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Business Insider (BI) recently wrote an article titled: “How to make sure your luggage doesn’t get lost when flying, according to an airline executive.” Most of the key points I have already covered in my article 8 Ways To Make Sure An Airline Doesn’t Lose Your Bag … And That You Don’t Get Robbed or Stalked.

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In the article, Business Insider interviewed airline executive Danny A. Cox, Vice President of Guest Experience at Breeze Airways (the new startup founded by former JetBlue and WestJet founder and former JetBlue CEO, David Neeleman). I was surprised to read that he recommends passengers use a tracking device in their bags, something he says he’s been doing for years.

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Straight from Danny’s mouth: “The number one tip I have for traveling — and something that I’ve done for years — is buy an Apple AirTag or Tile device. For the last five years, I’ve traveled with an AirTag, even on my carry-on, because then I have more confidence when the airline asks me to gate-check my bag.”

Danny used an example as to why these kinds of tracking devices are so key: “We separated 30 passengers from their bags this summer because Las Vegas recorded high temperatures, which reduced the weight of baggage allowed in our airplanes. We benefited from many passengers who had AirTags. Occasionally, some of our smaller stations have smaller operations, and a bag gets grabbed by another airline and loaded onto the wrong aircraft. Once, a passenger’s bag was sent to a city that we didn’t serve, and the person may have lost the bag had they not checked their AirTag. The passenger saw the tagged location in Miami, and we quickly worked with other airlines to find a bag that fit the description. We may have solved the case without the tag, but it saved us time.”

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Apple AirTags, Samsung SmartTags and Tile tracking devices are the gadgets that I named  2022’s Travel Product of the Year. As I’m sure you remember, chaos reigned at airports around the world as labor shortages collided with unprecedented customer demand and neither airlines nor airports could keep up. The result was thousands upon thousands of lost bags. Check out this crazy TikTok video as a reminder of the summer’s chaos:

@thewanderlustrose Anyone lose their luggage this summer?? #londonheathrowairport #london #summer2022 #summertravel #airportdisaster #traveltips ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

That’s why, like Cox, I started recommending travelers pop a tracking device in their bags to help them always keep track of their checked luggage, or as Cox suggests, even on your carry-on bag, just in case you have to gate-check it. In my article Why Frequent Flyer Use Apple AirTags or Samsung SmartTags When They Travel, I included this feedback:

Friend, reader and travel host Colleen Kelly wrote in with her own experience after reading this story and here’s what she had to say about when four pieces of her family’s luggage didn’t make it on their trip to Munich:

Now, luckily, me, traveling like you as a travel expert, I put a few extra clothes in my carry-on, pajamas, and some toiletries or anything that I may need if I got stranded for two days or so, so I was the only one that had what they needed.

I told my teens before I left to bring an extra pair of clothes etc., but being teens, they didn’t listen to mom. LOL! I even told my husband but he didn’t listen also. LOL again.

Anyway, we all (or they) learned a valuable lesson. Always pack back-ups in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost.

The other thing I was kicking myself about is that we didn’t order the AirTags from Apple. The airline couldn’t find our luggage (it got stuck in Chicago where we are based and didn’t even get loaded onto a plane to Munich). That said, if we had the Airtags, WE could have tracked it!

My camera guy lost one of his equipment bags on a shoot in Ireland this fall and I should have learned from him. He had an AirTag on it and was able to track it through from the USA, through airports, etc. and then communicated with American Airlines where it was to help them locate it. Thank God he had an AirTag on his luggage.

From now on, we will attach an AirTag to every bag we check or better yet, as you advise, we probably will now do the carry-on! For the next trip, we are going to try to make that happen. Anyway, sorry for the long email but I just wanted to tell you, YOU ARE RIGHT!

If you already have an Apple AirTag or Samsung SmartTag, then you know why they’re such handy gadgets to travel with. if you don’t already have a holder or keychain for them, check out some Apple AirTag holder options here and Samsung SmartTag options here.


5 Comments On "Airline Executive's Number One Tip For Avoiding Lost Luggage When You Fly"
  1. SassyTravel|

    We spoke to several travelers in Europe this fall that had the AirTags and knew where their lost luggage was located, but could not get the airlines to help in returning to them. They spent their whole cruise vacation with what they had worn on the plane and hurriedly purchased at convenient stores. We can do our part but the airlines need to step up and do their part too.

  2. Michael R.|

    When embarking on a cruise, never ever let your bags go out of your sight until you see them physically in the luggage collection cage. When disembarking from a cruise never trust the cruise line’s fee offer to take your bag straight to the airport because they give your bag to an unknown to you 3 party who doesn’t track. When the cruise transfer bus loads and unloads the bus watch your bags like a hawk. Put a tracker inside each bag. We use Tiles.

  3. Tom|

    I use the Apple tags. On last trip, I had 8 hour sit time between flights….Flew DEL to IST, then on to TLV.
    Bag showed up in TLV, ok fine. Next day, I look at the bag and the AT holder is there but actual AT was missing. Turned on Find my function and discovered my AT took side trip to Romania, Some town a few hundred km out of Bucharest….

    I think the baggage smashers saw my Priority tag and Biz class to TLV and decided to play joke. Placed AT in other bag’s zipper pocket and away it went. Check several weeks later and bag last seen at same street addres, town in Romania.

    Unfortunately, I had been scheduled to fly from TLV to OPT but that portion of trip was cnx. Would have been a hoot to show up, knock on door and record the conversation.

    Oh well, next time, AP goes inside the luggage.

  4. Jo Rom|

    Had tags in my suitcases when traveling from Germany to the US this April. My first US port was LAX. I had one more connecting flight with Alaska Air to Seattle. One bag did not arrive in Seattle. I was in daily contact with Alaska Air and told them exactly where my bag’s GPS was pinging from. All pings came from different locations at the same (domestic Alaska Air) Terminal at LAX. My bag finally arrived 5 days later with only 3 wheels left intact (one was completely missing). The airline refused to compensate me for the missing wheel and ALL I got was a miserly 2500 frequent flyer miles, as my bag was more than 20 minutes late. I used to be a very loyal Alaska Air flyer, but this experience has changed that.

  5. David|

    Since the article doesn’t mention this, I will: Samsung SmartTags ONLY work with Samsung Galaxy devices. If you have another brand of Android phone, your best option currently is a Tile.

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