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Using Apple's AirTag in luggage

AirTags? They're great! And they're not.

TL;DR: "What I didn’t expect was how annoying the AirTag would be...apart from confirming my fears that my suitcase was left behind, which I didn’t fully believe until I saw the empty baggage claim belt for myself and spoke to Delta, the AirTag couldn’t offer any additional help."

One journalist's experience

Posted by
1259 posts

Drop Chelsea Ritschel a note! I'm sure she'd love to hear what you have to say about her experience and her story.

Posted by
311 posts

I used AirTags in my bags travelling to Italy last September. Since I don't use an iPhone I paired two (of the four I bought) with my wife's iPhone and two with my iPad Mini, which I took with me. Then one of each pairing (two total) in each of two bags. Redundancy, since my iPad might not always have connectivity.

My bags were delayed three hours arriving back in Chicago -- broken outside transfer belt. I was able to verify the bags were in fact outside, and not still sitting in Rome or Zurich. Fortunately I had a 4 1/2 hour connection in Chicago, and got to my gate with 20 minutes to spare.

Posted by
8597 posts

I mentioned this in the other thread on AirTags. Right now there is a major disruption in flights with Southwest Airlines cancelling most of their flights. This resulted in piles of luggage being unloaded from planes. Local news showing people milling about the terminal looking for their bags. I think it's a rare example of where AirTags would help you find your bag easily.

Posted by
289 posts

I disagree with it being a “rare” example of the air tags helping you find your bag. Mine has helped me locate my lost or diverted bags on two of the three trips I have taken it on so far.

Posted by
1259 posts

I disagree with it being a “rare” example of the air tags helping you find your bag. Mine has helped me locate my lost or diverted bags on two of the three trips I have taken it on so far.

There is a huge difference between "I've located my bag with the AirTag!" and "I've successfully recovered my bag thanks to the AirTag!" The important thing about AirTags, and similar, maybe less expensive, toys is knowing how to use them when you need them and what their limitations are. Knowing your luggage is 3000 miles away is interesting, possibly comforting, but might not be of any value in eventually getting the bag returned.

Practice at home with the Find My app. Activate the beeper. Use the radar screen. Ask your kids to hide the AirTag in a park and see if you can find it.

Posted by
8597 posts

By "rare" I meant this particular scenario occurring now: the baggage for multiple flights has been checked in at the departure or connecting airport, and then the flights are cancelled. And now all those checked bags are returned to the airport claim area, where there are hundreds of passengers who haven't left, now trying to find their bags in a big disorganized mess. The primary scenario for lost bags thats been discussed has been where you depart and the bags get left behind. That's different.

Posted by
6849 posts

I don't understand why some people are so against AirTags. Don't use them if you don't like them, but for those of us who find them useful, they are a great tool at a low price.

Posted by
1259 posts

I don't understand why some people are so against AirTags. Don't use them if you don't like them, but for those of us who find them useful, they are a great tool at a low price.

The user discussions about AirTags on apple.com suggest the big consumer issues are: ignorance (failure to read the most basic instructions), unrealistic expectations (promoted by Apple and socials), and incorrect usage, all of which can quickly lead to disappointment and resentment.

If you got some AirTags for xmas, watch some video clips, read Apple's instructions, and, once you get them paired to your phone, practice using the FindMy software. Ask your kids to stash your keys in the yard and see if you can locate them. Then try a more challenging search at a school playgroud or park. There are AirTag games and silliness that appeal to the adventurous:

https://www.igeeksblog.com/creative-ways-to-use-apple-airtags/
https://mgs.blog/airtags-the-game-8efcf511072a
https://laserpilot.medium.com/30-dumb-creative-ways-to-use-apples-airtags-1c4e802f1af5

I like ours; they've helped both of us locate our keys more than once. I do wish they produced a warbling tone that was louder. I think they are particularly difficult to locate in 3d space when beeping. For this spring's trip to Spain with RS, I plan to put one in my carryon bag so I know it's on the bus.

Posted by
2764 posts

I read an article today with interviews from a couple of people who lost their luggage in the southwest mess. Their AirTags have told them where their luggage is. They’ve apparently called Southwest and told Southwest what their AirTags say and southwest doesn’t really seem to be moving them to the top of the list because they have AirTags

Posted by
8538 posts

Oh Boy! Yet another polarizing topic for the forum.....
I have a very hard time understanding the need to be "right" on this topic. I think Air Tags are optional. If you like them, opt in. If you don't, opt out.

Posted by
4293 posts

And the confusion with the Southwest issue seems irrelevant. Whether or not SW will allow you to retrieve your suitcase is not at all the same as knowing or not knowing where it is. An air tag is never going to fetch your suitcase - it is just a tool to aid with retrieval in some instances. Not perfect, but sometimes useful for, as bogiesan said, those who know how to use it.