AirTag helps man discover lost luggage graveyard in airline offices

Posted:
in iOS edited June 22
After an airline failed to find his lost luggage, a YouTuber used his AirTags to go straight to it in an airport office filled with unclaimed bags.




Apple's AirTags have helped with lost luggage before, and there are plenty of luggage tags now designed to hold them. But for Australian YouTuber Shane Miller, an AirTag not only found his missing bags, it did so despite the airport's baggage carrier, Swissport.

Miller says that the luggage, containing $4,500 worth of cycling equipment, went missing after he flew in to Melbourne Airport on Singapore Airlines. Officials told him his luggage hadn't made the connecting flight, and he would be contacted as soon as it arrived.

Once the bags had arrived at the airport, Miller's AirTags reported their location to him and he expected to hear from the officials. However, Swissport failed to contact him -- and he was unable to reach anyone despite many phone calls.

"My beef with Singapore Airlines and their ground handling service Swissport is that there's been no interaction," said Miller. "The number I was provided for Swissport the night I landed I've called 16 times and received no callbacks whatsoever."

"It goes to voicemail and somebody is checking those because the box is emptied every few days," he continued.






More, Swissport has a website that lists lost luggage -- and it was not updated to include his.

After a week of waiting, Miller drove to the airport and used Find My to take him through to the back offices of Swissport. He found his bag, but it wasn't in some lost property room, it had been slung in the corner of a general office.

"Long story short, the guy at oversized baggage really, really helped out on where I needed to go to get the bag," says Miller. "Then the last mile, so to speak, was all 100% the AirTag."

"The office staff were very helpful, taking me to the correct office," he continued. "And I was able to tell I was within a few meters of the bag, and when I was around the corner from where the bag was dumped on one of their office floors, I could make it start beeping."

"So that's my story almost concluded," he said, "but the amount of bags they had on the floor... I am lucky that I got my bag back so easily."

Miller is an IT professional, as well as a cyclist, who reviews cycling accessories such as GPS navigation and trackers. He's previously described the AirTags as "the best bicycle tracker," and featured them on his YouTube channel.

Despite his knowledge of AirTags, it still took Miller a week and, as he says trying "every avenue," to get his bags. Without an AirTag in his equipment luggage, he suspects he may never have got them back.

That is of course exactly what AirTags are intended for, and his isn't the only story of them helping air travellers.

The success of AirTags, though, has led to controversy. Perhaps because Apple, unlike rivals in this field, has been outspoken about anti-stalking features, the effect has been to shine a spotlight on the issues.

It's true, though, that Apple's anti-stalking measures don't appear to be working in every case.

Read on AppleInsider
dewmelolliver

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    A similar thing happened with me a few years back. I left my iPad in a seat-back pocket on a plane after a Southwest flight. After I overcome my initial anger at my own stupidity, I decided to see if I could locate the iPad using 'Find My ...' from my Mac at home. Sure enough, it was sitting in a SW facility in Denver; apparently that's where all the lost and found goes for SW. So I called the baggage claim people there (much, much harder to do than using 'Find My'; do you know how hard airlines make to call about lost baggage?). A woman answered the phone and after I explained the problem, I got the usual answer to 'fill out a form and one day we'll look for it". So I said, wait a sec and listen, and from my Mac at home, I 'pinged' the iPad to make a sound. It chirped. I could hear it over the phone. The woman paused a looong moment and then said, "do that again!" So I did, and kept doing it, and sure enough, she pulled it off whatever shelf it was on. A couple more minutes of discussion and a credit card, and my iPad was in a box headed back to me.

    Bonus: the iPad at that point still had enough battery power left that I could track it from Denver to the FedEx facility in my home city, to the distribution facility, to the delivery truck, to the daily route the driver took, right to my front door.

    Yes, I have a bunch of AirTags on all sorts of stuff.
    StrangeDayssphericCluntBaby92lolliverbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 2 of 5
    So how close to an iPhone does the AirTag need to be to show up in Find Me. I placed one on my cat’s collar for when he goes roaming at night and it seems just going to the next yard over it loses him. But then I guess when he gets near a another home with an iPhone he shows up again.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    A similar thing happened with me a few years back. I left my iPad in a seat-back pocket on a plane after a Southwest flight. After I overcome my initial anger at my own stupidity, I decided to see if I could locate the iPad using 'Find My ...' from my Mac at home. Sure enough, it was sitting in a SW facility in Denver; apparently that's where all the lost and found goes for SW. So I called the baggage claim people there (much, much harder to do than using 'Find My'; do you know how hard airlines make to call about lost baggage?). A woman answered the phone and after I explained the problem, I got the usual answer to 'fill out a form and one day we'll look for it". So I said, wait a sec and listen, and from my Mac at home, I 'pinged' the iPad to make a sound. It chirped. I could hear it over the phone. The woman paused a looong moment and then said, "do that again!" So I did, and kept doing it, and sure enough, she pulled it off whatever shelf it was on. A couple more minutes of discussion and a credit card, and my iPad was in a box headed back to me.

    Bonus: the iPad at that point still had enough battery power left that I could track it from Denver to the FedEx facility in my home city, to the distribution facility, to the delivery truck, to the daily route the driver took, right to my front door.

    Yes, I have a bunch of AirTags on all sorts of stuff.

    edited June 22
  • Reply 4 of 5
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,148member
    After being separated from its parent iPhone for a prescribed period of time, an AirTag is supposed to start beeping. It'll take a very quiet room and somebody with good to very good hearing to detect the beeps, unlike a phone or an iPad.

    But the guy found his luggage. Who knows if or when someone would get around to trying to clean up the office and get luggage back to owners. It's a credit to Swissport and/or the airport that he got close enough to zero in on his bag.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 5
    sandorsandor Posts: 639member
    macgui said:
    After being separated from its parent iPhone for a prescribed period of time, an AirTag is supposed to start beeping. It'll take a very quiet room and somebody with good to very good hearing to detect the beeps, unlike a phone or an iPad.

    But the guy found his luggage. Who knows if or when someone would get around to trying to clean up the office and get luggage back to owners. It's a credit to Swissport and/or the airport that he got close enough to zero in on his bag.

    I do not believe there is any function (currently) in the AirTag to have it automatically beep when it is out of range of its parent device.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210967


    It will utilize any Apple device within range to report its location.
    The Find My network is approaching a billion Apple devices and can detect Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag and relay the location back to its owner, all in the background, anonymously and privately.
    https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/04/apple-introduces-airtag/



    The owner of the AirTag can be 10,000 miles away & another iOS device walks past their lost AirTag & the AirTag will phone home & report its location.

    AirTags & the "FindMy" network works *in spite* of the inadequacies of Swissport/the airport.
    There is absolutely no credit due to the airline - this person got their luggage back because they had a system (AirTags) better than the airlines.


    I have found Tile better for forgetting your keys/wallet/phone when leaving a place (more robustly developed software) but AirTags better for tracking non-personal sized items (cars, bicycles, cameras).

    The robustness of the Find My network & overwhelming number of people using iOS (vs the Tile app) means that i have no problem tracking my bicycle being ridden miles away across the city, 


    watto_cobra
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