With an increased fear of dangerous signaling from the small devices, airlines are pushing to ban Apple AirTags in checked luggage.
- Airlines have been attempting to ban the use of Apple AirTags in checked luggage due to fears of the device’s transmission interfering with planes.
- Claims for lost luggage have jumped around 30% since 2019—causing more flyers to add the AirTag to luggage in an effort to keep track of belongings.
- AirTags use a small lithium battery to transmit location signals which are restricted on airlines causing some to request a ban on the tags.
- The German Airline Lufthansa initially told customers that the tags needed to be turned off in luggage, but has since gone back on the statement stating there is no ban—although the company wishes international aviation bodies would specifically exempt location trackers.
Why it’s news
Apple AirTags are small devices that send out a location signal allowing people to keep track of personal items such as keys and wallets.
Since the pandemic caused staffing shortages, many airlines were low on workers causing luggage to go missing. Claims for lost luggage jumped around 30% since 2019, according to insurer Mapfre SA.
To keep track of their luggage many passengers were slipping the small AirTag into their suitcases and other checked bags so the passengers would know the location of their bags at all times.
AirTags are similar to other electric devices due to the fact the tags use a lithium battery to transmit location signals. The thing is these batteries are banned because they interfere with airplanes.
Lufthansa caused quite a stir when the company told a passenger that the AirTags had to be turned off before putting the tags on the plane, but the airline changed the statement.
“The Lufthansa Group has conducted its own risk assessment with the result that tracking devices with very low battery and transmission power in checked luggage do not pose a safety risk. We have never issued a ban on devices like that,” the company says.
The company says the tags are permitted, but it believes more regulations need to be made on the tags, considering they send out transmissions.
“It is on the authorities to adopt regulations that right now limit the use of these devices for airline passengers in checked luggage. We are in close contact with the respective institutions to find a solution as quickly as possible,” the statement reads.
For now, AirTags are allowed on planes, but the airline is calling for regulation, and considering the fact the tags send out a transmission, they could be banned in the future.