More travelers are tracking their own ‘lost’ luggage

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For many, Apple’s AirTag has a new use

It’s a prospect that fills an airline passenger with dread. No, not an emergency landing, but the discovery, once you’re safely on the ground, that the airline has lost your luggage.

It’s happening more often, especially this summer with a huge increase in air travel. It’s happening so often that many travelers are investing in Apple AirTags to track their bags. And it turns out the bags are not always lost.

According to CNN, Sandra Shuster and her 15-year-old daughter Ruby were flying home to Denver from Baltimore with a stopover in Chicago, when they were told at their destination their suitcase was lost.

Using her AirTag, Sandra was able to locate her bag at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. After she informed United Airlines she was promised the bag would arrive the next day. Then the day after.

“I told them I could see it at Terminal 1 baggage reclaim in Chicago, and they said ‘We have no record of it,’ Shuster told CNN. “I asked them to call Chicago, and they said ‘No, we’re not allowed.’ They said they’d put notes in the system and the baggage team would take care of it.”

Then the airline told her the bag was in Baltimore. Frustrated, Shuster boarded a plane and traveled to Chicago to pick it up herself. 

Traveler’s aid

This doesn’t appear to be an isolated case. A TikTok user named Sarah posted to the social media site that Air France reported her luggage was lost. But she too had placed an AirTag inside her bag.

“It’s literally in the airport,” she reported, saying she got her luggage back but claimed the airline was of little help.

Why are so many bags getting mishandled? CNBC reports airlines have a shortage of baggage handlers as well as other staff. At the same time, summer travel has surged.

Frequent fliers might consider investing in an Airtag, which Apple developed to help consumers keep track of things that often get misplaced, such as keys. 

A single AirTag starts at $29 and Apple sells a four-pack for $88. They not only locate things around the house but can also find things hundreds of miles away.

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