Did you see my guest post on Elliott.org on: “Should airlines require GPS tracking of unaccompanied minors?”

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Yesterday I had the privilege of posting on my friend and fellow BA bloggers site Elliott.org about the new GPS tracking Delta has started to offer to folks. Here it is in case you missed it!

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Delta Air Lines yesterday started letting you track your pet using GPS. It’s no April Fool’s joke. You can tag Fido’s of Fluffy’s pet carrier now if you are willing to ship ’em on a cargo jet.

In fact, an airline representative told me that, for a $50 fee, Delta cargo will GPS tag anything you want to ship, not just a pet.

But the real joke would be if Delta stopped there.

Tracking pets really is a terrific idea. Americans love their animal companions. They take them everywhere. I mean everywhere.

Yet each year beloved pets are either lost, run away or for some reason die in the belly of jets. Last year, airlines lost a total of 42 pets, according to the Department of Transportation. Of those, 21 were reported killed, 15 injured and 6 simply misplaced.

If your pet is small enough, and you don’t mind paying yet another airline fee, you can take them as carry-on luggage to keep them safe. Or, with Delta, if your larger pet is famous enough — yes, this really is a rule — then you can buy a ticket and a seat for them onboard.

But has Delta gone far enough? Since you’re paying yet one more in a never-ending list of fees, why not have the option to GPS-tag a pet on the same flight as you are on? Sadly, I was told Delta has no current plans to offer the GPS tracking service on passenger jets.

We could take this even one step further. Airlines, including Delta, have had issues with unaccompanied minors getting “lost” along the way . I can tell you if I were sending a precious child on an airline unaccompanied I would love to be able to GPS track where he or she was along the journey, even for a fee.

If an airline can spend a small fortune to “enhance” their travel “app” to offer up-sells for seats, wi-fi, meals and more, then why not spend a few dollars on something that could make such a difference to so many? Peace of mind is something I value highly.

For example, I have installed on both my wife’s and my phone a simple app that can tell me where my phone is at any time in real time. I can even command it remotely to take a photo with either the front or rear facing camera. Not only does this give me peace of mind if the phone is stolen, but if something goes wrong I can find my wife in an emergency.

As fast as technology is advancing, maybe a GPS tag should not just be a cargo option, but required for the things we hold most dear in our lives. – René

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