Southwest lost my car seat. Tracking it with an AirTag only added to the misery

Dan Smith

On Christmas Day this year, my family and I joined perhaps the most envied vacationers of the season. I am a Southwest Airlines passenger. Our story was relatively tame when it came to travel horror stories. did After a few arguments and a lot of credit card usage, my partner, my 15-month-old daughter, and I got a hotel room for the night, a one-way rental car, a new child-her seat, and made the 7-hour trek. I was. Bay Area the next day.

Our luggage was not so lucky. 4 suitcases, a stroller and a child seat are still not enough. But my family and other passengers equipped some of the lost items with tracking devices, providing a window into what was going on inside the opaque and insane vacation trip meltdown. . But while tracking devices can provide their owners with a wealth of up-to-date location data, a combination of airline policies, security measures, and general system-wide disruptions can lead to There's not much you can do with it. Unlike postal carriers and delivery services, there is no public system for tracking your belongings through Southwest Airlines or any other major airline. Thousands of passengers wait in hours-long luggage lines, roam rooms full of lost luggage, and try to contact customer service systems crushed by a deluge of outraged passengers. Then the shortcomings of the technology become apparent. On social media, Southwest customers lamented that checking bags in many ways adds another layer to their travel woes.Some self-proclaimed leaflets claim that airlines Reject Checked Release After the flight is canceled, the luggage will be returned to the passenger. Others, like me, at least got to some destination, but seemingly orphaned the bag in the process. Countless others have reported having their luggage completely lost, or have found solace in Reddit threads offering tips. Even if I look at a stranger Helps reunite passengers and belongings. A Southwest spokesperson said the company's team "uses procedures to return baggage during irregular operations," and moves baggage out of cargo facilities and airports to keep customers in their possession. said he began to reunite with “We will make every attempt to reconnect customers with their baggage at no cost to them. If necessary, we will use our delivery partners to return the baggage,” the spokesperson said. A few months ago, I wrote about how I used personal tracking technology to find and eventually recover a stolen car. I also interviewed several other San Francisco citizens who were using devices like Apple AirTags and tile trackers to track their stolen property, but police policy forced the location to be We talked about how limited your ability to get your belongings back, even if you could identify them to the inch. .