North Texas

Vacationers May Spend More on Break Due to RFID Technology

Many kids are out of school and families across North Texas are headed out of town for Spring Break.

Travel and technology have been combining more these days and it's helping to make life a little simpler.

Some of this stuff you may already know but not realize how much it's growing and expanding.

Companies are making it easier to access your money, which means you and your kids could wind up spending more than planned.

You'll find the technology everywhere. Disney World uses "magic bands." It's a little bracelet you attach to your wrist and it "magically" lets you buy things.

It's your ticket to the park, and your room key all rolled into one. It uses Radio-Frequency Identification Technology or RFID. It's a chip embedded in the bracelet that has everything you need while on your trip. Resorts, hotels, and cruise lines and now even airlines are using the technology.

Delta Air Lines talked to NBC 5 Responds as they launched the service last year and provided some video as to how it works. A tiny chip is now inside your luggage tag, kind of like Apple's "Find my iPhone." It allows the airline to see your bag at all times.

"We're able to see how quickly the customer's luggage is moving through the various part of the routing to get on the airplane," said Sandy Gordon of Delta Air Lines.

It gets better. The chip not only shows where your bag is, but will shut down the conveyor belt if your bag is about to head to Boise instead of your destination in the Bahamas.

It's all designed to simplify your trip and eliminate the bumps. So no more digging for keys or even carrying your wallet.

But here's what you should remember:

That's real money on your bracelet. It becomes so easy to swipe you kind of forget you're spending cash, kids especially. Many hotels will let you limit how much they can spend or any at all.

Check your accounts regularly while you're gone. Most companies swear there's no personal information stored on the RFID chips, but hackers are always hard at work and you never know what they can figure out. So log online and make sure your money's still there.

And lastly, know what you're giving up. RFID not only tracks bags, it can track you. Letting the resort know where you are and what time you got there. Some companies can take note of what activities you used or how much you spent, so if you don't like the idea of big brother watching, it may not be for you.

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