Video: The Crazy Tech Airports Use to Track Your Luggage

Jaromir Chalabala/

It's a journey just to start the journey.

At the airport, travelers take a long journey, making their way from ticketing, through security, with a pit stop at the newsstand and finally arriving at their gate and boarding their airplane. But what about the journey their checked luggage makes?

To get the 3.2 billion bags checked annually from point A to point Z, airports and airlines must rely on a variety of technologies.

Miles of conveyor belts and complex sorting systems mean each bag needs to have a tag so it arrives at the correct airplane. British Airways has begun using smart tags featuring Bluetooth and e-ink, while Delta Airlines has opted for RFID tags that contain chips that can be tracked and scanned even when the bar code isn't visible.

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At some airports, giant robotic arms help stack luggage when it arrives at the appropriate destination, meaning your bag might have had a more exciting trip than you will. 

To see this technology in action, check out the video below from Wired: