We have all been there.
Your flight has just landed at your vacation destination and you are looking out the window as the plane heads to the gate. You’re excited to inhale non-recycled air for the first time in nearly 10 hours. you are in vacation.
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As you head down the jet lane, exhausted but excited, head straight for baggage claim.
As I got closer, people gathered around the carousel as if they were watching a baggage fight club. Baggage Fight Club 1 rule: Don’t pick up a black 28-inch wheelie bag for someone else.
Then it happens.
You start seeing the same bags go by on the carousel – more than a few times now.
The faces you knew so well disappeared on that 9-and-a-half-hour flight from JFK to Athens. They’ve all grabbed their bags and are now at the rental car desk or comfortably seated in the back seat to share their ride to a lovely resort, hotel, or Airbnb.
But not you.
Suddenly that holiday joy turns into the excitement of a suitcase.
Where are your bags?
I travel a lot and this is the first time I can remember my bags didn’t arrive when and where they arrived. First time for everything, right?
This is also the first time I can thank technology for helping me solve the mystery of lost luggage.
My husband had just bought four Apple AirTags and gave them to me as a gift for this trip
At first I rolled my eyes. amazing. Another tool. AirTags are small circular trackers designed to help you keep an eye on things like keys, purses, or, in this case, luggage.
One was reluctantly placed in our checked baggage and the other in our carry-on backpacks.
Little did I know that these things would not only give me peace of mind, but would also perform detective work for the baggage claim department at the airport.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but when we checked in with Delta Airlines at Orlando International Airport, the airline had only checked our bags to JFK in New York and not Athens, Greece. We clearly told them our final destination was Athens but I could digress.
Had we looked at our baggage claim tickets before we put them away in our passport holders, we would have seen this error immediately. It wasn’t until about 17 hours later that we realized what had happened.
When our luggage didn’t arrive in Athens there was a slight consternation because in about 3 hours we were going on a Sky Express for a quick 50 minute flight to Santorini.
After waiting about 45 minutes and staring at the luggage cart, I remembered AirTags.
A few clicks on the iPhone and my heart sank because our suitcases were moving around in New York.
Good thing I don’t use damn words. But my husband did and he did.
However, we hopped on the flight to Santorini and immediately explained our dilemma to a Delta agent. good news. It was a Sunday, so they were putting the bags on a flight from New York to Athens to take them to Santorini by Tuesday.
I checked the AirTag app on Tuesday morning and made sure our bags arrived in Santorini.
Back at the airport, the woman at the Sky Express counter told me she had no record of our luggage ever leaving New York.
The following is the exchange I had with her:
Me: My AirTag is navigating and telling me it’s in Santorini. I think it’s accurate because he also showed it to me when he was in New York and Athens. Now it is pinging here.
Woman: When was the last time you told she was here?
Me: 9:02 this morning. (current time 10:15)
Me: 150 feet away. It’s leading me down that hallway, bypassing some elevators, and making a noise behind those walls.
Woman: Can I see your phone?
(I hand it to her and she disappears behind the wall)
Woman: She says it’s in this room where we keep our luggage but there are only a few bags and none of them match the bags you describe.
As it turned out, our bags were in a basement room where we were looking.
We are finally reunited with our luggage thanks to technology.
If I didn’t have these AirTags, I would have no choice but to believe our bags were still located somewhere in New York.
I didn’t think this was going to be a romance but it turns out I love AirTag and my husband for his perfectly timed gadget, I mean the gift.
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