How To Prevent Lost Luggage (Find Your Bags With An AirTag)

flying with AirTags, prevent lost luggage

Are you planning your next family vacation or a quick city getaway? Regardless of your plans, you perhaps have some anxiety about losing your luggage and are looking for ideas on how to prevent lost luggage?

Although it’s impossible to prevent lost luggage completely, the good news is that Apple AirTags work great for tracking your luggage while traveling. With frequent location updates, you will be able to track your bag’s location throughout the airport easily from your iPhone.

In this article, I explore how using an AirTag when you travel can help to prevent lost luggage and offer you some peace of mind while at the airport, and perhaps help to remove your lost luggage anxiety.

flying with AirTags, how to prevent lost luggage
An Apple AirTag can provide you valuable insights into your bag’s location while traveling.

Your checked luggage can be mishandled during your journey for several reasons, such as the bag tag being ripped off, your bag being left off during a flight transfer, or your bag being sorted to the wrong flight. The good news is that many of the major airline carriers have processes in place that reunite customers with their mishandled baggage quickly and efficiently, however being able to show its current location just might speed the whole process up for you.

Can An Apple AirTag Find Lost Luggage?

An Apple AirTag gives you an insight into where your luggage was last seen by another Bluetooth device on the Apple Find My network. Knowing the location of your luggage can be extremely useful in finding your lost luggage while at an airport. 

bags at the airport
An AirTag gives you reassurance that your luggage is somewhere in the airport.

An AirTag is helpful when your bag goes missing during your day of travel. Providing an airline baggage agent with your bag’s last known location can help to quickly find your lost bag. An AirTag is also helpful if your checked bag arrives at a different carousel or your bag unexpectedly ends up at the oversize claim. Tracking your bag with an AirTag will help you overcome these common baggage issues.

Another useful AirTag feature is it’s Lost Mode. When your AirTag is detected by a device in the network, you’ll automatically get a notification, and should an airline baggage agent find your lost bag, by simply tapping your AirTag with an NFC-capable device, the agent can access any contact information you have registered.

Lastly, you might just be looking for reassurance that your luggage is somewhere in the airport. An AirTag is perfect for this and will allow you to track your luggage easily, and accurately right from your iPhone.

How Do Apple AirTags Work?

An AirTag’s battery life last around one year before needing to be replaced so its ideal for tracking your checked or carry-on luggage. The water and dust resistant tracker can send a secure Bluetooth signal that is detected by other Bluetooth devices on Apple’s Find My network.

apple AirTag and iPhone image
Track your bags or suitcase with an Apple AirTag and the Find My network.

Using other Apple devices, an AirTag’s location is transmitted to Apple’s iCloud where it can be tracked within the Find My app. All this communication happens in an anonymous and encrypted way to protect everyone’s privacy. It’s important to note that only you, the AirTag owner, can see where the AirTag is and that the location data and history are never saved on the AirTag itself.

According to Apple there are millions of devices on the Find My network. If you lose an AirTag, switching the AirTag into Lost Mode will allow you to receive a notification once it appears on the Find My network map.

AirTags do a fantastic job at tracking keys, or tracking backpacks, but don’t expect an AirTag to give you real-time location updates. This is especially true when your luggage is traveling through the baggage handling system or, is traveling on a tug to the aircraft. Once your AirTag is stationary you can expect to receive regular updates of it’s location every few minutes assuming there are other Bluetooth Apple devices within range.

AirTag Luggage Accessories

When it comes to accessories, it’s not necessary to use an AirTag luggage accessory with your AirTag. Simply tossing it into a pocket will be good enough. However, if you want something a little more secure, there is a vast array of solutions available. Below you’ll find the most popular Apple and third-party luggage accessories available on the market today.

MORIK Secret AirTag Leather Luggage Tag

Other Top Tips For Preventing Lost Luggage

As well as using an AirTag to track lost luggage, there are other steps you can take to help an airline baggage agent to quickly reunited you with your lost bags.

1. File A Mishandled Baggage Report

The first thing you should do if your luggage is missing is to submit a mishandled baggage report, referred to as an AHL in the industry. All airlines have a process in place for this, and it’s the first step towards recovering your mishandled luggage.

2. Write Your Contact Details Inside Your Luggage

This may sound obvious, however, I have first-hand experience of seeing how many bags end up at the baggage reconciliation center just because they have no contact details written inside. Writing your contact details on a sheet of paper inside your luggage can make all the difference.

3. Know Your Bag Tag Numbers

Too often we check our bags without actually knowing which bag tag number belongs to what bag. If your luggage does get mishandled, one of the first things an airline baggage agent will ask for is a bag description (color, material type, external features like wheels, zippers and handles). Knowing these bag details and their associated bag tag numbers will drastically improve your chances of baggage recovery.

4. Know What’s In Your Luggage

It amazes me when asked to describe the contents of luggage, how poorly it’s done. For example, “man’s blue top” should be expanded to read, “man’s large blue Ralph Lauren polo top.” Knowing your luggage contents and describing the luggage content in more detail will give the baggage matching systems more data to work with and will improve the match accuracy results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, I have answered all of your questions related to, how to prevent lost luggage (using an Apple AirTag). You may still have other questions surrounding AirTags. If you do, below, I have answered some popular AirTag frequently asked questions.

Can you attach an AirTag to your carry-on luggage?

Yes, you can attach an AirTag to your carry-on luggage. They are no different to using a set of Bluetooth headphones.

Do AirTags work internationally?

Yes, AirTags work internationally, however not all countries support ultra-wide band technology found in the Precision Finding feature.

How does an AirTag work when lost?

When in Lost Mode and detected by another device in the Find My network, you’ll automatically receive a notification on your Apple device.

Final Thoughts On How To Prevent Lost Luggage Using An Apple AirTag

So, in conclusion, using an AirTag when you travel might not prevent lost luggage, but it can help in several ways with finding your checked baggage quickly. Knowing where your suitcase was last seen could be an important piece of information to give an airline baggage agent. Furthermore, as AirTags become more popular, airline baggage agents are trained to look for AirTags on missing luggage so they can obtain the AirTag owners contact details using their smart devices.

Stay Curious.
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