LAS VEGAS--A company called GlobaTrac is hoping to make a big business out of the painful reality that airlines are so good at losing luggage.
GlobaTrac, based in Los Angeles, is at CES 2013 to show off Trakdot, a small, battery-powered device that sits in your suitcase and tracks your luggage -- whichever airport it might end up at. The device works using GSM -- the Federal Aviation Authority won't allow such devices to use GPS -- and sends messages directly to as many cell phones as you assign to it. So if you're flying to Paris, and your luggage flies to London, you'll get a message on your phone saying that's where your bag is. Still a pain, of course, but at least you'll know.
As for demand? That seems easy. Mayer Alexander, GlobaTrac's VP of sales for North America, rattled off some stats from the FAA: of the 140 million people who flew more than once last year, he said, 26 million lost their luggage -- or, more correctly, an airline lost their luggage. Which explains why Alexander says the company has been flooded of preorders. He said the Trakdot, which costs $49.99, will be available in March.