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Lufthansa will let you shame them with AirTags after all

Updated Oct 19th, 2022 11:09AM EDT
Apple AirTag 2
Image: Apple Inc.

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German airline Lufthansa came under fire earlier this week for attempting to ban Apple’s AirTags trackers from checked luggage. The company didn’t have the authority to explicitly ban this type of device. But it used existing safety regulations on battery-powered electronic devices to attempt a soft ban on Apple’s trackers.

Since then, Lufthansa has gone on record to announce that it’s not banning trackers. It’s not even looking to take advantage of existing safety rules to convince customers to stop using the trackers.

Passengers have relied on AirTags to shame airlines for their lost luggage practices. An AirTag placed in the checked suitcase can quickly help you locate it as you travel around the world, and the tracker comes in handy when companies like Lufthansa misplace your luggage.

With an AirTags ban in place for checked luggage, Lufthansa would have had a terrible time enforcing the rule. There’s no easy way to monitor all luggage for AirTags and take action.

As we explained, passengers would still be able to use the AirTags to track their missing suitcases. But with any sort of ban, customers might have risked some pushback from the company when revealing their tracking data.

Lufthansa isn’t even going to use the International Civil Aviation Organization’s rules for dangerous goods transported in checked baggage to convince buyers not to carry functional AirTags in their luggage. 

The airline took to Twitter to announce that AirTags are safe on its flights:

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.

If AirTags are good for checked luggage, then any sort of tracker is equally good for Lufthansa flights. More importantly, Lufthansa’s short-lived battle against AirTags, if there ever was one, sets the tone in the industry.

A Lufthansa ban of any kind would have empowered other airlines to follow suit. They won’t do it now that Lufthansa has confirmed it’s not taking any anti-Lufthansa action. 

Apple AirTags
AirTag used with a stuffed toy. Image source: Apple Inc.

As for the AirTags themselves, they’re safe for air travel. Said so Apple in a comment to The New York Times. AirTags are not dangerous and are “compliant with international airline travel safety regulations for carry-on and checked baggage.”

Moreover, MacRumors explains that the US Transportation Security Administration confirmed to The Times that AirTags are permitted on carry-on and checked luggage. 

Therefore, should Lufthansa misplace your luggage again, feel free to point them in the right direction with your AirTags.

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Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.