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If you receive my free daily travel tip newsletter (subscribe here) then you know that my picks for travel product of the year are Apple AirTags and Samsung SmartTags. For anyone who checks bags when they travel, they’re a savior as most airlines and airports are understaffed so lost and misplaced baggage numbers are way up. This is why frequent fliers know to use them when they travel.

But on Saturday (October 8), Lufthansa caused quite a stir when they replied to a passenger on Twitter answering his question about whether the airline is banning AirTags or not: “Hi David, Lufthansa is banning activated AirTags from luggage as they are classified as dangerous and need to be turned off.”

When another user asked why they were being banned, Lufthansa responded with: “According to ICAO guidelines, baggage trackers are subject to the dangerous goods regulations. Furthermore, due to their transmission function, the trackers must be deactivated during the flight if they are in checked baggage and cannot be used as a result.”

Alex Macheras, an Aviation Analyst and journalist for BBC and Al Jazeera and others got the inside scoop. Alex who goes by @AlexInAir on Twitter, tweeted: “Important: Lufthansa has NOT banned Apple AirTags from luggage/hand luggage, the airline confirms to me. While airlines have (for a long time) ban rechargeable lithium-ion batteries from luggage, this does not apply to the tiny single-use lithium CR2023 cell that powers AirTag. As a passenger, you can place an AirTag in your checked luggage, hand luggage, etc, as usual ✅ — this allows you to track your bags and, as we’ve discussed about before, is particularly helpful during periods of air travel disruption (as we witnessed earlier this year). ✈️”


Turns out Alex is right. According to the New York Times today (October 12, 2022): “The German airline Lufthansa reversed itself on Wednesday, saying that Apple AirTags and other Bluetooth tracking devices would once again be allowed in checked baggage.

The Times included Lufthansa’s statement: “The German Aviation Authorities (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt) 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,” the airline said. “With that these devices are allowed on Lufthansa flights.”

RELATED: In-Flight Theft is Real – How to Prevent it and Protect Your Stuff

The TSA confirmed a few days ago on Twitter when they wrote: “Wireless tracking devices are allowed in both carry-on and checked bags.”

I’ve always recommended only traveling with carry-on luggage of you can but if you have to check a bag or bags, then pop one of these inexpensive tracking devices in each one so you know exactly where they are at all times and don’t have to rely on the airlines to tell you where they are or might be.

There have been plenty of stories this summer from consumers touting how these tracking devices saved their luggage and their vacations (read the comments on this article for a sampling). I’ve been using one for my carry-on, just in case, God forbid, it gets stolen, I can try and recover it or at least some of my personal belongings that most thieves don’t want.

How about you? Do you use an Apple AirTag, SmartTags, or Tile and if yes, have they helped you? Leave a comment below.

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2 Comments On "No, Lufthansa Isn't Banning AirTags and Neither Are Other Airlines"
  1. Steve|

    I was on a flight from Newark to Los Angeles last Thursday where they specifically announced that the tracking tags had to be removed and shut off before boarding. When I returned yesterday, there was no mention of it, although they did try to sell their credit cards up and down the aisles. Bad enough to have advertisements every time you stop your video and switch to another.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Interesting. Was it United?

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