Should You Put an AirTag in Your Checked Luggage? Because I Did

Should You Put an AirTag in Your Checked Luggage? Because I Did
iStock

If you’ve taken an international trip (or have been planning to) in recent weeks, chances are you’ve been following the whole mess regarding lost luggage right now. According to the Guardian, global rates of mishandled and lost luggage have increased since pre-pandemic dates; reflecting the challenges the travel industry has had while trying to build itself back up. As frustrating as the situation may be, there is one way you can keep on top of the movements of your checked luggage with relative ease: with an AirTag.

Why you may want to toss an AirTag into your checked luggage

Since launching in April 2021, Apple’s AirTags have received a whole lot of interest. Folks were interested in security precautions (naturally) and safety regarding children accessing the button battery (best to keep them out of reach). People were also pretty curious about what would happen if you put an AirTag on your cat’s collar (unsurprising).

While opinions have been mixed, one thing is fairly clear: the devices are pretty useful if you tend to forget where you’ve placed things. They’re also a rather attractive option if you’re worried you might lose your luggage.

So, when I took an international trip recently, I tossed an AirTag into my checked luggage to see how the device would work in this setting.

And, well… it did exactly what I expected it to. Every time I checked my luggage before a flight, I could refer to the FindMy app to see vaguely where my suitcase was sitting. If my bag was chilling in a different terminal to me, I knew about it, and when it was close to the gate I was waiting at, I could see that too.

Airtag luggage
What it’s like to put an Apple AirTag in your luggage. Credit: Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

While my experience was fairly seamless, there have been reports of other travellers checking the FindMy app and discovering their luggage was in a different country to them. Not ideal, of course, but pretty useful if the thing is lost.

Now, with any new(ish) kind of tech, it’s always good to have a read about all the details attached to the device – good and bad – and that’s certainly the case with Apple AirTags, too (updates on security changes can be found here). Whether or not they are your cup of tea is entirely up to you.

But in my case, travelling this way – with a little more access to timely updates on my possessions – made the experience a little less anxiety-inducing, and it’s something I think I’ll keep doing in the future.

Comments

  • I did exactly that when travelling in the USA and Canada in June / July.

    The Rocky Mountaineer doesn’t put your luggage on board the train, but on a truck that transports ahead of you – supposedly.

    We arrived at Kamloops to be informed that due to a fatal road accident and the resultant road closure, our luggage would be late arriving.

    The AirTags showed me exactly where our bags were – even allowing me to note that they had arrived at a nearby hotel and would soon arrive at our hotel.

    It was also useful to see that, prior to push-back, our bags seemed to be where our plane was located.

    That took a lot of stress out of travelling.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t have tags in my luggage for the trip from Sydney to LA, so I couldn’t predict in advance that one of our bags would appear on one carousel, and the other bag on a totally different carousel ….

Log in to comment on this story!