A man implored technology, social media, and a fair bit of snark to attempt to reunite his wife with her bag.
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A man was traveling with his wife from Frankfurt to London via Dublin on Aer Lingus earlier this week. The journey was part of a far longer trip but had to be altered due to the pandemic,
“Elliot Sharod and his wife, Helen, were flying back to the UK from their wedding in South Africa on April 17. At first, the couple bought tickets with stopovers in Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt, but then they had to reschedule the flight with a different route due to the pandemic.” – 9to5Mac.com
On the ground in Frankfurt, his (soon-to-be lost) bags were near the exterior of the aircraft, preparing to be loaded, and then at the last minute did not make the trip. The passenger noted that Aer Lingus got those bags to a Lufthansa flight bound for London on one of its many international flights bound for the English capital.
While the rest of the luggage had arrived around 10 PM the night of their arrival, Helen’s bag remained separated from its owner. Despite numerous calls to Aer Lingus to inform them of the location of the missing checked bag, even down to providing the street address, at the time of publication (more than 72 hours later) the bag has not been reunited with the Sherods.
That’s not the end of the story by any means.
Airtags, PowerPoint, Twitter to the Rescue
Mr. Sherod had affixed an Apple AirTag to each piece of luggage and demarked the Apple devices on his account. Apple AirTags look for and connect to iPhones around them to determine location. The location data of the AirTag is available on one’s iCloud or Apple account for review, and the devices can even be placed into “lost mode” informing those around the device that the item is lost and how to return it to its owner. Remotely, an owner can even play a sound using the “Find My” app to draw attention to the missing item.
When Aer Lingus had failed to locate and return the device despite Sherod informing them of its exact location. He decided to spell it out for the Irish carrier using screenshots and PowerPoint and then shared to Twitter to grab their attention.
Hi @AerLingus – perhaps a PowerPoint presentation on the journey you’ve sent my lost/stolen bag on will help?
I’ve told you multiple times where it is and you’re doing nothing about it.
This has been a shocking experience with you pic.twitter.com/105BdEM7MU
— AirTag Adventurer 🇬🇧🇿🇦🇹🇷🇰🇭 (@aviosAdventurer) April 22, 2022
At the time of writing, @AerLingus hadn’t even responded to his tweet.
A client of my travel agency had taken a trip recently and another carrier had indicated that her “bag is delayed”, it had been left at the hub from her connecting domestic flight. As our team worked with the airline to locate the missing checked baggage they still required participation from the traveler and was an unpleasant way to start her trip.
However, even if we were able to track the item the difficulty becomes dealing with the various people responsible for physically reuniting the traveler with their luggage.
In Sherod’s case, despite phone calls to Aer Lingus, and providing details with pinpoint precision, finding the bag and returning it appears to be elusive. Knowing where it is remains just one factor in the process of getting the item returned and unfortunately, the other pieces to this puzzle are still problematic.
However, the use of his snarky and clever PowerPoint (well done) shared for the world to see is likely to, at some point, draw an emboldened Aer Lingus staffer to their desk with a cup of Earl Gray ready to conquer the challenge. It shouldn’t take this kind of public and time-consuming effort to return a simple piece of lost luggage.
As Aer Lingus had not yet responded, some on Twitter had suggested Sherod simply visit the address and knock on the door, with or without the police. However, this could create further complications and adds risk to a situation that shouldn’t involve any for the traveler.
Aer Lingus dropped the ball (bag) on this and has seemingly made none of the right moves to resolve the matter. While there have been issues with unknown AirTags being affixed to track people (scary), this entirely wholesome and logical use of the device that usually is placed on a key ring, is a great answer to the despair and loneliness found at baggage claim. I hope for Mr. and Mrs. Sherod’s sake, that someone at Aer Lingus wakes up and does the right thing before matters are taken into their own hands.
What do you think? Do you use AirTages to track your luggage? What would you do if you were in Mr. Sherrod’s situation?