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This topic contains 20 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  TravelWise 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #477944

    Anonymous
    #477945

    MartynSinclair
    Moderator

    I purchased a couple of Trakdots in June and have used them on 16 flights and 2 runs.

    I was after a product that could track my checked in bag, in as much that if it was not on the arrival baggage carrousel, I would know its location. Especially relevant after Junior’s golf clubs were taken in error from a baggage carrousel and went missing for 48 hours. Initially I was looking for an all singing all dancing GPS tracker, so I could see its location at all times, but finally realised this was pretty useless. If the unit was inside a case or inside an airport terminal, it wouldn’t be very effective due to a lack of a GPS signal.

    There are several units available (just search for luggage tracker) and a mix of GPS and GPRS options. Trakdot works on GPRS, by locking onto a local cell phone signal.

    The reason I went for Trakdot was its relative ease of functionality, low running costs and low initial cost. All in all I paid around €65 Euros which includes a years subscription to the tracking, for each unit. In the States the units can be purchased for as low as $30 + $25 lifetime tracking, as well a positive on line reviews.

    Set up is simple. You are able to register up to 5 email addresses or cell numbers who will receive notifications. This is a great option as you can let others know where you are (of course if you are so minded :)) ?).

    In my case, I have used the 5 notifications – My email, my cell phone, my partners email and cell and my brother’s cell phone. The cost of all notifications is covered by the annual subscription.

    It’s important to understand, that the notifications are only sent in the vicinity of airports. A text message and/or email are sent to the registered addresses each time the tracker is located in the vicinity of an airport. It supposedly works worldwide, except in Japan and a couple of other places. It does not work in train stations, city centres or hotels. However, the unit can be tracked on the system map, on the set up page. If you give your account log in details to anyone else, they will be able to get a rough idea of where you or your case is located.

    I have taken the unit on a couple of 15 mile + runs, just to see how accurately it tracks. The mapping system did not show anywhere near the exact route I ran, but it did show the run in terms of vicinity. I accept it is NOT a GPS tracker, but a Vicinity Tracker…

    How well does it work?

    The unit is placed in your checked luggage and the first test is when you arrive at your departure airport, you get a notification. I use both an email and cell phone notification on the basis that if one doesn’t work, the other should.

    Once inside the aircraft, the unit should go to sleep, to conserve battery power and is meant to awaken again, once it’s moved out of the cargo hold. This is when you get a notification to say the unit has been located in the vicinity of your destination airport.
    I also get a reassuring message when my bag is in transit. I recently went through Dublin and Philly before arriving at my final destination and I got reassuring messages at both airports to say my bag was there.

    It has worked about 85% of the time. The couple of times it hasn’t worked are due to the unit not waking up on being moved from the aircraft. I do generally get 2 notifications (email and text) but not always. I have no problem with my partner or brother knowing where I (or my case is located) and it is reassuring for me for close family to know where I am.

    In summary, it is designed to give a traveller the reassurance that a checked bag has arrived at its destination or provide information where it was last ‘seen’. My only concern about this unit is if my bag went on the missing list and the unit remained ‘asleep’, I would not be able to locate it. As long as the unit remains ‘awake’, you should know which airport the bag is located.
    I think in a short period of time, newer versions will be produced allowing for the 85% effectiveness to increase and I really don’t understand why a bag manufacturer hasn’t yet used this or a similar device within a design concept.

    I would certainly recommend this product..

    read in conjunction with this thread:

    http://www.businesstraveller.com/discussion/topic/The-holy-grail-of-luggage

    #477946

    WillieWelsh
    Participant

    Excellent review thank you Martyn. This is a product I must invest in, I’m always anxious at a baggage carousel and at least with this I’ll know whether I’m justified or not!

    #477947

    MartynSinclair
    Moderator

    Writing a review about a luggage tracker, before a 3 sector journey, there was only ever going to be one outcome.. .. I suffered an undelivered bag in Miami…thanks to British Airways…

    So, this gives me a perfect opportunity to complete the review on how the Trakdot actually performed.

    My route was Oslo – London (T5) – Miami and then on to Orlando. Trakdot sent reports to all 5 addresses, each time the unit arrived at Oslo airport in the morning, Heathrow and then Miami. I could also see on the map, the vicinity where my case was positioned.

    The problem was at Miami. Trakdot confirmed it had arrived into Miami. However, my case did not appear on the carrousel so I could clear it with Customs, before re checking it in with American Airlines. I went to the BA rep – who was totally useless. Kevin H, thanks for nothing.

    Firstly, I was told perhaps it was still in London. I got out my computer, fired it up and explained very politely that my bag had a tracker and it was showing it was in the baggage hall waiting for deliver. That immediately got some attention, before a quick phone call and then a ‘nothing we can do, please go and make a report’ – from Kev. However, he did say it could have been positioned for a direct transfer to the AA flight as it had been tagged all the way through. I checked with a Immigration office who was patrolling with a sniffer dog and he confirmed that this would not happen, I must clear my case in my possession with Customs.

    I had no choice but to go for my flight. I checked at the AA boarding gate and I was assured, yes of course your bag had been loaded, BA are able to transfer without the need of passengers collecting their bags and re checking them in.. (this definitely gave me the reassurance, my bag would remain in Miami).

    At my final destination, I was hoping to get a confirmation message, that my bag had indeed arrived with me, but it wasn’t there. I reported the case missing with AA, who had an office with a staff of 3, taking reports from a Q of people.

    I then went to the BA desk and spoke to a fantastic station manager, Mary Wilson. At first, she was extremely interested in how the Trakdot worked and basically confirmed she could not argue about the bags location. She made some phone calls to collegues in Miami, who arranged with AA to try and locate my bag. She called me back twice that evening.

    About 2 hours later, I received a second notification that my bag was still at Miami, but checking the map, could see it had moved to a new area.

    BA had said the bag would come up to Orlando on one of the two remaining flights that evening – however, it didn’t.

    This morning, again I saw my bag had moved and I was now more hopeful it was going to be reunited with me.

    10.30 am, I received an arrival notification from Trakdot and went straight to OIA, where it came through on the baggage carousel. I had been told AA would deliver the bag to me, but as I am only 20 minutes from OIA, I decided to go and get it myself as it would be quicker.

    The final disaster about the lost bag, when it was delivered, it looked as it had gone 1 round with Mike Tyson.. There were dents all over the bag, the zip was broken and most bizarrely, the pull out handle had been sheared off – with sharp metal dangerously exposed. This was my famous and favourite ORANGE bag! It was absolutely disgraceful – but rather than argue, AA just supplied a new bag, in black, but it does have a bright yellow dot on the front.

    So how did my Traker perform. It certainly didn’t stop and wont stop any bag getting lost. What it did do though was provide the reassurance of exactly where it was and better still, when it arrived at its proper final destination.

    A brilliant piece of kit and one I will now use in every checked bag..

    If any one wants a demo of what it can do, I would be happy to add an email or cell phone number to my list for part of my next flights so you see how well it works. Please email me at my published Hotmail account.

    I confirm I do not work for this company, but would be very pleased to have invested in it. A great product and hope BT decide to include it in a future review.

    #477948

    DerekVH
    Participant

    Like Martyn I can highly recommend this device which I have been using for a couple of years now. I flew LHR to SNN last weekend with 3 friends and we all had checked luggage. Mine did not appear on the belt and the Aer Lingus agent was somewhat sceptical when I told her my luggage was still in London but a quick call confirmed that fact and it was put on the next flght. Aer Lingus did not deliver it until 23 hours later but that is a different story and probably related to the fact their liability for delayed luggage kicks in at 24 hours!

    #477949

    MartynSinclair
    Moderator

    An update on this product.

    One of the 2 units I have hasn’t worked properly for the last couple of months. It was registering at my departure airport but after a flight, decided to stay ‘sleeping’ and would not register at my arrival airport.

    I contacted Trakdot via email and after a few messages back and forth, they agreed to send a replacement unit to me in London, which should hopefully arrive before my next Asia trip.

    I was very keen to buy one of these new all singing and dancing pieces of luggage with a built in tracker, but from what I have seen thus far of the baggage specs, the Trakdot product beats them all hands down.

    #477950

    TravelWise
    Participant

    Thanks to the members of the forum for the reviews of this product; I have decided to invest in one also and see how it goes.

    Just for information to share with all, today on Amazon.co.uk they have a price reduction and are offering the unit for only £39. This seems a good price compared to what I could find elsewhere, so snapped one up and will feedback here if my experience differs from the rest.

    Thought is was worth sharing and others could snap up a deal, or existing users may want to purchase additional units.

    (Note: I do not work for or am associated in any way with Amazon or Trackdot).

    Thanks all.

    #477951

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Thanks TravelWise, for that price I’m tempted to buy one.

    #477952

    first_class_please
    Participant

    I have had 4 for a couple of years now.

    Sure, they don’t always register at an airport, but in the whole are pretty reliable and excellent value for money.

    I would recommend to anyone.

    #477953

    FrequentTraveller
    Participant

    Thanks for the Trakdot information, I have been curious about this product for a while.

    If I was to travel with two items of checked luggage, each with it’s own Trakdot inside would it be possible to tell from the text and email notifications which Trakdot device was the source of the notification being sent? For example, say one bag was not loaded onto the aircraft at the departure airport. Would it be possible to tell from just the notification which bag actually arrived at destination airport?

    #477954

    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I recently bought a Trakdot and had to return it, as it would not register on the cellular network; neither would the replacement unit.

    I may have been unlucky with units from a bad batch, but am sharing this just as a data point for people.

    #477955

    first_class_please
    Participant

    FrequentTraveller – Yes, you give each device a name (I then put a sticker on each one so I knew which was which).

    The emails and text messages then clearly state which device it is advising on.

    I then get messages FCP Bag 1 and FCP Bag 2 etc..

    You can name them what you want, Large Suitcase, Golf Clubs etc..

    #477956

    MartynSinclair
    Moderator

    I have sent a link for this thread to Josh, who runs the technical desk at the firm – he may reply on the thread..

    One thing to check is whether your unit comes with a years license of lifetime. its worth paying more for the lifetime license, if you get a choice..

    #477957

    FrequentTraveller
    Participant

    first_class_please – Thank you. That is a nice feature to be able to give a user name to each device. Glad to hear that information is included in the notifications.

    #477958

    rattipatti
    Participant

    I have 2 of these too. Generally they work well but it is disconcerting when one reports in soon after landing and the other doesn’t! There then follows an anxious wait hoping that the bag arrives and the Trakdot just hasn’t woken up. so far, no actual issues but its a bit annoying. But overall, really very good.

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