Find your Bag? Follow the Face

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Photo ID Baggage Pouches

Photo ID Baggage Pouches

Lost luggage is a perennial problem and one suggestion to reduce the numbers lost has come from a Belgian based company called Bagage-Identification. The idea is that a small self-adhesive pouch is attached to your baggage, hold or cabin, and this contains your photograph. No photo, no bag allowed into the system goes the mantra of the company. But how big is the scale of lost luggage? Apparently 12,000 laptops are lost each week as passengers go through US customs. This pouch may help your luggage to stay with you.

So what is so different about this scheme and why might it work?

For a start the manufacturer is the inventor. Bernard Thoorens, has developed the plastic and the adhesive that grips the pouch to the item. Peel off the backing strip, attach it to the item and 24 hours later it is as stuck fast as it will ever be. But how strong is it? I tried to peel it off a case and after a few minutes I had a corner loose. With time I could do it but anyone snatching a bag wouldn’t have that time. If it can’t be done in a minute or so the only other way would be to cover the photo with your hand. But that is going to looks so obvious that you would be spotted. I then picked up the case (it wasn’t full but had a bit of weight in it) by the edge of the pouch that I had managed to start peeling off thinking that might pull it off but no, I could hold it a few feet above the ground and it was still firmly attached.

Why not just remove the photo and insert one of you and then you could walk off with it? The problem there is that if you try and replace the photo the plastic surrounding the photo splits and looks damaged. So it could be spotted.

This isn’t the perfect solution but for a simple, cheapish (about €10 for 3) idea it would dissuade many from nicking your item. But it isn’t only for travelling luggage. School items that have a habit of disappearing after gym lessons could be tagged in this way as well or bags left in the schoolyard. Government laptops that go walkabout from the backs of taxis might not happen so often. And from a security point of view, a photograph provides an instant match with the person carrying it. No fancy expensive iris recognition is required and it has one other major benefit, – you won’t need photo ID to reclaim you bags because it’s already there.

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