Can Apple AirTags tell you if your luggage has arrived on your flight?
Frequent travelers and business travelers have a clear interest in what Apple’s new AirTags can do for them, especially when it comes to tracking their luggage.
That was the subject of our exclusive hands-on review last week, when we tried to see if AirTags could tell when your checked baggage landed on the baggage claim belt (they can’t, although it does. there are other ways to play well with checked baggage.).
But there is a surprisingly high interest in another Travel-centric app for these button-sized bluetooth trackers: can an AirTag tell you if your luggage has been loaded on your flight?
It would certainly provide a certain degree of solace, especially when there is a close bond.
Imagine settling into your business class seat or first class suite with a pre-flight drink in hand and seeing on your iPhone that your bag is tucked away in the cargo hold below you.
Although we haven’t been able to test this scenario yet, here are some thoughts …
Could an AirTag follow your bag on the way to the plane?
AirTags rely on the network of people using Apple’s cloud-based Find My service, which in turn builds its iPhone, iPad and Mac software.
This is the same service you would use if you lost your iPhone, but it has now been updated to include AirTags.
Any device connected to the Find My network can automatically pick up the Bluetooth signal from a nearby AirTag and – without even knowing it – privately relay the Air Tag’s location to its owner.
So, in theory, once your bags are ready to be sent to your plane, if the baggage truck driver and baggage loaders have iPhones, those should (again, in theory) detect the AirTag on your luggage and update its location by yourself Find My app.
But if that would also depend on whether your bag is inside a large metal container, or is in the middle of a mass of bags, which in either case could reduce the range of the bag. AirTag’s already weak Bluetooth signal.
However, if this did work, at least you would be able to see on the Find My map that your bag was last seen somewhere on the tarmac, which would give some confidence (assuming it was then loaded onto the correct one). flight).
Could an AirTag track your bag on the plane itself?
Suppose your bag arrives on your flight. Could AirTag’s presence be detected by other passengers’ iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, and was this information communicated to you?
It is much less likely. First, your airborne search team should have Bluetooth enabled on their devices, which airlines warn during the flight, and be online so the data can be sent back to Apple and shared on the Find My network. .
You must also have your device online to receive the location live.
There are also physical factors that would prevent the AirTag’s Bluetooth signal from going out in the first place – primarily the floor between the passenger level and the cargo hold – so for now, we would pack the expectations of your AirTag baggage for you. let it be known that it is on your flight.
It would make more sense for airlines to adopt the baggage tracking technology they already have in place and send an alert through their own app to confirm that your bags have been loaded onto your flight, to give you another feeling of safety. well-being ” point of contact ” over which airlines are still struggling.
Affix your AirTag to checked baggage
To end on the topic of AirTagged bags, several people asked about the AirTag shown hanging from our luggage during the tests.
It is certainly do not recommended, but the AirTag “in action” had to be illustrated.
There is simply too much risk of an AirTag strap getting caught in the complex and ruthless machines of the airport baggage sorting system and conveyor belt, and becoming a ritual sacrifice to the baggage god.
We strongly urge AirTaggers to obtain a very very a short strap or a carabiner-type clip – to slip the AirTag into its usual bag tag with its address and contact details – or, for maximum security, to store it in one of the bag’s internal pockets.
In our tests at the airport, having the AirTag on this outer strap or in an inner pocket made no noticeable difference to the telemetry when the bag was stationary.
But getting your bag back from the carousel, only to find that your dear AirTag has been ripped off, is do not will put you in a good mood.