Airlines in the United States lose or damage about 140,000 bags a month, or about three for every 100,000 passengers.
It's a relatively small loss rate. Still, several companies hope to capitalize on the frustration travelers feel waiting by the baggage carousel only to realize their luggage didn't make it onto their flight.
This week, Los Angeles company GlobaTrac plans to begin shipping a palm-sized device that travelers can toss into their bags to track luggage via the Internet or a smartphone app. The device, called Trakdot, sells for $50, plus fees.
Meanwhile, European aerospace company Airbus announced last month that it is producing luggage with built-in technology that allows passengers to track their bags. The luggage even includes a built-in scale to tell whether it is exceeding the maximum weight limits.
No word on the cost, but Airbus is reportedly considering letting airlines rent the bags to passengers.