LONDON – It’s been a crazy week in the luggage tracking space as Lufthansa reverses its ban on the use of Apple AirTags by passengers.
Last week saw the German carrier ban AirTags on the grounds of safety inside the cargo hold and calling them a “danger to flights”.
This is what they said at the time regarding the initial ban on AirTags:
“Banning activated AirTags from luggage as they are classified as dangerous and need to be turned off.”
“According to International Civilian Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines, baggage trackers are subject to the dangerous goods regulations.”
This is what the German carrier had to say regarding the reversal:
“The German Aviation Authorities (Luftfahrtbundesamt) confirmed today that they share our risk assessment, that tracking devices with very low battery and transmission power in checked luggage do not pose a safety risk.”
“With that, these devices are allowed on Lufthansa flights”.
What Was Lufthansa’s Approach? (Opinion)…
I do think this is very bizarre from Lufthansa, especially with my use of AirTags on other airlines, and they have gone through the luggage scanners without a hitch.
They have also been on the aircraft fine and have produced no issues. My personal opinion here is that they probably tried to ban them on the grounds of people complaining about luggage times and loss etc.
Such staff shortages occurring over the Summer season have resulted in luggage getting lost or not being returned to passengers. For Lufthansa, this is probably a headache they don’t want to cope with.
From a customer standpoint, it’s a great tool to use in the event that your luggage gets lost. @aviosAdventurer, who calls himself the “AirTags Enforcer” (Very aptly named) on Twitter, went viral after taking Aer Lingus to the cleaners regarding his lost luggage.
If it wasn’t for his persistence with this, then he wouldn’t have gotten his luggage back, as it’s easier for the airlines to just mark it as lost and be done with the issue.
Other airlines haven’t kicked up a fuss about Apple AirTags and have even encouraged the help in some instances, showing how much of a good investment the Apple AirTag is.
Apple AirTags in aviation is definitely going to be used as a great tool in reversing the mindsets and approaches that airlines have when it comes to luggage, as more care is needed.
Hopefully, from this, airlines will reassess their relationships with the handling agents and put forward better expectations towards this.
It remains clear that Lufthansa shouldn’t have even entered this battle regarding the use of AirTags. With other airlines not kicking up a fuss like this, it is bizarre why they would even start this fight.
Such a situation gives out the message that the German carrier is ready and waiting to start fighting with consumers on issues of luggage when actually they are at fault nine times out of 10.
You may ask, what about the ground handlers? Yes, that is the case, but airlines are the ones who contract them, so the buck will always stop with them.