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AirTag helps flyer find AirTag, but not his missing wallet


John Lewis put one of Apple’s AirTags inside his wallet so that he could find it again if he ever lost it.

After getting off an American Airlines flight in Florida on January 24, he soon realized that the worst had happened — he’d lost his wallet.

Aware that his AirTag tracking device was attached, he dived into Apple’s Find My app to see where it was. Sure enough, it was on the plane.

Next, he contacted American Airlines staff to explain the situation, but despite their best efforts, they couldn’t locate his lost wallet.

Lewis then watched in frustration as his wallet, with all of his cards and IDs inside, went on a tour of the U.S., visiting 35 cities in the following days.

Sharing the unfolding story on social media, he said he contacted the carrier again, explaining that the wallet was definitely on the aircraft because his AirTag said so.

American insisted they’d checked the jet but had been unable to locate his lost item.

“They say they thoroughly clean the plane, but how can you thoroughly clean the plane if the wallet is still on the plane and you haven’t gotten it yet?” Lewis said.

He admitted that it was his fault that he lost his wallet, but couldn’t understand why staff couldn’t find it if the AirTag showed it was still on the jet.

Lewis, a platinum member of American’s frequent flyer program, quipped: “Are they gonna apply this to my account and do I get to keep all the miles that my wallet is accumulating over these last days? It’s gotta be like 100,000 miles easily. That’s like a trip to Belize or something.”

Lost and found … sort of

Then on Tuesday, Lewis received good news and bad news. The good news was that American Airlines staff had finally managed to locate the AirTag (it was buried under the seat). The bad news was that there was no sign of his wallet.

In a social media post shared on Tuesday, Lewis praised staff for their efforts to locate his lost item, though he added that he “didn’t really get much help from corporate.”

The discovery of only the AirTag prompted Lewis to ponder whether a member of the cleaning crew had nabbed the wallet soon after he left the plane, leaving the AirTag behind.

“Now it’s time to cancel all my cards and get some new IDs,” Lewis said in his Tuesday update.

Digital Trends has reached out to the carrier for its response to Lewis’s experience and we will update this article when we hear back.

If anything, the unfortunate episode is a reminder that such devices may not always be tracking the item that you think it’s tracking.

Apple released the $29 AirTag in 2021. While the tracking device has helped countless owners track lost luggage and bags — and hopefully the occasional wallet — the device has also come under fire for making it easy for stalkers to follow targets. Apple has been releasing various firmware updates for the AirTag to try to curb such use.

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