It was the summer of lost luggage. A debilitating staff shortage, combined with increased demand for air tickets as people feel more comfortable traveling, has led to a rise in piles of suitcases and belongings, separated from their owners, left to languish in airports only to go viral social media. If you’re flying this summer, travel experts recommend bringing only carry-on luggage. But sometimes you need to check the bag, so how do you make sure it arrives at its final destination?
Enter Apple’s AirTags. First released in April 2021, AirTag connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and lets you track its exact location in the Find Me app. These easy-to-set-up $29 devices have batteries that last about a year and were originally marketed to help users track small personal items like keys, a wallet or a Kindle. However, AirTags have become a hot travel accessory this summer because they can track your checked baggage even if the airline or airport doesn’t know where it is.
“I’m a big fan of AirTags, especially with all the recent baggage issues this summer. I highly recommend that passengers purchase AirTags to track their bags, especially on international and/or connecting flights.” – Brian Kelly, Company Founder The Points Guy, a travel advice site that focuses on credit card points and airline miles, tells City and country. In today’s chaotic travel landscape, Kelly uses AirTags to always know where his luggage is at any given time.
While the brand name “AirTag” is quickly becoming shorthand for this particular type of tiny tracking device, it should be noted that it’s hardly the only one on the market, especially since AirTag only works with iPhones or other Apple devices like the iPad. Samsung makes the Galaxy SmartTag, which functions very similarly to the AirTag, but only for Samsung smartphones. Similarly, Tile Pro has long been marketed as a solution for finding lost luggage and is compatible with all types of smartphones. However, unlike AirTags, Tile requires a subscription for features like location history, and the settings aren’t as intuitive. There’s also the Chipolo One, compatible with iOS and Android devices, which makes an extremely loud noise to help you find your lost item.
Alternatively, instead of using a tracking device, you can try shipping your luggage to your final destination. Said Tesa Totengco, a travel agent who founded Travels with Tesa T&C while she hasn’t personally used AirTags or any other tracker, she advises her clients to ship their luggage to their destination to completely avoid the problem of lost luggage, “especially with a risky flight.”
All in all, it’s not just travel experts who turn to AirTags. Dr. Stephanie Chouinard, Professor of Political Science at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Canada, published on Twitter: “if you’re traveling this summer, seriously consider adding an AirTag to your checked baggage.”
“I’ve seen many friends and colleagues travel in the summer and have their luggage get lost or arrive at their destination several days late,” says Chouinard. T&C. AirTags, she notes, “can save you some time and some grief when you’re traveling and you don’t have a choice but to check your luggage.’
Also, even if you intend to bring carry-on luggage, this bag may end up in the hold of the plane with the rest of your checked baggage. Commercial aircraft often do not have enough space in the baggage compartments for each passenger’s suitcase, especially given the current problems with lost luggage, which results in many carry-ons being checked. If you’re not in the early boarding group, consider adding an AirTag to your carry-on. Because sometimes this checked baggage can end up on the bridge upon arrival, but more often than not it needs to be picked up at the baggage carousel.
AirTags have been around for a little over a year, and there are documented security issues with the device Washington Post An article following the device’s release said it was “terrifyingly easy” to stalk someone with them, but the trackers are perfectly legal to use while traveling. Lisa Farbstein, spokeswoman for the TSA, reports City and country that TSA has no policy against travelers placing AirTags or similar trackers in their own luggage. “These are not prohibited items,” she says.
While AirTag can help with peace of mind when traveling, seeing your luggage far away from you and you can’t do anything about it is still not a good thing.
This is exactly what happened to Olympic athlete Sarah Mitton. Mitton, who represents Canada in the shot put, said City and country she originally purchased the AirTag because her teammates kept losing their luggage. Not long after, she lost her bag filled with essential Team Canada gear on a flight to Germany after
Commonwealth Games 2022. Although he was lost, she could see exactly where he was.
“Firstly [the AirTag] helped me feel safe,” Mitton says, “knowing it’s not ‘lost, lost.’ However, seeing exactly where the bag was and not being able to get it back soon became frustrating as she found her bag “sitting in the same spot”. location” for five days.
According to the Department of Transportation, about 230,000 bags were misused at United States airports in May 2022 alone, up 100,000 from the previous year. If your bag is lost and you realize it’s lost, you should file a lost baggage report (which depends on which airline you’re traveling with) and ask which airline will cover it. For example, airlines such as Delta and United allow reimbursement for expenses you may incur due to lost or delayed baggage.
“I hope we start to see some improvements this fall, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the chaos resumes this holiday season.” Glasses Guy‘s Kelly spoke about the current government trip to the airport and lost luggage. However, he continued, “experts and airline executives have said we won’t see any real change until 2023.”
Emily Burak (she/her) is a news writer for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royal family and a variety of other topics. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy editor-in-chief of Hey Alma, a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack Twitter and Instagram.