Baggage chaos is getting so bad that travelers are turning to tracking devices like Apple Airtags

Cory Prenatt’s retirement celebrations didn’t go as planned. Rather than golfing with his friends at the famous UK Open courses, the 47-year-old ended up traveling the country trying to locate his bags.

Cory Prenatt’s retirement celebrations didn’t go as planned. Rather than golfing with his friends at the famous UK Open courses, the 47-year-old ended up traveling the country trying to find his bags after getting lost on the journey from the US.

Prenatt, of Tampa Bay, Fla., had attached Apple Inc. devices called AirTags to his golf bag and other luggage to track their whereabouts after checking in for his flight. Upon arriving in the UK, he found his luggage still stuck on the tarmac at Newark Airport, where it lay for two days. His luggage was eventually sent to a warehouse in Edinburgh, but on his way there to collect it he noticed his clubs were already heading for Aberdeen. His AirTag showed that they finally ended up in England’s West Midlands.

“It’s a mess,” he said.

Prenatt’s experience encapsulates the chaos travelers face as airports in Europe, the United States and elsewhere are overwhelmed with an increase in passenger traffic – and baggage – because they don’t have enough staff to deal with the massive layoffs that have engulfed the aviation industry. during the pandemic.

Travelers are turning to AirTags and similar devices from other companies to keep tabs on their belongings. Apple introduced AirTags in April 2021 with a starting price of $29, while Samsung Electronics Co.’s SmarTag costs $29.99.

The devices, which use short-range Bluetooth, are allowed on planes, with many passengers already traveling with gadgets using similar technology like game consoles and headphones.

A British Airways Plc passenger wrote on Twitter this week that her tracker showed her luggage had arrived at London Heathrow a day after her flight and had been there for more than 10 days. Last month, a passenger from Singapore Airlines Ltd. used his AirTag to locate and retrieve his luggage after being stranded at Melbourne Airport for a week, the Daily Mail reported.

Representatives for British Airways were unable to comment immediately.

Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest airports, on Tuesday imposed a two-month cap on daily passenger traffic until September 11 due to a shortage of staff, asking airlines to refrain from sell summer tickets. This week, Delta Air Lines Inc. flew a jumbo jet without passengers to bring 1,000 lost bags from the London hub back to the United States. A Delta spokesperson said the carrier’s teams have been “working on a creative solution” to move checked baggage that was delayed on July 11 after a scheduled flight was canceled.

Two months into his trip, and after repeated questions to British Airways and courier companies, Prenatt still hasn’t collected his golf bag. He says it contained more than $10,000 worth of equipment, including a $4,000 putter his son gave him as a retirement gift.

He rented clubs, in the end.

About Franklin Cheatham

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