Review: using Apple’s AirTag for tracking checked luggage

David Flyn, Executive Traveller:

While airlines have banned rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs from checked luggage (including so-called ‘smart luggage’), this doesn’t apply to the tiny single-use lithium CR2023 cells. Besides which, they’re already in millions of Tiles and key fobs sitting in cargo holds.

And, on tracking your luggage through the moving luggage belts:

The first issue is that the AirTag’s “live here-I-am tracking” isn’t intended for objects that are moving, unless they’re doing so at the most leisurely pace.

And while the average airport luggage belt is no threat to Usain Bolt, it runs too fast for the AirTag’s virtual hand-waving to be properly identified by your iPhone.


Even with an iPhone 12 to take advantage of Precision Finding, the only time the AirTagged bag appeared on my screen while being carried along the belt was when it was literally right in front of me.

That is worth knowing.

What the AirTag might be able to do – if Apple’s willing to entertain this in a future software update – would be to send a notification to your iPhone once it comes within Bluetooth range, such as when your bag lands on the carousel.


AirTags have a clear application to help find anything you might travel with but also risk leaving behind or losing: your passport wallet, a briefcase or jacket, even the carry case where your noise-cancelling headphones reside when not in use


Putting the AirTag inside the bag instead of on the external strap made no discernible difference to the range or accuracy of tracking.

This post was jam full of useful info on what to expect when you stick an AirTag inside your luggage.