d'Ivor.
Or, your handbag gets stolen and your passport or ID is dumped by the side of the road... even if someone picks it up and decides to return it to you, how would they go about it!?
Typically, in these cases, you have to rely on travel insurance or the good graces of airlines, airports and officials to return your belongings back to safety.
Nine of 10 times, unfortunately, this doesn't happen.
Up to 20 million bags are mislaid in airports every year, and in London alone, 50 000 mobile phones get left behind in taxis annually, according to the producers of a new digitally smart luggage tag, HomingPIN.
South Africa is no different, with thousands of personal belongings making its way into Lost & Found containers nationwide every year. Uber has become one of the biggest, unofficial 'Lost & Found' services, returning home keys and other personal belongings to users daily.
The saddest part is that even if a stranger wants to return your property to you - they often don't even know where to start...
Needless to say, there's a need for a solution to return lost or misplaced property globally - and it's a gap that HomingPIN hopes to fill.
HomingPIN has launched new luggage tags and labels that are digital and smart - which means that lost items can be returned using modern technology.
How does it work?
HomingPIN offers baggage loops with tags, key rings and stickers that have a unique identification number on them. This number gets activated online prior to using the tag and is linked to the owner’s email address and cellphone number.
If someone finds a cellphone, keys, baggage, or any other item that has a HomingPIN tag on it, they can notify the owner by visiting HomingPIN online and entering the unique identification number, as well as their contact details.
The owner is then immediately notified via SMS and email, and is able to contact the founder to retrieve their belongings.
Keeping smart security in mind, finders are not given the owner’s contact details or any other personal information, so it is up to the owner to make contact first.
HomingPIN tags, stickers and key rings allow you to tag a variety of items including, but not limited to, luggage, laptop computers, mobile phones, keys, wallets and passports.
Check it out:
What can it mean for travellers, globally?
HomingPIN is integrated with the worldwide World Tracer system, which all baggage handlers have access to. For airlines, HomingPIN will instantly provide information on the bag’s whereabouts when it is found.
The airline will then contact the owner to arrange transfer of the goods. What’s more, is that HomingPIN can provide reasonably-priced transportation of your found goods, from anywhere in the world.
It is the only International Air Transport Association (IATA) accredited luggage-tracking mechanism currently available.
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