Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Apple AirTag Saves the Day for Travelers Stranded by United Airlines

  • Travelers used Apple AirTag to locate their lost luggage despite United Airlines’ incompetence
  • Magician and mother-daughter pair used AirTag to find their “lost” checked bag
  • United Airlines’ had the wrong claim number for the bag and didn’t contact Chicago
  • Mother-daughter pair had to take matters into their own hands and book a flight to Chicago

We’ve seen countless stories of Apple’s AirTag item tracker being used to track down lost luggage. A new story this week once again details how a pair of airline travelers used AirTag to find their “lost” checked bag and once again reveals an impressive level of United Airlines’ incompetence.

Last month, a magician revealed how he used AirTag to locate his missing luggage, which United Airlines had left laying on the tarmac. The twist to that story, however, was that United employees refused to go retrieve the bag, so he bought a second plane ticket and took matters into his own hands.

This week’s story follows a similar thread, with an even more dramatic solution. As detailed by CNN, Sandra Shuster and her 15-year-old daughter Ruby were traveling from Baltimore to Denver with a layover at O’Hare airport in Chicago. When they landed in Denver, however, their checked bag with Ruby’s $2,000 worth of lacrosse equipment was nowhere to be found.

United representatives told them that their bag would arrive from Chicago on the next flight to Denver at 8:30 a.m. When this didn’t happen, Shuster called United’s support department and got a completely different story. This time, Shuster was told that the bag was in Baltimore, not Chicago, but would still be arriving later that day on one of two flights. Unbeknownst to United, however, the bag was equipped with an AirTag, which revealed that the bag was in Chicago, not Baltimore. In fact, the bag was sitting at the baggage reclaim area of O’Hare.

Shuster then realized United was giving her the runaround and really had no idea where the bag was or when it would arrive. She told United that the bag was in Chicago and asked them to contact the United team at O’Hare but was told that they are “not allowed” to do that. United then tried to claim that Shuster had the wrong claim number for the bag, which turned out to be partially true.

Shuster, however, was determined to track down the bag and her daughter’s lacrosse equipment. Her solution? Book a flight to Chicago using her miles and head to baggage claim. She did exactly that and found her bag at baggage claim within 30 seconds of arriving. She then started the process of trying to get reimbursed for the miles she used to book the flights to and from Chicago. It wasn’t until CNN reached out to United for a comment that Shuster actually received the reimbursement of 30,000 miles.

One thing that seems clear is that airlines are under more pressure than ever before to track down lost luggage, thanks in large part to AirTags. Whether or not airlines actually make systemic changes to cut down on the number of stories like this one remains to be seen.

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