Lufthansa airline bans AirTags after passengers shame it for lost luggage [U: ban lifted]

In a unique move, Lufthansa airline has banned AirTags in luggage, after passengers started shaming them for lost bags. Airline travelers are often the victims of lost baggage, and trackers such as AirTags have allowed them to track them and find out where they actually are. It has been found out that the luggage often ends up in completely different locations.


[Update: The airline confirmed that the German Aviation Authority (Luftfahrtbundesamt) has approved AirTag and other trackers with low battery and transmission power to be used in checked luggage as they pose no safety risk. Therefore, the trackers are allowed on Lufthansa flights.

It is ironic that the airline is now saying that Luftfahrtbundesamt shares their risk assessment that tracking devices like AirTag are not a safety risk. Previously, the airline called them dangerous. (Read details below)

Apple rejected the airline’s argument in a statement to The New York Times. The company said that AirTags are “compliant with international airline travel safety regulations for carry-on and checked baggage” and pose no safety risk. Confirming Apple’s claim, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration said that the Bluetooth-based trackers from Apple and other companies are allowed in carry-on and checked luggage.]

AirTags in luggage not allowed by Lufthansa anymore 

As per One Mile At A Time, Lufthansa is the first airline to ban AirTags after a summer full of lost bags. The airline blames the aviation industry’s policies against electronic devices on flights. 

Lufthansa argues that baggage trackers fall in the category of portable electronic devices, and are therefore subject to dangerous goods regulations issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This is specifically because of the transmission function. Lufthansa claims that the transmission function needs to be turned off during flight when in checked luggage, just as is required for cell phones, laptops, etc. My first thought is that I’m not surprised to see Lufthansa be the first airline to add a ban like this. Lufthansa isn’t exactly a customer-friendly airline, and the airline has had an awful summer when it comes to lost bags (I even had a delayed Lufthansa bag experience). AirTags empower travelers in terms of knowing exactly where their bags are, and I imagine that’s something some airlines don’t actually like. If you look at Twitter, you’ll see a ton of people expressing frustration with Lufthansa because they know exactly where their checked bag is, while the airline refuses to help.

The airline’s official Twitter account says that activated AirTags are classified as dangerous and need to be turned off, and that baggage trackers are subject to dangerous goods regulations. 

There have been many instances of unexpected AirTags usage including stalking, stealing, and more, however, baggage tracking is not an unintended use. Travelers have valuable luggage which often gets lost by many airlines, despite sophisticated processes and systems, and such trackers allow users to locate where they are. The luggage often ends up in completely different locations, and it helps people know where their valuables are and whether the airlines are being honest about it.

While there have been many claims from other sources that this is not correct, and is just a rumor, the tweets from the official account still exist and can be verified as per the above embeds.

via Boing Boing

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