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You know that awful sinking in your stomach as you watch the carousel empty until you're the only one left, vainly urging the conveyor belt to spit out just one more bag? Well, the airlines think radio frequency ID tags could fix the lost-luggage problem, according to this article from the New York Times. The problem, of course, is that with airlines losing money tail over wing, they can't afford to use the technology to track bags. As the Times writer said so wonderfully, "Most are in such dire financial straits that that kind of money could be as hard to come by as legroom in coach."

While they could recoup the costs relatively quickly by reducing their lost-luggage percentage--and all the extra labor required to find the wayward bags--from 30 percent to 5 percent, I doubt they have the cash hanging around for the initial outlay. Which is a shame.

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