Renowned baggage manufacturer Tumi has come up with a new device that enables the owner to trace baggage throughout the world and send alerts about the location and other preset options.
The Tumi Global Locator is available in the U.S. online store for a price of US$150 but it’s not totally clear what practical purpose this device actually has in case of lost luggage etc.
While it sounds fancy to be able to track your bags worldwide the obvious comes to mind: The only reason why you would need something like this is when a carrier lost your luggage. Even though you know where exactly it is with the help of the tracer this will be of little to no help though as an airline still needs to wait until the bag shows up in their own system to be retrieved, labeled and then forwarded.
You can check out the product at the U.S. Tumi Online shop here.
Tumi describes their product as follows:
Introducing the wireless tracking device designed to take the hassle out of travel and put peace of mind at your fingertips. A wireless and entirely compact device, TUMI Global locator uses GPS, GSM, WIFI and Bluetooth technology to provide location positioning information via mobile interface to users. Intuitively smart and FAA compliant, the TUMI Global locator knows to shut itself off during airplane mode and back on upon landing. An absolute must-have for anyone who values peace of mind during travel or keeping track of bags used day-to-day. Connected by AT&T, the TUMI Global locator is ready to go straight out of the box with the purchase of a 1-year service plan which begins at time of purchase. Service renewals will be available at TUMI.com.DimensionsH: 2.6 inW: 4.38 inD: 0.75 inWeight: 1.3 lbs
Primary Material: Engineering Thermoplastics
The service plan costs another US$50 per year on top of the device which comes at US$150.
And 1.3 pounds extra in your bag just to be able to track a possibly lost suitcase in 2017 where a cellphone weighs a couple hundred grams? I’m aware the technical aspects of these two devices might not be exactly the same but I’d still like to draw a parallel between the two things.
Here are the features of the product:
As expected there is nothing noteworthy that really offers a substantial benefit to the traveler to make up for the weight, price and overall hassle (charging etc).
There seems to be a trend with baggage manufacturers to throw these random, more or less useless gadgets on the market. Rimowa did exactly the same thing with their eTag (see here) which is an integrated display that allows the traveler to emulate their own baggage label with participating airlines.
Needless to say the price for suitcases that have the eTag is about 90 EUR higher than those without. A friend of mine has such a suitcase and he said it was a disaster every single time he wanted to use it with one of the airlines that are currently participating (Eva Air, Lufthansa, Swiss).
Why would I pay extra for something like this, just to have a hassle and the airline not attaching a regular label on the suitcase? If you’re really unlucky the bag ends up at an airport where the employees are totally unaware of this feature and due to the missing tag it vanishes for a good amount of time (or forever).
I love new travel products just as I love all my Tumi and Rimowa suitcases but I draw a line when it comes to stuff that makes absolutely no sense, especially when the manufacturer wants to charge you extra for it.
When it’s paired with additional inconveniences such as a considerably higher weight (Locator device) or handling hassle (eTag) such a product is automatically on the blacklist.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tumi Global Locator will either be discontinued or ends up in the Tumi Sale in a not too far away future.