British Airways Harrier

Old Dec 19, 19, 1:09 pm
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British Airways Harrier

Evening all,

Had a few emails over the past few days to take part in a trial with BA with their new "Harrier" project, seems like a GPS tracker that I have to put in my bag so if it goes missing they can locate it quicker and let me know exactly where it is.

Just wondering has anyone else signed up? Seems like a good product albeit not something I'd pay for!

Rob
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Old Dec 19, 19, 1:12 pm
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The first email did say

Of course, we’ll need your utmost discretion whilst this product is still in development and your commitment to complete the trial.
So, I think you can assume that's why its not being mentioned on here. Or do I have too much faith in people....
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Old Dec 19, 19, 1:26 pm
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Of course, AA and QR keep you informed about where your bags are anyway.

Other airlines also exist, but are beyond my ken to date.
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Old Dec 19, 19, 1:54 pm
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Is this any different from the Tag they also started to get involved with??
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Old Dec 19, 19, 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Is this any different from the Tag they also started to get involved with??
If it does more than the ONE bag that the current thing does, it woukd be a help.
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Old Dec 19, 19, 2:26 pm
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Im disappointed.... from the thread title I was picturing a Hawker Harrier in BA livery....
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Old Dec 19, 19, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
If it does more than the ONE bag that the current thing does, it woukd be a help.
It's a cunning plan to limit your number of checked bags.
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Old Dec 19, 19, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by GK1981 View Post
The first email did say



So, I think you can assume that's why its not being mentioned on here. Or do I have too much faith in people....
Maybe, but fairly easy to find out more

https://www.britishairways.com/en-es...b/faqs/harrier
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Old Dec 19, 19, 4:00 pm
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Oh, so they really went live with that. In my experience, about 1% of bags miss their flight, and less than 1% of that 1% gets well and truly lost (because of the tag getting ripped, or whatever). So project "Harrier" helps 0.01% of BA's bags.
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Old Dec 19, 19, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by 13901 View Post
Oh, so they really went live with that. In my experience, about 1% of bags miss their flight, and less than 1% of that 1% gets well and truly lost (because of the tag getting ripped, or whatever). So project "Harrier" helps 0.01% of BA's bags.
If one considers BA transport around 30 million bags a year, I'd say the associated cost saving of tracking down 300,000 lost bags could be a pretty decent investment.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 2:58 am
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Originally Posted by TTmex View Post
If one considers BA transport around 30 million bags a year, I'd say the associated cost saving of tracking down 300,000 lost bags could be a pretty decent investment.
The number you mention - which is not that far off the truth - is the number of short-shipped bags, for which a live tracking system has actually gone live internally earlier in the year (and that will, eventually, include partner airlines' too). But the key point is that those 300,000 bags are not lost in the sense of "don't know where they are". The airline, or its partners, know where they are, but the knowledge - up until now - might not be fully widespread.

For instance, you do a transfer DTW-ORD-LHR. Your bag is late out of T3, doesn't get to T5 in ORD in time to get on the BA296; AA knows where the bag is, BA ORD knows where the bag is when it hits them, but BA at large doesn't. So when you land, unless BA ORD has received the bag and created a "Forward message" for its new flight, BA Arrivals in T5 wouldn't really know what happened to the bag, because BA LHR Arrivals have no way of checking the automated status messages that the Chicago ORD baggage system is generating. But others do. Nominally, ORD.

The system that is being implemented internally allows everyone in BA to know that. It gets all the baggage scans from all BA airports and throws it into a database, where people can see where bags are in real time. Eventually I understand, or so it was when I left, that it'll wind up being used at all but the smallest airports and, even more eventually, it'll end up to the customer too.

What "project Harrier" does, instead, is to pre-empt the full loss of bags. The number is not 300,000 in your example, but more like 3,000 in your example (can't say the actual number though but it's lower than that). Bags like these go missing when they have no identifier (i.e. the bag tag is not there anymore and the bag look & feel doesn't match any lost report in the airline's database), and they're extremely rare. I say it again: when a bag is short-shipped during a transfer, there is knowledge of the whereabouts of the bag; that knowledge is not widespread, but it'll be once the tracking system is fully rolled out. What "Harrier" does, instead, is telling you "If your bag is short-shipped, and if it's no longer attached to its bag tag, and if no one recognises it as your bag based on your description, if you have this tracker, and if the tracker is active, then we can find it". Assuming that the tracker has enough power to penetrate the several meters of reinforced concrete and steel where the baggage systems normally are and where radio frequencies normally have trouble getting into.

I think there is, though, one point about "Harrier" that would be useful, and that is out-of-gauge baggage (and that was the feedback people smarter than me made when it was originally discussed). In most airports, bulky baggage doesn't go through the system and is very much a manual process. Where there's manual processes there's error and short-shipments for bulky bags are normally much higher (think 5-8%) than 'normal bags', which is an utter shame because it's mostly baby strollers, pushchairs and mobility aids and if there's one bag that should never miss its flight it's somebody's wheelchair. In 13901 Airways I'd care a lot more about a wheelchair than an F-passenger's bag, personally. That tracker would be great in those instances, provided it's also monitored by those responsible for moving the bags.


sorry, I wrote the Iliad again...
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Old Dec 20, 19, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by 13901 View Post
...

sorry, I wrote the Iliad again...
But very usefully. Thank you.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 3:13 am
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Originally Posted by trooper View Post
Im disappointed.... from the thread title I was picturing a Hawker Harrier in BA livery....
You're not the only one...
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Old Dec 20, 19, 3:41 am
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What is the rule of having electronics device with (lithium) batteries and sends wireless signal?

Are we ok to check in luggages with built in GPS now?
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Old Dec 20, 19, 5:16 am
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Originally Posted by SKRan View Post
What is the rule of having electronics device with (lithium) batteries and sends wireless signal?

Are we ok to check in luggages with built in GPS now?
The tracker has an automatic flight safe mode:

The Tracker will automatically switch to Flight Safe Mode to turn off the Tracker wireless transmitters when use is prohibited, while traveling in aircraft. No action from the user is required for this. Upon arrival at the Airport the Tracker will automatically get out of Flight Safe Mode and return to normal operation mode and broadcast its location.
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