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How Apple AirTags can help find your lost or stolen luggage from your phone or computer


You've just arrived at your destination after a long flight. You go to the baggage claim area at the airport and wait, and wait some more, but your luggage is nowhere to be found. What do you do? This would usually be a frantic situation that finds you frantically trying to track down your things. But if you thought ahead and attached an Apple AirTag to each of your bags, tracking them all down could be as easy as hopping on your phone or computer

These diminutive smart trackers help you find everything from wallets, backpacks and keys to pets and children. One great way to put them to good use is to attach them to or put them inside of your luggage in case your bags get lost or stolen. That way, you won't ever be at the mercy of an airline to help you find your belongings when you need them the most. 

Of course, there are workarounds that don't require any tech intervention. For instance, investing in a new carry-on bag instead of checking your suitcase is one way to avoid losing your luggage on your next flight. But if you must travel with a checked bag, consider attaching an Apple AirTag to it. Here's everything you need to know about the process and how you can find your lost or stolen baggage with these simple devices. 

How Apple AirTags work

Attaching an AirTag to your checked or carry-on luggage can give you that all-important peace of mind if your bags go astray. Through the Find My app on your iPhone or computer when you're logged into your iCloud account, you can locate your misplaced luggage on a map, get directions to find it, and trigger the AirTag's built-in speaker to play a sound.

Once you're near your AirTag, tap Find Nearby and Precision Finding will guide you straight to your missing bag using the Find My network. It's an encrypted and anonymous network comprised of hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Apple devices relay the location of your AirTag to iCloud for a ping to give you a nudge in the right direction. Then you can find where your goodies have gone. This method will work on Apple iPhone 11 devices and newer models as well. 

How to use Apple AirTags to locate luggage

If you plan on using an AirTag to track your luggage, your best bet is to place it inside your bags, preferably ones with locking mechanisms. It's not an especially good idea to attach one to the exterior of a checked bag – it might disappear before your flight ever takes off. Instead, hiding it in one of your bag's interior pockets, or attaching via an AirTag holder for luggage, helps make sure your tracker remains as inconspicuous as possible while still doing its job.

The best reason to invest in an Apple AirTag for luggage? If your bag gets lost, you have a much better chance of locating it, either in a certain part of the airport or a different state or country. Also, if your bag gets stolen, you might have a better chance of recovering it. It's not always a surefire way to get your stuff back, but it's worked in the past. Police have even used Apple AirTag data to help crack luggage theft cases

When your plane gets to your final destination, you can also use the Apple AirTracker to track the progress of your luggage on its way to baggage claim. Since their battery life can last up to a year, you don't have to worry about the tag going offline unless someone gets their hands on it and potentially destroys it – but that isn't very likely. At worst, it will be removed and tossed aside, but that's a whole other story. 

Top Apple AirTag products to track luggage

Apple AirTags

Apple AirTag
Apple via Amazon

The Apple AirTag has remained the premier smart tracker since it hit the market, and it's still the premiere choice for keeping track of your stuff. Designed exclusively for those in the Apple ecosystem, this petite tracker seamlessly pairs with devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook for simple item tracking even beyond finding out where your luggage is. Its small size makes it the perfect option for tracking even your smallest belongings. 

Leveraging Apple's U1 chip, AirTag uses Precision Finding to help you pinpoint misplaced items with ease. Even if your lost wallet or keys are powered off, AirTag taps into the extensive Find My network to locate them. 

Moreover, there's no constant scramble to recharge AirTag. Each tracker boasts an impressive battery span of up to one year before needing a replacement CR2032 battery. You'll receive alerts if you leave an item behind or an unfamiliar AirTag enters your orbit, too. That helps to prevent bad actors from watching your every move. 

The main caveat: AirTag works exclusively within the Apple universe, so Android users must seek other tracker solutions. For iPhone devotees though, stocking bags and keychains with AirTags promises peace of mind – and you'll be able to find your luggage in a snap. 

You can also buy Apple AirTags in a pack of four at Amazon. You'll get the best per-AirTag price this way.

Apple AirTag leather key ring

Apple AirTag Leather Key Ring

This is a versatile leather keychain that you open up and place your AirTag inside a "pod" with a snap closure. It comes in multiple colors, like Forest Green, Meyer Lemon, and Saddle Brown. 

However, these keychains are a bit pricier since they're made from European leather. If you have multiple AirTags and want a more affordable solution, they're out there. 

As far as aesthetics go, though, you can't really beat the way these official Apple keychains look, especially when dangling from your carry-on. 

Caseology Vault Apple AirTag Case

Caseology Vault Apple AirTag case
Caseology via Amazon

If you need something a bit more rugged to attach to your luggage and aren't so concerned whether or not it looks good aesthetically, this "vault" is one that'll definitely want to snatch up. 

It's designed with a built-in carabiner clip that makes it super easy to attach to anything you need it for. Plus, the way it fits in the slot, it's a bit more secure than even the official Apple leather keychain, so you know you're covered when you use this bad boy. 

Choose from three colors on Amazon, each with the same amount of security, but if you don't want it to stand out at all, it might be a good idea to just go with black. 

Belkin AirTag Secure Holder Case (2-Pack)

Belkin AirTag Secure Holder Case (2-Pack)

This durable keyring attaches just like you'd expect a normal keychain accessory to, but it has a twist-and-lock design to keep your AirTag where it belongs: inside the holder. That way, you don't have to worry about your tracker falling off in transit or being tampered with, as long as you keep it pretty hidden.

For $20, you get two keyrings, both of which have raised edges and multiple colors to choose from to better fir your personality. Again, there are fun colors to opt for, but to be as secure as possible, it's a good idea to choose black or gray to blend in, and to not stand out - you don't want someone to yank this thing from your bag, though it will give them more trouble than others. 

Pelican Luggage Tag AirTag Holder

Pelican Luggage Tag AirTag Holder

This heavy-duty luggage tag doesn't play around. Not only can you attach it to your bags to make sure they reach their destination, but this holder has a special AirTag compartment that securely holds the tracker without you having to worry about it coming out.

The luggage tag contains a window for your name and address card with a steel plate reinforced, two-piece design as well as an AirTag slot. It has a twist lock mechanism for you to make sure the tag is closed securely, with industrial-grade manufacturing that means you should be able to trust even if your luggage gets tumbled around and treated like clothes in a dryer, the Pelican tag will emerge safely. 

If you want the safest option you can find that combines luggage tag necessities and AirTag storage, this is your best bet. 

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