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anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: robfilms
Date: August 24, 2022 01:04PM
i NEVER check a bag when i fly.

my most wonderful wife and i are headed to Barcelona for my nephew's destination wedding.

we are arriving in Spain four days early and heading to Mallorca.

we then travel back to Barcelona for the Labor Day wedding.

after the wedding, we are staying in Barcelona for another three days.

my most wonderful wife is strongly suggesting we check a bag since clothing for the three Spain venues are very different.

i was wondering if Apple's air tags would be helpful in tracking a checked bag.

anyone have any real world experience?

mucho gracias.

rob
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 24, 2022 01:13PM
If everything goes right, it will be completely unnecessary and useless.

If something goes wrong, then it might be very useful, but not necessarily helpful. It might tell you your bag got left behind, which won't help you when you land (i.e. you might still need to buy new stuff, depending on how long it takes your bag to catch up with you). Or, it might tell you if the airline staff is lying to you or just wrong (i.e. they say the bag got left behind, but you can see it's somewhere in the airport).

And it might help you find your bag amongst a sea of bags if they're just stored out in the open (and not on the conveyer). But only if you have a recent iPhone that supports the directional finding, and even then, I find that isn't too great in open areas. I.e. in your house where your phone is already connected to the Airtag, it's ok. But at the beach, I was trying to find my wife (who had an Airtag in her running pouch), and I visually spotted my wife before my phone connected to the Airtag.

Best to pack 1-2 outfits and needed items in a carry-on, in addition to your checked bag.

I put one in my wife's bag when she travelled to Italy last month. She didn't need to use it. But I'll continue putting them in our airline bags, especially considering how messed up baggage handling seems to be for now.

An Airtag recently got a baggage handler busted for stealing bags and items though.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2022 01:14PM by Gareth.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: August 24, 2022 01:16PM
Absolutely. Luggage, work laptop bag, and vehicles.

Always a reassuring feeling when you get to your destination and see that your bag DID actually make into the right plane's cargo hold.

Works just OK in the automated luggage transportation conveyor system, but you do get a ping off of it now and again and see it getting closer to the pickup area. Definitely not realtime though being a low energy device.

In the vehicles just because, if they get stolen, we'll find them. Hidden inside a panel not easily found in a little silicone mount. Same with the luggage.



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 24, 2022 01:25PM
Quote
OWC Jamie
In the vehicles just because, if they get stolen, we'll find them. Hidden inside a panel not easily found in a little silicone mount.

In a vehicle, even though I found the "pinging" noise impossible to locate and directional arrows useless, even in a Mini Cooper (when the Airtag fell out of my wife's running pouch), I drill out the speakers to make them a bit harder for a thief to find (in case they get the "an Airtag is near you" alert).

Also drill out the speakers for the ones on the cats, since it drove my wife crazy when the cats starting beeping every time they moved after I was out of town for a few days...

This is the drill bit I use (with a little rocking back and forth to cut help the exterior edge of the cut): [www.amazon.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2022 01:27PM by Gareth.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: MikeF
Date: August 24, 2022 02:04PM
Or remove speaker:
[www.youtube.com]
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: pqrst
Date: August 24, 2022 02:18PM
Do you have a spare activated phone? Maybe drop it into a bag and then you can find my phone to track it. AirTags (and tiles) are limited to Bluetooth range or the crowd tracking.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: robfilms
Date: August 24, 2022 02:24PM
helpful. thanks for the sharing.

now the real issue is do i share this info with my most wonderful wife!

ymmv

winking smiley

rob
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: August 24, 2022 03:27PM
Consider instead, shipping a package of clothing ahead to yourself at the hotel where you will be staying... if you contact them in advance they should be happy to accept it and hold it until your arrival.



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: August 24, 2022 03:33PM
Quote
pqrst
Do you have a spare activated phone? Maybe drop it into a bag and then you can find my phone to track it. AirTags (and tiles) are limited to Bluetooth range or the crowd tracking.

Erm... not when in Airplane Mode...
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 24, 2022 04:05PM
Quote
Harbourmaster
Consider instead, shipping a package of clothing ahead to yourself at the hotel where you will be staying... if you contact them in advance they should be happy to accept it and hold it until your arrival.

While that might work for some trips (and FedEx even has luggage tags for bags), this sounds like a multi-city international trip, so I imagine the costs of shipping would be insane.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: rz
Date: August 24, 2022 04:19PM
I just purchased an Airtag for this very reason. Getting ready to go on a trip in a couple of weeks. I'll be there for 15 days, so unless I want to do laundry every couple of days, it would be very difficult to carry my work laptop and a week's worth of clothes in a carry on. Besides, airlines can force you to check your carry on if they deem it to be too large, or if they've run out of space. And you can't decline, unless you want to get off the plane.

I've flown a half dozen times since the pandemic and have yet to lose any luggage. But I'm seeing stories all over the news about it happening. I figure $29 is worth the peace of mind I'll have when checking my bag.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: August 24, 2022 04:34PM
Quote
pqrst
Do you have a spare activated phone? Maybe drop it into a bag and then you can find my phone to track it. AirTags (and tiles) are limited to Bluetooth range or the crowd tracking.

A phone is much larger and much harder to hide than a tag and thus more likely to be stolen out of one's checked bag.



It is what it is.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2022 04:34PM by N-OS X-tasy!.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: d4
Date: August 24, 2022 04:46PM
In addition to the outfit I'm wearing to the airport. One pair of extra grey pants and some polo shirts. Done? Heck, I can fit that in a grocery bag with room to spare for a bag of chips.



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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 24, 2022 05:50PM
.....wonder if this can be used to....trace....the tracks of my tears.....???



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: August 24, 2022 06:18PM
Quote
pqrst
Do you have a spare activated phone? Maybe drop it into a bag and then you can find my phone to track it. AirTags (and tiles) are limited to Bluetooth range or the crowd tracking.

You're not supposed to check anything with lithium batteries.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 24, 2022 06:41PM
Quote
macphanatic
Quote
pqrst
Do you have a spare activated phone? Maybe drop it into a bag and then you can find my phone to track it. AirTags (and tiles) are limited to Bluetooth range or the crowd tracking.

You're not supposed to check anything with lithium batteries.

That's not quite true. Here's the official word, personal electronics are allowed but need to be powered off.

[www.faa.gov]

Quote

Most consumer personal electronic devices containing batteries are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, including but not limited to cell phones, smart phones, data loggers, PDAs, electronic games, tablets, laptop computers, cameras, camcorders, watches, calculators, etc. This covers typical dry cell batteries and lithium metal and lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics (AA, AAA, C, D, button cell, camera batteries, laptop batteries, etc.)

Devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion batteries (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) should be carried in carry-on baggage when possible. When portable electronic devices powered by lithium batteries are in checked baggage, they must be completely powered off and protected to prevent unintentional activation or damage. In electronic devices capable of generating extreme heat, heating elements must be isolated which could cause a fire if activated, by removal of the heating element, battery or other components.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 24, 2022 07:23PM
Quote
MikeF
Or remove speaker:
[www.youtube.com]

That's an easy DIY method using items one might have at home already (box cutter blade). I just tried it, and I wouldn't say it's "damage free" as it's pretty easy to mar up the edge, which might also lower the water resistance of the airtag, but it also appears reversible.

Drilling out the speaker should leave the outward appearance of the airtag "perfect" and maintain the water resistance, since the hole is on the inside where there are holes anyway for the battery cover.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: August 24, 2022 08:28PM
Quote
GGD
Quote
macphanatic
Quote
pqrst
Do you have a spare activated phone? Maybe drop it into a bag and then you can find my phone to track it. AirTags (and tiles) are limited to Bluetooth range or the crowd tracking.

You're not supposed to check anything with lithium batteries.

That's not quite true. Here's the official word, personal electronics are allowed but need to be powered off.

[www.faa.gov]

Quote

Most consumer personal electronic devices containing batteries are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, including but not limited to cell phones, smart phones, data loggers, PDAs, electronic games, tablets, laptop computers, cameras, camcorders, watches, calculators, etc. This covers typical dry cell batteries and lithium metal and lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics (AA, AAA, C, D, button cell, camera batteries, laptop batteries, etc.)

Devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion batteries (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) should be carried in carry-on baggage when possible. When portable electronic devices powered by lithium batteries are in checked baggage, they must be completely powered off and protected to prevent unintentional activation or damage. In electronic devices capable of generating extreme heat, heating elements must be isolated which could cause a fire if activated, by removal of the heating element, battery or other components.

Most carriers ask if you have lithium batteries in checked baggage as part of the check in process and tell you to remove them.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 25, 2022 07:28AM
Quote
macphanatic
Quote
GGD
Quote
macphanatic
Quote
pqrst
Do you have a spare activated phone? Maybe drop it into a bag and then you can find my phone to track it. AirTags (and tiles) are limited to Bluetooth range or the crowd tracking.

You're not supposed to check anything with lithium batteries.

That's not quite true. Here's the official word, personal electronics are allowed but need to be powered off.

[www.faa.gov]

Quote

Most consumer personal electronic devices containing batteries are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, including but not limited to cell phones, smart phones, data loggers, PDAs, electronic games, tablets, laptop computers, cameras, camcorders, watches, calculators, etc. This covers typical dry cell batteries and lithium metal and lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics (AA, AAA, C, D, button cell, camera batteries, laptop batteries, etc.)

Devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion batteries (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) should be carried in carry-on baggage when possible. When portable electronic devices powered by lithium batteries are in checked baggage, they must be completely powered off and protected to prevent unintentional activation or damage. In electronic devices capable of generating extreme heat, heating elements must be isolated which could cause a fire if activated, by removal of the heating element, battery or other components.

Most carriers ask if you have lithium batteries in checked baggage as part of the check in process and tell you to remove them.

I don't think the rules are communicated very well, I too thought that anything that contained a lithium battery is prohibited (even a coin cell like the AirTag), but the actual regulation is for spare lithium battery packs and e-cigarettes.

Quote

Spare (uninstalled) lithium metal and lithium ion batteries are always prohibited in checked baggage and must be placed in carry-on. When a carry-on bag is checked at the gate or at planeside, any spare lithium batteries must be removed from the bag and kept with the passenger in the aircraft cabin.

See separate entry in this chart for electronic smoking devices. These are always prohibited in checked baggage.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: August 25, 2022 07:34AM
Quote
GGD
Quote
macphanatic
Quote
GGD
Quote
macphanatic
Quote
pqrst
Do you have a spare activated phone? Maybe drop it into a bag and then you can find my phone to track it. AirTags (and tiles) are limited to Bluetooth range or the crowd tracking.

You're not supposed to check anything with lithium batteries.

That's not quite true. Here's the official word, personal electronics are allowed but need to be powered off.

[www.faa.gov]

Quote

Most consumer personal electronic devices containing batteries are allowed in carry-on and checked baggage, including but not limited to cell phones, smart phones, data loggers, PDAs, electronic games, tablets, laptop computers, cameras, camcorders, watches, calculators, etc. This covers typical dry cell batteries and lithium metal and lithium ion batteries for consumer electronics (AA, AAA, C, D, button cell, camera batteries, laptop batteries, etc.)

Devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion batteries (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) should be carried in carry-on baggage when possible. When portable electronic devices powered by lithium batteries are in checked baggage, they must be completely powered off and protected to prevent unintentional activation or damage. In electronic devices capable of generating extreme heat, heating elements must be isolated which could cause a fire if activated, by removal of the heating element, battery or other components.

Most carriers ask if you have lithium batteries in checked baggage as part of the check in process and tell you to remove them.

I don't think the rules are communicated very well, I too thought that anything that contained a lithium battery is prohibited (even a coin cell like the AirTag), but the actual regulation is for spare lithium battery packs and e-cigarettes.

Quote

Spare (uninstalled) lithium metal and lithium ion batteries are always prohibited in checked baggage and must be placed in carry-on. When a carry-on bag is checked at the gate or at planeside, any spare lithium batteries must be removed from the bag and kept with the passenger in the aircraft cabin.

See separate entry in this chart for electronic smoking devices. These are always prohibited in checked baggage.

Remember that FAA regs are the minimum. Carriers can prohibit items in addition to these requirements.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 25, 2022 08:03AM
Knowing where your luggage is and getting to it are two completely independent issues. The former isn't hard with an Airtag, the latter is nearly impossible.

Airports aren't going to let you go behind the scenes to get your bag and getting someone to look for your bag, even if you tell them exactly where it is located is near impossible.

Take a carry-on, with meds and clothing, and take an oversized laptop bag or backpack as your personal item. Then have travel insurance on your checked luggage.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 25, 2022 09:53AM
I'd have to think that a little electronic device that keeps pinging will bring some attention but not the kind you want.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: GGD
Date: August 25, 2022 10:00AM
There was this recent story of an AirTag helping lead to the arrest of a baggage handler that was stealing luggage and contents.

[9to5mac.com]

Quote

Apple’s AirTag item tracker has been the subject of a number of stories, and the latest comes from an investigation in Florida. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office announced last week that AirTag data was used as part of its search to find the airline worker who stole thousands of dollars’ worth of checked luggage…

The investigators from the sheriff’s office used the airport’s database of employees to find those who lived within the vicinity of the location where the first victim’s AirTag had last been seen in the Find My App. This led the investigators to 19-year-old Giovanni De Luca, an airline subcontractor at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.
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Re: anyone use Apple's air tags to track their check luggage?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 25, 2022 10:21AM
Quote
mrbigstuff
I'd have to think that a little electronic device that keeps pinging will bring some attention but not the kind you want.

Airtags only start beeping after they've been separated from you for 8 to 24 hours (a random interval in that range). And they only beep when they move (i.e. if your luggage is sitting stationary somewhere, it won't beep until someone moves it).

The beep also isn't very loud. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't very noticeable (or even heard) through all the stuff in one's luggage. And we've mentioned a couple easy ways to remove the speaker in this thread.

Though I have wondered if other passengers might receive "an airtag is following you" alert on a long flight if you're far enough from your luggage to be disconnected from the airtag, but other passengers are in range.
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