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Could a GPS tracker be the secret to finding lost luggage?

Could a GPS tracker be the secret to finding lost luggage?

No one wants to lose their bag on day one of a holiday!
16 January 2023 3:54PM

With the world opening up again and a sense of normality returning, people are feeling more confident to get on that plane and start travelling abroad again.
But with everyone rushing to the departure terminal, there have been a few incidents.

We’ve all seen the photos of unclaimed baggage piled up in a room.
Even the Air New Zealand CEO was spotted helping out on the ground working in the luggage claims hall at Auckland Airport. 

Well, now it might end up being a little easier to find that lost case from your last trip since luggage tracking devices have been unbanned.
Previously they were on the prohibited items list due to the lithium batteries they contain. 

There are a few different GPS trackers on the market. Some ‘tags’, like Apple and Samsung, utilise other people's devices to pinpoint your lost luggage so you can find it even if it’s still sitting in the airport.
Others work more short distances with Bluetooth used to make the tag play a sound. 

These trackers are small enough to fit on your keyring, wallet, and luggage and usually contain a ‘button cell’ lithium battery. 

Air New Zealand recently eased its restriction on these GPS tags after the Civil Aviation Authority updated their policy. 

This means people can now keep tabs on their luggage using a tracker of their choosing as long as the battery is under 2.7 Watt hours and contains under 0.3g of lithium. 


AirTag connects with the native Apple app ‘Find My’ to help you find your lost items.

You can either click ‘play sound’ in the app or say “Hey Siri, find my bag”, and if it’s nearby you’ll be able to follow the chirping sound to find your item.
While using the ‘find’ function, your iPhone will display an arrow for you to follow to the item.

If the item is a little further away, the ‘Find My’ network — (hundreds of millions of Apple devices around the world) will help you locate your AirTag.

The way it works is the AirTag sends a Bluetooth® signal that is detected by nearby devices which will then send the location of your AirTag to iCloud where you’ll be able to see it on the map. This is all anonymous and encrypted to protect the user's privacy.


If you’ve lost your item nearby, just tap the ring button on your phone and the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ will play a sound to help you find it. 

Taking it a step further, you can use AR to find your item!
Using your phone’s camera, as you get closer to your item you’ll be able to see a glimmering green light around the item on your screen. 

Even when the tracker is offline, the ‘Galaxy Find Network’ uses scanned data to find it for you.


With the Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker, you can track and locate your luggage, keys, and other items through the Tile App.

In their app, you can view your item’s most recent location on a map from when it was last connected to your phone.
From there you can click ‘Notify When Found’ which will use the Tile Network (every phone running the Tile app) to securely help you locate your lost item.

It even works with your Smart Speaker by asking Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to find your item. 


Using their free app, the Orbit Tracker will locate your lost item through Bluetooth and play a sound to help you find it.
When the tracker is disconnected from your phone’s Bluetooth, a map will show the last known location. 

As a random bonus, this one even features as a selfie remote!