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Single red suitcase on an otherwise empty baggage carousel
Petair | Adobe Stock

Never Lose Your Luggage Again With This Easy Hack

SmarterTravel

Thousands of lost suitcases pile up on the floor of London’s Heathrow Airport. Delta chartered a special transatlantic flight just to return 1,000 pieces of mishandled bags. Claims of lost luggage are skyrocketing recently, but there’s one easy thing you can do to prevent it from happening to you—place a tracker in your bag before you check it.

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Luggage gathered on the airport floor near baggage claim
magann | Adobe Stock

How to Track Your Luggage

Luisa Favaretto, founder and editor of the travel and research site Strategistico, headed to Tuscany to serve as the maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding. Favaretto flew from New York to Italy with a connecting flight in Amsterdam, where she had to collect her checked bag (containing her bridesmaid’s dress and shoes) and then recheck it through to her final destination.

“After waiting for about an hour, my bag never came through the carousel while everyone around me had received theirs,” said Favaretto. Fortunately, she had placed an Apple AirTag in her suitcase before her trip. Worried that her bag wouldn’t make it, Favaretto checked the Apple app and saw her bag was in Amsterdam, but was stuck near her gate and not at baggage claim. 

“It turns out that my luggage fell off the transporter and was just sitting somewhere on the tarmac,” said Favaretto. She showed the location of her bag to an agent, who was able to call and have the suitcase delivered in time to recheck it for her connecting flight. “If it wasn’t for the AirTag, their staff would not have been able to locate my bag quick enough for my next flight,” Favaretto explained. 

Natasha Nelson, Owner of Golden Arrow PR, says AirTags have helped her the last two times she’s traveled. The first time she used it, Nelson checked three bags. “I could see on my phone app that one bag was in a different area on the tarmac than the other two that that were on the plane loading,” she said. “I alerted the airline and they got my bag and I could see it go on the plane. The AirTag trick came in handy again on another trip when Nelson’s bag was left behind at baggage claim. She was able to show an agent the location on the app and quickly get her suitcase back. 

The Best Luggage Trackers

Trackers are cheap, portable, and easy to use. 

Apple AirTag

Hand holding up an Apple AirTag on a white background (left) and a close up of an Apple AirTag (right)
Amazon

Apple’s AirTags are the most popular trackers for travelers. The AirTags integrate with Apple’s Find My app. If your bag is nearby, you can play a sound on the tracker’s built-in speaker to quickly locate it. If it’s further away, Apple’s Find My network will use the Bluetooth of any Apple devices nearby to help locate your tracker, so you can instantly locate it on a map in the Find My app. 

Chipolo ONE Spot

Close up of a Chipolo ONE Spot tracker (left) and a close up of a child's hand reaching for a stuffed rabbit with a Chipolo ONE Spot around its neck (right)

The Chipolo ONE Spot works in a similar way to the AirTag, and also uses Apple’s Find My app and network to help you find your bag. The Chipolo ONE Spot can also give you a notification when you accidentally leave an item behind (perfect for something you might forget in a hotel room.)

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+

Close up of the front of the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ (left) and close up of the back of Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ (right)
Amazon

Not an Apple Fan? The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ uses the same strategy to find your stuff as the AirTag, except it uses the Galaxy Find Network instead of Apple’s Find My network.

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