Track It Back is Good for More than Just Earning Miles?

As I rhapsodized nostalgic about back in August, the US Airways 2009 holiday shopping promotion was the biggest frequent flyer promotion I ever took advantage of, for myself and for others I earned over 16 million miles.

After making purchases from four other merchants on the US Airways Dividend Miles shopping sites, purchases from Track It Back earned 140 miles per dollar — they doubled their usual 20 miles per dollar offer to 40 miles per dollar, and five different merchant transactions would earn a 250% bonus. That meant buying miles in unlimited quantity for 7/10ths of a penny apiece, donating the Track It Back stickers to charity would reduce the cost to half a cent a mile.

The idea behind Track it Back is that you put the sticker on an item, register the sticker, and then if the item is lost and found Track It Back will help you recover it — they’ll cover the shipping cost, and provide a reward (which turns out to be … stickers).

So I really enjoyed reading Million Mile Secrets this morning, he had a Track It Back success story — he put a sticker on his checked bag, the paper bag tag came off but the sticker helped him recover the luggage from Lufthansa.

… I called Lufthansa’s office in Mumbai to ask about my bag, but they hadn’t found it yet.

And they didn’t find it the next day either. In the meantime, Lufthansa promised to send me documents to fill out to get reimbursed, but I never did receive them.

…On the 3rd day, Emily storms into the bathroom while I’m showering and yelled: “Track-it-back sent me an email. They found our bag!”

It turns out that our bag was found in Frankfurt by Lufthansa’s lost and found who called Track-it-Back to report it as lost. Track-it-Back then emailed Emily and left her a voice mail to let her know that the bag was found.

We were very happy, but it took another 4 days to finally get our bag. It turns out that Lufthansa wouldn’t release the bag to Track-it-Back who normally arranges to ship the bag back to you.

So I called Lufthansa’s Mumbai office and asked them if they had found the bag. When I was told that they hadn’t, I gave them them the Frankfurt’s lost-and-found reference number and they were able to locate the bag.

I found it very amusing that I had to coordinate between Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Mumbai offices to get my bag back!

Eventually we had the bag delivered to our house and it turns out that the reason the bag went missing was because the paper tag came off from the bag. But the plastic Track-it-Back tag was firmly fixed to the bag and helped us get our bag back.

I never thought I’d actually use Track-it-Back for its intended purpose!

I love this story!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I am not following the math here. You say you earned 16 million miles @ $0.007/mile still costs $112,000. The rate is great, but surely you did not pay that much for airline miles. If you spent that much and donated it all to charity, you are a real saint!

  2. well, Gary did say it was from him and others…at that rate, I could see myself buying at least 1 million miles, if not two, at $5-10k…and then if you’re doing it for a few other people, you could get up to 16M miles/$112k.

  3. I was wowed by the numbers, too, having gone in for 10K which netted roughly 1.4M miles, but I suspect he means a handful of people. (though I was just thinking that I should have gotten more!)

    I also just discovered a box of them that didn’t make it out as gifts or to charity, and while lots of my friends and family (and business colleagues) have the stickers on their stuff, I just first one on something: my Bose headsets (after hearing AA FA have a fit about a missing pair. The AA ones all have AA on them, but the sticker also helps identify my pair as mine).

    Hoping for some other funky fun promo soon. Not even sure US Air did the holiday promo this past year. The 2010 holiday promo was a dud after the largess of the 2009 one. (and the grand slam comes and goes so quickly!)

  4. I was in for $5,000 worth of TIB stickers. $112,000 is an astounding number. No wonder they sold out!

  5. Since Track It Back is gone, I respectfully suggest trying FoundIt!

    It’s simple and based in academic research. You get an instant text and email with the Finder’s contact info and message and YOU arrange how you want to get your stuff back. Your info is safe. No one has your name or email.

    Try it out for a year. For less than $1.50 a month. Enter in code BOARDING and get 30% off.

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