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Article on AirTags and UA Luggage Delivery Incident

Article on AirTags and UA Luggage Delivery Incident

Old Jan 2, 2023, 3:51 pm
  #1  
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Article on AirTags and UA Luggage Delivery Incident

https://appleinsider.com/articles/23...issing-luggage

AirTags catch United Airlines in lie about missing luggage
A woman used multiple locations of AirTags she planted in her luggage before traveling to catch United Airlines lying about the security of her bags.
Later in the thread, Szybala explains why she was compelled began tweeting about her situation. In a posted copy of her messages with United Airlines support, she was told to "calm down," and "we will deliver the bag to you, don't worry."

However, that conversation took place after Szybala had used her AirTags to track the luggage to a dumpster behind a residential apartment. Photographs, perhaps from Google Street View, show other United Airlines luggage strewn by the dumpster and apparently emptied.

In her messages conversation, she repeatedly informs customer support that she has found the location of the luggage because of her AirTags. When support finally acknowledges this, they still repeat that she is wrong, the "bag is safe at the Delivery services distribution center."

Szybala also reports that once she "pressed them to send me the details of their lost/stolen bag policy," the support rep stopped responding.

At some point after this, though, Szybala's AirTag showed that the baggage was on the move and was seemingly now at a McDonalds. Shortly afterwards, she reports that it left McDonalds and returned to the apartment with the dumpster.

United Airlines has not commented publicly beyond an initial Twitter support message asking for details.
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Old Jan 2, 2023, 4:18 pm
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There is a poster on the AA forum that has similarly spent days arguing with both AA and QR about the location of their lost luggage, with both airlines continually claiming it is somewhere other than the air tag location: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/34877729-post12.html Hopefully the FT poster's story has a happier ending than the passenger in the article.
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Old Jan 2, 2023, 10:29 pm
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I follow some checked luggage with AirTag+TilePro trackers in them. And given what Ive seen of Uniteds handling of such baggage subject to irregular baggage handling reports, I would expect this incident to be within the range of the expected.

Even around UAs SFO base, UAs contracted final delivery stretch of mishandled bags after they get to the destination airport has been some of the most amusing things to follow. That which was seen as perplexing by some seems to fall within the range of what to expect from time to time as the drivers go around with the luggage and otherwise do their thing.
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 7:33 am
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This story has a few holes in it, particularly where this person is convinced her luggage is convinced her tags "track the luggage to a dumpster behind a residential apartment." and found "Photographs, perhaps from Google Street View, show other United Airlines luggage strewn by the dumpster and apparently emptied."

How does one do that re: pictures of other's bags?
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by Imstevek
This story has a few holes in it, particularly where this person is convinced her luggage is convinced her tags "track the luggage to a dumpster behind a residential apartment." and found "Photographs, perhaps from Google Street View, show other United Airlines luggage strewn by the dumpster and apparently emptied."

How does one do that re: pictures of other's bags?
I presume you didn't read the Twitter feed in the article. It contains all the deets
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by prestonh
I presume you didn't read the Twitter feed in the article. It contains all the deets
I didn't, got distracted by that ridiculous article.

So it's a rogue courier service? Seems a little odd someone is going to leave bags around, but so it goes.
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 1:49 pm
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Doesn't surprise me one bit. I had a courier service contracted by UA tell me that there was no one at a Vegas Strip hotel for them to drop my bag off with at midnight and that I didn't answer my phone when they called.
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 3:22 pm
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CNN has picked up the story. The missing bags have been returned to the owner. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/a...ted/index.html
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 3:40 pm
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From reading the messages, it sounds like the pax was connected to one of the ICCs handling the web chat. I spent about two hours on with them for what should have been a simple question about my wifi subscription in November and was amazed at the uselessness of the service. The spelling and grammar was also a dead giveaway.

In terms of the AirTag's, I've got one in all of my bags and they have been wonderful. During a return from PWM in summer 2021, irrops led to a forced overnight at ORD and I was able to get rebooked on AA the following morning for the flight to MCI. My bags remained with UA, though the BSO said they would be transferred to AA (hah!). I checked a couple times throughout the night and early next morning and the bags never left T1. They were eventually delivered to AA much later and didn't get to me until the evening I returned home (vs. on the morning flight like they promised). The AirTag's were great. Same can be said for the DEN debacle last week. My bag was stuck overnight at DEN and I knew exactly where it was and could even see its progress as it drove throughout DEN on the way to my parents house.
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 5:05 pm
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We put AirTags in all our checked in bags during a recent trip around the USA.
Amazing how well they work.
But one incident stood out.
All but one bag turned up at EWR.
I traced it next to an unused belt far away from any action.
It was with a pile of other bags obviously sent on earlier flights.
I thought bags had to fly with the passenger.
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 5:49 pm
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I was chatting with my good friend along her journey home to Indonesia from a trade show in Orlando this past November.
MCO-IAH-NRT-CGK (last leg NH)
Her plane had a 7 hour delay leaving IAH which made her miss her cxn in Narita where she had to spend the night.
I got a frantic text from her saying her Airtags show both bags still in IAH.
I looked up her tracking on the UA app and it showed all is well — bags loaded on the plane and in NRT.
Told her don’t worry, must be a problem with Airtags (I know there used to be something where cells phones from other countries didnt work in Japan?).
Next morning she arrives Jakarta (United put her on JL) and no bags. She got on her domestic flight home to MDC (separate ticket).
After many phone calls to both UA and JL they both tried telling her the last carrier to MDC was responsible. I forgot which, but one of those awful cheap Indo airlines — and of course they were clueless.

The UA app updated the following day — they were in IAH. She did get them back a week later (and to United’s credit they did get them all the way to MDC). UA only gave her $100.

So yeah. My bags are not going anywhere without Airtags again!

Last edited by chavala; Jan 3, 2023 at 9:14 pm
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by grapegrower
We put AirTags in all our checked in bags during a recent trip around the USA.
Amazing how well they work.
But one incident stood out.
All but one bag turned up at EWR.
I traced it next to an unused belt far away from any action.
It was with a pile of other bags obviously sent on earlier flights.
I thought bags had to fly with the passenger.
Not domestically. Theyll send bags on different flights all the time.
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 8:50 pm
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Originally Posted by FriendlySkies
Not domestically. Theyll send bags on different flights all the time.
Even internationally, as long as it is the carriers decision, the bags may fly separately. The rule is that bags must be pulled for no-shows, but theres no rule controlling when bags are sent for passengers who do show up. Thats not all bad without this rule, if a bag got misplaced / misrouted / etc., thered be no way to get it to the traveler.

Domestically, though,. Its been two decades since they stopped doing positive passenger-bag matching. I feel like it was scrapped within a year maybe within months, actually. Airlines hated it, particularly WN, as it destroyed their ability to operate on-time.
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Old Jan 3, 2023, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Even internationally, as long as it is the carriers decision, the bags may fly separately. The rule is that bags must be pulled for no-shows, but theres no rule controlling when bags are sent for passengers who do show up. Thats not all bad without this rule, if a bag got misplaced / misrouted / etc., thered be no way to get it to the traveler.

Domestically, though,. Its been two decades since they stopped doing positive passenger-bag matching. I feel like it was scrapped within a year maybe within months, actually. Airlines hated it, particularly WN, as it destroyed their ability to operate on-time.
I get this, completely. The problem, as we may have seen compounded over the holidays' cancelled flights and mountains of bags, are bags going out early and then the PAX left stranded at an airport with no bag.

I had a 4+ layover in ORD and a 4 hour delay back on Oct 1 when UA had "IT problems." Fortunately the frozen fish from an expensive charter survived the 9 hour wait for me in the DEN luggage jail. That said, I never ever ever check my (Global size) rollaboard even if I/we have other checked bags.
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Old Jan 4, 2023, 7:00 am
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So here's a luggage horror story, albeit with a happy ending, United took over a week to get a bag back to this lady while all the time she's tracking it's movements around the D.C. suburbs because it had an air tag....UA reps consistently gave her bad info and didn't listen to her. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/a...ted/index.html
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