AirTag Helps Man Get Back Luggage Lost by Air Canada

A B.C. resident who lost his bags flying with Air Canada and then tracked it using an Apple AirTag he had stashed inside has finally been reunited with his luggage, almost 45 days after it was misplaced — reports Global News.

“So frustrating knowing exactly where my bag was and that probably added to a lot of the angst I felt over that 45-day period,” Paul Kliffer told Global News’ Consumer Matters.

Kliffer lost his luggage when he was travelling with his wife to Mexico City from Victoria, B.C. When the couple returned to Vancouver International Airport before getting on a connecting flight back to the island, Kliffer’s AirTag showed his bags had been left behind at Mexico City International Airport, 4,000 km away.

Kliffer immediately opened a claim with Air Canada and was assured he would be reunited with his luggage soon. His bag never arrived, though. After returning home, Kliffer constantly went back and forth with Air Canada, but to no avail.

“Over the next three days, I went back out to Victoria and they again reiterated there was nothing they could do except send a note to Mexico City,” said Kliffer.

After sitting idle at the Mexico City International Airport for two weeks, Kliffer’s AirTag indicated the luggage had moved to the international airport in Madrid, Spain.

Air Canada, meanwhile, had already deemed Kliffer’s luggage a lost cause. The airline told Consumer Matters that they had “advised the customer we are moving to compensation. The claim is currently being processed and we will be following up directly with the customer.”

However, after Kliffer’s story made it into the press last week, he said he received a call from an Air Canada employee the next day.

“He found my bag through Iberia Airlines,” Kliffer said. “It was in the Iberia Airline warehouse.” Once Kliffer identified the contents of the bag to confirm his ownership, the Air Canada employee made arrangements for that bag to be transported from Madrid to Victoria.

Even though Kliffer has now been reunited with his lost luggage, thanks in no small part to the AirTag he left inside, Air Canada didn’t really know how his bag ended up with a Spanish airline in Madrid.

“The person at Air Canada says that there was no Air Canada tag on it and there was no personal ID tag. Now, when we left, there was a personal ID tag very well attached,” said Kliffer.

“[The agent] believes the Air Canada bag tag must of gotten ripped off along with my personal ID and somehow my bag ended up on the belt for Iberia Airlines and so Iberia Airlines took control of that bag.”

In addition to returning his belongings, Air Canada has also agreed to fully compensate Kliffer.

AirTags are designed to help users keep track of their belongings by leveraging Apple’s Find My network, which the company says spans more than a billion devices across the globe. Many travellers have been using these devices to hold airlines accountable for their luggage — to the point that one German airline even considered banning them last year.

An Ontario resident who lost her luggage during last month’s “Sunwing nightmare” has also been tracking it with an AirTag for over two weeks, but the carrier was still unable to retrieve her bag as of earlier this week.