AirTags Create a Bigger Problem Than Lost Luggage Itself

Airlines and airports need to invest in lost-and-found technology.

Harsh winter weather, delayed and canceled flights, and an archaic aviation technology make for a perfect storm. This past Holiday Season, thousands of bags went, once again, lost. Long lines and jammed call centers is a story every frequent air traveler is now most familiar with. 

Travelers have taken action into their own hands by investing in tracking devices to get better visibility into the location of their items while traveling. AirTags and Tiles are in such high demand that they have recently become an Amazon best-seller. With millions of travelers having AirTags or other device trackers in their luggage and other valuable items, we like to think the problem is solved.

Not so fast. For many passengers, AirTags lead to even more agony. Whilst they can “see” the location of their lost valuables, they cannot get to it! Just to demonstrate how far this can go, our cofounder Philip had a bag “missing” for a full three days after his airline canceled a flight; the airline did not know how to pull it out of the building. And there’s much worse, for example, the United Airlines fiasco. Not surprisingly, airlines are increasingly trying to deny the situation by not allowing AirTags in luggage, e.g. Lufthansa

The reality is such that tracking your item is just one (small?) part of solving the lost and found experience; getting the items back is an equal, if not more important, part. 

As with most things, the answer lies in technology and smart services. As paradoxical as it may sound, AirTags increase the need for a smart ‘lost and found’ platform supported by efficient processes to collect, store, match a claim, and return the item. Boomerang, for its part, allows teams to automate tedious tasks, eliminates human error, and unlocks a modern and digitized fast-claim and return experience. 

Forward-leaning airports and airlines are investing in a Boomerang partnership. They achieve operational cost savings while building happy (and loyal) travelers. The industry and travelers find themselves in a true win-win scenario. The losers?  No doubt businesses that have historically relied on unmatched items being sold (e.g. Unclaimed Baggage) will be wishing for the demise of AirTags.

Skyler Logsdon

CEO, Boomerang