Airtag/SmartTag in suitcase

Apple Airtags, Tile Mate, Samsung SmartTag, Chipolo One Spot or Cube KeyFinder allowed in the case?

In addition to the well-known Airtags from Apple, there are now other manufacturers with interesting smart tracker alternatives, such as Samsung with the Galaxy SmartTag, which uses a secure Bluetooth signal to show its owner the position of the tracker and, in this case, the luggage. Provided that a smartphone that is ready to receive the signal is nearby and can pick it up and forward it. In the case of airplane luggage that may land at the wrong airport, it is relatively likely that a logistics employee has plugged in a smartphone and thus acts as a signal transmitter. If the luggage were to get lost somewhere where no iPhone or Samsung could make it, then things would look bleak. At least you know where it was last tracked, maybe this information helps to find the luggage again.

Airtags in suitcase on plane

Are Airtags or SmartTags allowed in the suitcase?

Basically, baggage trackers are portable electronic devices and are subject to the International Civil Aviation Organization's dangerous goods regulations for transport on aircraft. Therefore, like cell phones, laptops and tablets, they must be deactivated in checked baggage during the flight because they have a transmitting function. However, airtags can only be deactivated if the battery is removed. However, an airtag without a function is also no good as a tracking device for the piece of luggage.

However, Lufthansa, for example, has lifted the restriction on airtags in consultation with the German Federal Aviation Authority. It is assumed that the devices do not pose a potential security risk. Provided that the battery installed in the device does not exceed a lithium content of 0.3g and the battery does not deliver more than 2.7Wh. This is true for airtags. So YES, airtags are allowed on Lufthansa flights. There is also no corresponding ban at the airports.

The situation is clear for Lufthansa, what about other airlines? Each airline has its own regulations on the subject and some have probably not yet caught up with Lufthansa or other major airlines or have not yet published a corresponding guideline because the subject is relatively new. If you want to be on the safe side, check with the airline and their regulations before you fly, but it is possible that you will not find a statement on this topic yet. Unlike medications in hand luggage, airtags are electronic devices and therefore completely different safety regulations apply here.

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Track baggage with Airtag or SmartTag

So, if you are afraid that your suitcase will be lost during the flight, you should definitely consider the Airtag or an Airtag alternative and try out the gadget in advance. Thus, other items such as keychain, bicycle, car or other items can also be equipped with the Airtag and thus one can see with the iPhone or Android smartphone where the items are exactly. With the Airtag, it even goes so accurate that you get a signal in the immediate vicinity when you approach the item. Thus, you can find it very precisely even in the case itself.

However, there is one technical feature of the trackers that must be kept in mind if you don't want to experience a moment of shock. The devices need a smartphone that is ready to receive data nearby in order to transmit the position via Bluetooth. This goes over a certain distance (depending on whether there are walls in between, etc.). Airport warehouses and logistics halls including the entire baggage handling is very extensive. Consequently, even though there are many employees, it happens that there is no receiving phone nearby. This leads to the fact that a new position of the suitcase, for example, on the way to the plane, no new position is transmitted and for the software the suitcase is then displayed, for example, still at the baggage check-in, although it is already completely somewhere else. In other words, the app always shows only the last position of the last transmitted signal. If the luggage was moved, but there was no phone nearby, the new position is not transmitted to the app. Now it can happen that you get a message in your own app that the luggage was left behind. Exactly what you actually feared. Please here also always check the time, this is usually displayed, when the last position was transmitted. Especially at the baggage check-in, the tracker always has a connection, because enough people with smartphones are present, if the position is already longer ago, rather the position has not retransmitted, than that the suitcase has not moved. Patience is therefore required and a precise understanding of the technical operation.

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag in case

Besides the Apple Airtag, there is also a similarly functioning product from the competitor Samsung: The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag. Legally, the same regulations apply to the SmartTag from Samsung as to Apple. Installing a Galaxy SmartTag is a fairly straightforward process that anyone can master in a few minutes. Below is a simple explanation of the steps required to install and use your SmartTag:

  • First, you should open the SmartThings app on your mobile device. Once you have launched the app, you need to press the button on your SmartTag. Once the SmartTag is working correctly and is recognized by your mobile device, you should see a notification in the SmartThings app. This notice signals that your SmartTag has been successfully detected and is ready to proceed with setup.
  • In the next step, you should select your SmartTag from the list of detected devices and tap "Agree". By tapping "Agree" you confirm that you want to set up the selected SmartTag.
  • After tapping "Agree", you should tap "Start" to begin the setup process. At this time it is necessary to press the button on your SmartTag again.
  • With these steps, you have successfully completed the process of setting up your Galaxy SmartTag. Now your SmartTag is ready for use and can be stored in your suitcase when traveling.

Luggage lost, compensation

Unfortunately, it can also happen that the luggage is lost or broken despite Airtag and other security measures. The Montreal Convention regulates basic claims against the airline. In principle, however, most pieces of luggage turn up again and are delivered to the owner after a delay. If the suitcase does not reappear, the owner is entitled to compensation. Therefore, always document before departure what is in the suitcase to be able to prove it in the event of a case and to know for themselves which items they have lost.

Have you ever equipped a suitcase with an airtag?
12,82 %
No, I will not either
5,13 %
No, but I will definitely do
82,05 %
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Tracking device in case

Sounds like a story from an agent movie, but the fantasy is not that far away from reality: Since the introduction of Airtags by Apple or alternatives by other manufacturers such as Tile Mate, Samsung SmartTag Chipolo One Spot or Cube KeyFinder, there are now devices that make it possible to determine the position of a suitcase using a smartphone and thus track down a lost piece of luggage. Meanwhile, the major airlines have regulated it in detail, such as Lufthansa, and have adapted the security regulations to the extent that the carrying of these weakly transmitting gadgets is allowed.


We have tested it ourselves, not only with suitcases but also with other items, and the location has always worked very well. There are more and more reports where travelers have had a good experience with the Airtags and were also able to find the luggage more easily at the baggage carousel. Also in the hotel, if you want to store the luggage because the departure is later than the check-out in the hotel, an Airtag can feel safer, because you are immediately notified if the luggage moves without your own doing. Also, in the event that there are umpteen suitcases piled up in the room, you can use direction finding to narrow down where to look very well. So a clear recommendation for the use of these modern gadgets for travel.

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Frequently asked questions

Are airtags allowed in the suitcase?
In the meantime, many airlines, such as Lufthansa, have issued clear guidelines in coordination with the German Federal Aviation Authority for carrying Airtags in luggage. These are now explicitly allowed, and similar rules apply to other models if the battery meets specifications. Other airlines also have similar regulations.
Can you use an airtag to find the case again?
Basically yes, provided the battery power of the airtag is still available and there is a Bluetooth capable iPhone nearby to forward the signal. Otherwise, the last signal of an airtag is always found in the app and you at least know where to start looking.