American Airlines Aims to End Lost Luggage

American Airlines is hoping new technology can help travelers save time at a North Texas airport.

The carrier hopes to improve on-time arrivals and baggage transfers with a new computerized system.

Baggage handlers say the system gets passengers and their baggage in the air and headed to their destinations faster. Handlers can track arriving flights, connections and departures using a computer screen next to each driver.

The readout offers up-to-date information that helps the handler get the most important luggage to its destination first.

Workers also use hand-held devices to keep an eye on bags.

"Before this solution,  the driver would have a piece a paper and would drive around," said American Airlines worker Ken Ihrig.

"This will actually improve our baggage handling by providing accurate gate information," he said.

Basically, the system keeps luggage moving, when planes aren't.

Customers couldn't be happier.

"My bags come in one piece, and they always go where I'm going," Dallas traveler Bob Batallia said. "That's a big improvement."

Right now, the technology is only being used at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, but it could be rolled out in airports around the country in the future.

Fort Worth-based American is also testing a modern computerized system in the tower that will some day replace the paper "puck" system in use right now.

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