Home Luggage Lufthansa says AirTags allowed in checked baggage after confusion over ban

Lufthansa says AirTags allowed in checked baggage after confusion over ban

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One of the world’s biggest airlines has set the record straight on its Apple AirTags policy, ending days of confusion over whether the carrier was in fact banning the size tracking device. a room that some travelers have turned to to monitor their checked baggage.

German airline Lufthansa clarified its policy on Wednesday, saying in a statement that German aviation authorities had agreed with its risk assessment that tracking devices such as AirTags posed no security risk.

“These devices are permitted on Lufthansa flights,” Lufthansa concluded.

It is unclear when the airline’s risk assessment took place. The company did not respond to questions Wednesday about the AirTags policy, including why four days ago it was miscommunicated in tweet from his verified Twitter account.

Confusion over the policy of Lufthansa, which carried nearly 47 million passengers last year, briefly added to the accumulation of headaches air travelers have endured this year. The pandemic-hindered airline industry has had a particularly brutal summer, fraught with flight delays and cancellations, labor shortages and nightmares of lost luggage.

But while consumers can’t do much about an understaffed flight or an overworked crew, AirTags and similar tracking products from Tile and Chipolo have emerged as a way for travelers to keep an eye out for checked baggage that gets lost en route to baggage claim. Ever since Apple introduced the $29 coin-sized tags last year, people have used them to find stolen luggage, catch a lying moving company driver, and track all kinds of lost or stolen property, from car keys to dogs.

“Mishandled” luggage – the industry speaks of “lost, damaged, delayed and stolen” – remains a significant problem for travelers around the world. Nationally, in July alone, 275,582 checked bags were mishandled by US-based carriers, according to the Department of Transportation. Air Travel Consumer Report From September onwards.

We asked: will an AirTag save my lost luggage?

Before backtracking on Wednesday, Lufthansa appeared to be the only major carrier to specifically ban AirTags in passengers’ checked baggage. In response to a customer’s question about the rumored ban, the company on Saturday replied from his official Twitter account that he considered activated AirTags dangerous; disabling AirTags renders them useless. He followed to say that baggage trackers were subject to dangerous goods regulations, citing the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Lithium batteries can catch fire if damaged, which is why regulators such as federal aviation administration requires items such as cell phones, tablets, vapers and cameras to be completely disabled if stored in checked baggage.

Lufthansa’s dangerous goods list does not specifically address baggage trackers. An ICAO spokesperson said that since it is not a regulatory body, the group was unable to comment on how its guidelines are interpreted or implemented. , but pointed to its guidelines that allow batteries in checked baggage if they are low enough. battery life and lithium content.

Nationally, the Transportation Security Administration said baggage trackers are allowed in checked baggage and carry-on baggage. Brett Snyder, president of airline industry blog Cranky Flier, said regulators are tasked with keeping up with developments in consumer technology that can pose safety issues on planes.

“Airlines, until they have clarity, can interpret [regulations] as they see fit,” Snyder said. “And Lufthansa tends to be a very conservative company, so it’s no surprise that they default to ‘you can’t use that’.”

Apple said in a statement that the AirTags “comply with international airline travel security regulations for carry-on and checked baggage.”

The tags are powered by a CR2032 coin cell battery, the same used in watches, key fobs and some medical and fitness devices, which are licensed under the guidance of national and international regulators such as the Safety Agency airline of the European Union. The devices connect to Apple’s Find My Device app, used on iPhones, via Bluetooth Low Energy, the same connection technology used in authorized items such as Bluetooth headphones.

And while AirTags are once again allowed to take off in Lufthansa’s cargo holds, tracking lost baggage only does so much good, Snyder said.

“I think the AirTags thing is funny. If my luggage is lost, the airline will not listen to what I say,” Snyder said of the information provided by his AirTags. “Maybe it’s the peace of mind knowing that my bags still exist… somewhere.”