Do airlines hate AirTags?


Ashlyn Swanson

The popular tracking device, the Apple AirTag, has upset airlines.

The tracking object, AirTags, has created chaos in airports and has even been temporarily banned from travel.

Apple created the tracking device called the AirTag back in 2021. In the Find My network, AirTags send out a stable Bluetooth signal that nearby devices can detect. AirTag devices upload their location to iCloud, which can be viewed on a map with the Find My app. To protect privacy, the entire process is anonymous and protected. Many people use AirTags to ensure they never lose their wallets, keys, or any important objects. Some individuals even use these AirTags to reassure they are aware of where their luggage is when traveling by plane. This seems to be a responsible choice when traveling, however, some airlines state that they hate these small trackers. 

Airlines expressed their concern over the fact that AirTags have the potential to interfere with the aircraft’s navigation system. Lufthansa, a large airline in Germany, even temporarily banned AirTags on their flights.  These concerns stopped many people from traveling with AirTags with the fear that they could cause harm throughout the flight. These concerns were investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which was able to retire these unconfirmed apprehensions. 

Luggage tracking devices powered by lithium metal cells that have 0.3 grams or less of lithium can be used on checked baggage.


This confirmed there was no need to fret over tracking devices messing with the aircraft’s navigation system.

Airports handle about 393 million pieces of luggage each year, of those, 2 million are lost. (Flickr Under the Creative Commons License)

Even with the AirTag controversy, Dorothy R from Chicago decided it would be a smart idea to purchase AirTags to put in her luggage on her trip to South Africa. She was able to see that one of her bags was left in Chicago. She expressed her complaints to the airline, but Lufthansa did not want to hear it. Dorothy was able to track its journey to Cape Town where she was staying. While Dorothy was in the airport on her way home from the vacation, she say that her luggage had finally arrived in Cape Town. When she tried to get her luggage back so she could take it on her flight home, the airline declined her request and wanted their courier to deliver it personally. This confirms that the only threat Apple Airtags holds in airports is doing better at luggage tracking than the airline’s tracking system. 

Sophie Woehl (Sartell Junior) has had her own experience with missing luggage. On her way home from her family vacation, Sophie did not find her luggage on the conveyer belt at the airport.  While she spent a great deal of time answering questions, the people at the airport could only tell her that they would follow up if they found her suitcase.

Sophie Woehl states, “It was around  two weeks later that it finally came, but I was freaking out because I didn’t know if I would ever get it.”

Throughout the time when her luggage was missing, Sophie was uninformed about where it was. It could have been across the globe, but she would not have a clue. Sophie Woehl agrees that having a luggage tracker, specifically an AirTag, is a smart purchase to decrease stress when traveling.

Trackers are (officially) allowed on planes in luggage. Traveling is already a stressful experience, increase your peace of mind with the purchase of an Apple AirTag.