I love to travel but every time I head to the airport I’m filled with anxiety at the thought that my luggage might not make it to my final destination with me. When flying domestic I almost never check in a bag and would rather struggle with a tiny carry-on than worry about whether or not my beloved Samsonite bag will make it onto the baggage carousel. And, don’t even get me started on the clothes inside said bag. When packing I say a little goodbye to every item of clothing in my check-in bag because there’s a part of me that knows that I might never see it again. Which is why this anxious traveller is so excited about discovering HomingPIN. The worldwide lost property system gives you peace of mind when travelling and helps you retrieve lost luggage (as well as passports, cell phones, wallets, and more) should anything go wrong.

The bad new is that up to 20 million bags are mislaid in airports every year (which means my anxiety is warranted) and in London alone, 50 000 mobile phones get left behind in taxis annually. South Africa is no different, while we might be sceptical about good samaritans handing things in when they’re lost, it turns out that the average South African does hand in lost items and thousands of personal belongings make their way into Lost and Found containers nationwide every year. But, when they arrive at a lost-property office or police station, only approximately 25% are returned to the owner because there is no simple way to track them down. After less than a month, the 75% of items that are unclaimed are usually auctioned. HomingPIN offers an innovative solution to this global problem with the HomingPIN tag.

HomingPin

There’s no doubt, the frustration of losing a suitcase or even a laptop, mobile phone or set of keys is enough to drive anyone up the wall. Of course, it can be costly to replace lost property – especially when you lose an entire suitcase of clothing – but losing a laptop or electronic device also puts you at risk of losing precious photos, documents and information. Which is what makes HomingPIN so brilliant. It’s a safe and affordable way for someone to return your list items to you with ease.

So how does it work? HomingPIN offers baggage loops with tags, key rings and stickers that have a unique identification number on them. This number gets activated online by you prior to using the tag, and is linked to the owner’s email address and cellphone number. If someone finds a cellphone, keys, baggage, or any other item that has a HomingPIN tag on it, they can easily notify the owner by visiting the HomingPIN website. Each tag and sticker instructs the finder of the item to visit www.homingpin.com in the event of finding the item. Once on the website, they are prompted to enter the unique identification number, as well as their contact details. The owner is then immediately notified via SMS and email and is able to contact the founder to retrieve their belongings. For your safety finders are not given the owner’s contact details, so it is up to the owner to make contact first.

HomingPin

What makes the system so great for travellers is that the HomingPIN system is integrated with the worldwide World Tracer system, which all baggage handlers have access to. For airlines, HomingPIN will instantly provide information on the bag’s whereabouts when it is found. The airline will then contact the owner to arrange transfer of the goods. And, if you’re not able to collect your bag yourself (because it’s on the other side of the world) HomingPIN is also able to provide reasonably-priced transportation of your found goods, from anywhere in the world. The fact that you have a secondary tracking system for your luggage, in addition to those flimsy stickers from the airline, definitely gives me more peace of mind when travelling and after activating my first pack I’m definitely going to invest in more HomingPIN luggage tags.

HomingPIN tags, stickers and key rings allow you to tag a variety of items including, but not limited to, luggage, laptop computers, mobile phones, keys, wallets and passports. They’re super easy-to-use and I’ve already tagged my favourite luggage as well as my passport, ID book, driver’s license, laptop, tablet, cellphone, iPod, and wallet. Of course, retrieving these items is all based on a good samaritan finding them and returning them to me but at least now it’s easier for them to track me down should they find my lost items and want to get it back to me. The HomingPIN tags are also a lifesaver for families with kids. Let’s face it; kids lose stuff and with this handy tool, lost goods have a much better chance of being returned to their owners, and you as a parent have more peace of mind.

Still not convinced? Watch the video below to see how it works:

To get access to the service you will have to pay a very minimal annual subscription (about R90 a year) for your HomingPIN account. The first year’s subscription comes included with the purchase price of your HomingPIN starter pack or standard pack and from there needs to be renewed on the anniversary of the date you first registered on the HomingPin website.

The HomingPIN starter pack retails for a recommended price of R200 (includes 1 loop & tag, 1 keyring and 4 stickers) while the standard pack retails for a recommended price of R450 (includes 3 loops & tags, 1 keyring and 12 stickers). HomingPIN packs are available at select Cape Union Mart Stores, Clicks and online at www.takealot.com. For more information say Hi to HomingPIN South Africa on Facebook or visit the HomingPIN website.