AirTag assists in rescue of bicycle after airline lost it

Posted:
in AirTag edited July 2023

A cyclist who wanted to ride around Europe discovered their bicycle didn't arrive at the destination, but they were able to keep track of their ride using Apple's AirTag.




Barry Sherry of Virginia traveled to Europe for what was intended to be the last transatlantic "epic bike trip," taking his bicycle for a three-week tour of the continent. He intended to spend time riding in the Swiss Alps, then with a cycling group in Luxembourg, followed by a third week in Finland.

Sadly, despite making it across the ocean, his bicycle didn't make it all the way. While Sherry had gone from Washington DC to London and then to Zurich without issue, complete with his remaining luggage, his bicycle was stuck in the UK.

Undeterred, Sherry was able to show to the agent in the luggage area where the bike was, because he had placed an AirTag in the bag, reports CNN. The airline employee was surprised as it was the first time that someone had shown her the real-time location of lost luggage.

Despite knowing exactly where the bike was, the employee couldn't make a note of the location, but reassured the cyclist that most lost luggage was returned within 24 hours.

A few days later, Sherry still hadn't been reunited, but he had to change his plans while he stayed in Switzerland. Since he couldn't ride the mountainous roads with a friend, all he could do was wait for his bike.

The bike has extra meaning to Sherry, beyond its replacement value above $8,000. "Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with cancer," he told the report, "and the only time I wasn't thinking about it was when I was riding my bike."

After failing to see the bike move from Heathrow, and repeatedly tweeting British Airways daily with the mapped location of the bicycle, he got frustrated. On the fourth day, he tagged American Airlines and Heathrow, but while he doesn't know if that triggered something, he did see the location update on Friday.

After an update from British Airways that it was being delivered to him, the bike eventually flew to Zurich and then to a hotel in Luxembourg that he had moved to while waiting for a response.

Despite missing out on riding in Switzerland, Sherry was still able to ride with previous Tour de France cyclists and friends as previously arranged.

Sherry believes that using the AirTag was assistive as "It helped being able to see every few hours that it was last seen a few minutes ago." and that the tweets helped get it moving. Had he not done that, he believes he may have continued waiting, "although I'd probably have face time with real people in DC to recover it."

AirTag has become especially helpful to travelers who discover their bags are misplaced in the global transit system. It has also been used to embarrass airlines, with the tracker used to discover lost luggage graveyards around the world, and highlighted how missing bags are sometimes turned into donations.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    mayflymayfly Posts: 385member
    One day, the airlines will pull their collective head out their ass and recognize that AirTags actually DO have the location of your lost luggage, and go get it for you right away. Or some of them will. The rest will lose their customers to those that do.
    macseekeriOS_Guy80appleinsideruserwatto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 2 of 7
    “Barry Sherry”

    Oof. Quite a name is parents bestowed upon him.


    Just last week we had our triathlon bike from Kenya to DC get lost along the way with Lufthansa. We showed the baggage agent our AirTag that it was in Berlin instead of Frankfurt. Their system said it was still in Nairobi. The agent said they see AirTags all the time and believe them over what their system says. The next day we saw movement from Berlin to Iceland and finally to DC. 
    elijahgmayflywatto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 3 of 7
    sgordonsgordon Posts: 53member
    Last week we returned from geneva, of two suitcases one failed to get on the plane in geneva, one got on the plane but then failed to make the connection in Frankfurt, had many argument's with United over what was going on and the usual nonsense. As the bags arrived in sfo I could see them first in the international terminal then t3. For some reason one of the bags went to a hotel three miles away for several hours.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,341member
    sgordon said:
    As the bags arrived in sfo I could see them first in the international terminal then t3. For some reason one of the bags went to a hotel three miles away for several hours.
    That was likely someone accidentally being given your bag instead of their own, discovering that, and returning to get the correct bag.

    I would *never* check a bag without an AirTag hidden inside it, especially not one with anything truly valuable (like computer equipment, money, etc).
    mayfly
  • Reply 5 of 7
    mayflymayfly Posts: 385member
    chasm said:
    sgordon said:
    As the bags arrived in sfo I could see them first in the international terminal then t3. For some reason one of the bags went to a hotel three miles away for several hours.
    That was likely someone accidentally being given your bag instead of their own, discovering that, and returning to get the correct bag.

    I would *never* check a bag without an AirTag hidden inside it, especially not one with anything truly valuable (like computer equipment, money, etc).
    Preaching to the choir, brother!
  • Reply 6 of 7
    baka-dubbsbaka-dubbs Posts: 177member
    chasm said:

    I would *never* check a bag without an AirTag hidden inside it, especially not one with anything truly valuable (like computer equipment, money, etc).
    I go with the system of irreplaceable items in my backpack and a few days worth of clothes in case of emergency, everything else in a checked bag if I can't fit it into a carry on.  So far I haven't ran into any issues, but I also started putting airtags on backpack, carry on, checked bag, wallet, basically anything that could get misplaced/stolen.  Its worth the 20-25 I have spent on each device.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    mayfly said:
    One day, the airlines will pull their collective head out their ass and recognize that AirTags actually DO have the location of your lost luggage, and go get it for you right away. Or some of them will. The rest will lose their customers to those that do.
    But the 21st century is not that day!
    mayfly
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