Air Canada Miraculously Recovers ‘Donated’ Luggage Tracked by AirTag

In yet another case of Apple’s AirTags reuniting people with their lost luggage, Air Canada has somehow recovered the “donated” bags of one Ontario couple after they spun up a media storm last week — reports the CBC.

Nakita Rees and Tom Wilson of Cambridge, Ontario, went back and forth with Air Canada for four months after they were separated from their bag during a connecting flight from Montreal to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport after returning from their honeymoon trip to Greece.

When the couple reached Toronto, Wilson’s luggage wasn’t there. Luckily, they had stashed an AirTag inside the bag, which showed that the bag was still in Montreal. They filed a claim with Air Canada and went home, expecting to receive their bag shortly.

While the bag did start moving from Montreal to Etobicoke in suburban Toronto about four weeks later, it didn’t make its way to the couple. The bag sat in Etobicoke for more than three months and Air Canada never gave the couple an update on the retrieval efforts, even though they could see its exact location on Apple’s Find My app.

In October, Air Canada gave Rees and Wilson approximately $2,300 as compensation for their “lost” luggage. The couple, however, wasn’t satisfied with the outcome and the carrier’s lack of communication and action since they could very easily ascertain the whereabouts of their luggage.

Earlier this month, Wilson went to where his iPhone said the bag was — the Etobicoke Public Storage facility, and found a storage unit filled from floor to ceiling with luggage. Per a police investigation, the unit belonged to a third-party handler that disposes of unclaimed luggage for Air Canada by donating it to charity.

After the CBC‘s The Morning Edition and several media outlets reported on the couple’s ordeal, though, Air Canada was able to miraculously recover the bag and returned it to them on Monday.

“This customer travelled late in the summer at a time when all air carriers in Canada were still recovering from the COVID-related, systemic disruption of the entire air transport industry. One consequence was an elevated rate of baggage delays,” Air Canada said in an emailed statement to the CBC.

“In this particular case, the situation was compounded by the disconnection of the baggage tag at some point on the journey. Despite our best efforts, it was not possible for us to identify the bag’s owner. It was designated as unclaimed, and we moved to compensate the customer.”

Air Canada explained that airlines can dispose of lost bags whose ownership can’t be established after 90 days. The company does so through a third-party company, which does make donations to charity.

Air Canada admitted that Wilson’s bag was “transferred prematurely in error, and we have followed this up internally.” To make it easier for airlines to identify your luggage if it gets separated from you, Air Canada recommends putting additional identification inside your bags.

“This story is an opportunity to remind your audience, as we always recommend, to put personal contact information inside their baggage, for example a business card,” the statement said.

Rees, meanwhile, also suggested equipping your luggage with a tracking device — like an AirTag. AirTags are designed to help users keep track of their belongings using Apple’s Find My network, which the company says comprises more than a billion devices across the globe.

Many travellers have been using these tiny trackers to hold airlines accountable for their luggage — to the point that one German airline even considered banning them last year. Last week, another Air Canada traveller who lost their luggage but tracked it using an AirTag was able to recover it after almost 45 days.