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Delta starts baggage-tracking service

Track your bags before they’re lost. (Feb. 24,

Track your bags before they’re lost. (Feb. 24, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Delta Air Lines, one of the nation's largest air carriers, can't promise not to lose your bags, but it has launched an online service to let you track the movement of your bags at each stage of their journey from baggage check-in to airport arrival.

You can even go online during your flight to see whether your bag made it onto your plane.

Several airlines have online programs to let passengers track the status of lost-luggage claims. But Delta says it is the first U.S. airline to provide an online service to follow the movement of luggage before it is lost.

This is how it works: Baggage handlers attach a tag with a bar code to each piece of luggage. As the luggage is screened, sorted and loaded into planes, workers scan the code at several points in the process. Passengers who go to baggage/Baggage TrackStatus.action can use the numbers on their luggage tags to see when and where their bags were last scanned.

A Delta spokesman said the airline is working on an application to let passengers track luggage from smartphones and other mobile devices.

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