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Exasperated passengers beg airlines to look at Apple AirTag data to help find their lost luggage

AirTags have become increasingly useful in tracking lost luggage, but airlines are struggling to respond.

Frédéric Harper/Getty Images

  • Airline passengers are using AirTags to track and locate lost luggage amid travel chaos.
  • One passenger told Insider he had to repeatedly show Air Canada his bag’s location on his AirTag. 
  • Other passengers have tweeted that airlines’ claims contradict the data from their AirTags.

Exasperated passengers are spending days trying to convince airlines to look at Apple AirTag data to be reunited with their lost luggage they say cannot be found.

Social media posts show frustrated passengers’ AirTag locations that contradict claims from airlines that their luggage can’t be located, or is in a different location entirely.

Frédéric Harper flew with Air Canada from Montreal to Dublin this week. When he landed he saw that his bag had been left in Montreal, alongside those belonging to about 12 other passengers on the flight. 

“With the AirTag, I was able to tell them not to search in Dublin, that it was still in Toronto,” Harper said. “But I had no hope they would have done, seeing how there were a lot of bags from Air Canada next to the carousel, some with a ticket date of 7 days ago … as if no one cared.” 

When he saw his AirTag eventually flashing up in Dublin, Harper told Air Canada that his luggage had arrived in Ireland.

The Apple devices provide live updates on the location of any item they are attached to, and are being touted as one way to stop airlines losing luggage. A maid of honor was able to locate her missing dress thanks to the tag. 

Harper told Insider he always puts one in his hold luggage, but until now he had been lucky not to have a bag go missing. Still, it didn’t seem to speed up the process of returning his luggage.

A picture of Frédéric Harper's AirTag data, showing his luggage in Dublin Airport Ireland.Frédéric Harper sent this screenshot to Air Canada to alert them his luggage had arrived in Dublin before staff knew.

Frédéric Harper

Harper said: “The AirTag would have been useful to get my bag faster if they had listened to me, but it was super re-assuring for me to know where it was and when it moved as I had no information whatsoever on the status of my bag by Air Canada or their provider.”

Other passengers have complained that they have been told by airlines that their luggage is in a different location than that shown on the AirTag, or that it can’t be located at all. 

In a tweet, British Airways passenger Nicola Campbell-Hare said her AirTag data showed her luggage, which contained her lupus medication, had been in Orlando since July 1, despite being told by staff that they had tried to deliver her luggage back to the UK.

—Nicola Campbell-Hare (@Nic7989) July 12, 2022

At the same time as he was being given alerts by Qantas that it was searching for his bag, passenger Robert Pereyra was live-tweeting the location of his AirTagged-bag in Sydney airport.

—Robert (@BertPereyra) July 8, 2022

Airlines continue to struggle with rising passenger demand for travel and staffing shortages that have increased the number of delays, cancelations, and lost items on trips.

The airlines mentioned in this article didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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