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MTA To People Who Drop AirPods On Subway Tracks: Tell Us, And Don't Try To Get Them Yourselves

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The MTA is warning passengers about a new concern: Dropped AirPods.

The cordless headphones are falling off subway platforms more and more.

Many people love their AirPods, happy to listen wirelessly. But what about when the pricey and loose technology falls off, especially on subway tracks?

For the MTA, it can mean AirPod overload.

"Yeah, it happened to me," said subway rider Ammina Kouakou. She lost one of her AirPods down in the subway, on to the tracks.

The Blueooth earbuds allow her to listen to her iPhone without cords. They cost her about $160. Then she shelled out $65 more to replace the lost one.

"Now I know not stand as close to the platform like I used to," she said.

When it happened, she says she thought "That's it." What she says she didn't know is MTA maintenance crews will fish out-of-reach AirPods off the tracks with a grabber device attached to an 8-foot pole.

CBS2's Dave Carlin asked a worker at the 8th Street New York University station how often that happens.

"Three or four times a week," the worker said. "I called the authorities to get them for them."

Official MTA stats show in the last year, 104 AirPod-related devices were rescued. Maintenance workers suggested the number is actually higher, since not every incident of grabbing them off the tracks gets reported.

"I thought about that. I would jump in and grab it and jump back," said Frank Pluchino of Bay Ridge.

"No you wouldn't. Tell me you wouldn't," said Carlin.

"I thought about it. I probably would. I probably would," Pluchjno said.

"Do not do that. Do not do that," said Carlin.

"It's a very simple message. If you drop your AirPods on the tracks, tell a member of staff. We will get your property back for you. We may not be able to get it back instantaneously. But the other message is, whatever you do, don't even think about jumping down onto the tracks to go and retrieve your property. Don't. Never, ever do that. You can't rely on guessing when the next train might turn up. Make sure that you tell a member of staff, we'll get it back for you and we'll keep you safe," New York City Transit Authority President Andy Byford said.

Riders are advised to stow them someplace safe when underground. One rider Carlin spoke to keeps them in her bag before entering the subway.

"I don't want them to be lost," she said.

You can buy aftermarket contraptions to secure them, or go with more old-fashioned headphones, if your devices allow.

Just never risk your bod for a pod.

Phones lost on the tracks are still the much bigger problem, with roughly 2,300 retrieved by maintenance in a single year.

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