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Saturday,  April 20, 2024 10:49 PM 

Air Canada expands baggage tracking tool to U.S. flights


Air Canada expands baggage tracking tool to U.S. flights
Air Canada’s bag tracking tool is now available on U.S. flights. The airline's app also has a new dark mode setting. (Air Canada)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Air Canada’s new bag tracking feature is now available to passengers on flights to the United States, according to an update posted to social media on Feb. 15.

The real-time tracker, which customers can access through Air Canada’s app, was initially rolled out for Canadian domestic flights in December.

The feature allows customers to track the progress of their baggage as it moves with them throughout their journey.

Air Canada’s app, which the carrier said is “the best way for customers to manage their travel,” is free to download.

The app also lets customers track mobility aids that are checked, such as wheelchairs – a service that appears to align with the airline’s promise to speed up its accessibility plan by removing barriers for customers with disabilities.

Making travel easier

“We're now bringing the peace-of-mind and reassurance of tracking to flights to/from the United States,” wrote Tyler Katz, director of digital at Air Canada, on his LinkedIn page. “It’s all about making travel easier and keeping customers informed every step of the way, especially when it comes to the belongings they entrust us to carry.”

Air Canada’s bag tracking tool has “exceeded everyone's expectations,” Katz added, suggesting that the next stage will be to expand the service to “the world.”

READ MORE: Air Canada's app now tracks baggage & mobility aids in real time

In addition, Air Canada has introduced a new “dark mode” setting for its app – made especially for passengers on red-eye flights, Katz wrote.

“It’s not just easier on the eyes in low-light conditions but also looks great any time of the day,” Katz wrote. “Dark mode is available in v5.42, which started rolling out to customers earlier this week on iOS and Android.”

Long overdue

Bag tracking is a long overdue amenity at Air Canada, which, throughout its post-COVD recovery years, has made a string of negative news headlines for losing people's bags. 

(Shutterstock)

In one particularly high-profile incident last October, the airline faced heightened scrutiny after forgetting Stephanie Cadieux’s wheelchair on a flight from Toronto to Vancouver.

Cadieux is Canada’s Chief Accessibility Officer. Upon discovering that Air Canada left her wheelchair behind in Toronto, she was “furious." 

“This was immensely frustrating and dehumanizing – and I was furious,” Cadieux wrote in a LinkedIn post about the incident. “I want everyone to understand that when a person’s wheelchair is lost, so is their independence, safety, mobility, and dignity. Yet, airlines do not treat these pieces of medical equipment as the essential extensions of individual’s bodies that they are.”

Air Canada apologized to Cadieux, saying that it recognizes the importance of mobility devices to their users, and that it would explore solutions to prevent such incidents from happening again.  

When Air Canada first announced bag tracking, 59 per cent of people said the tool made them feel more confident about checking their luggage, according to a CTV poll that was conducted in December

The tracking tool brings Air Canada up to speed with other major North American airlines – such as United, American and Delta – that offer similar technology.


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