Melbourne man tracks down missing airport luggage using Apple AirTag

Australia’s airports are well and truly back in business this school holiday period, after two and half years of closed borders and grounded airplanes.

Melbourne Airport is expecting 2.1 million people to pass through from today to July 14, while another 2.1 million people are anticipated to pass through Sydney Airport from June 27 to July 17.

But with all the highs of travel comes the inevitable lows, including those long queues, delayed flights and lost luggage.

Lost luggage. (A Current Affair)

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Victorian cycling technologist and YouTuber Shane Miller can attest to that.

Miller’s bag failed to make a connecting flight from Singapore to Melbourne earlier this month.

“Upon arrival back home in Melbourne, I was informed that my bag didn’t arrive with me. It would be arriving on the following flight, or on a later flight,” Miller said.

Shane Miller. (A Current Affair)

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He then returned to his home in Ballarat.

“The bag was missing for one week. However, as soon as it landed at Melbourne Airport on that Monday night, I knew exactly where it was because of the Apple AirTag that I put inside,” he said.

Miller was able to track his bag using smart technology.

Shane Miller’s bag failed to make a connecting flight from Singapore to Melbourne. (A Current Affair)

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A personal locator device had been left inside the luggage.

But despite knowing the bag – which contained around $6500 in cycling technology – had safely arrived back at Melbourne Airport, a week later the baggage carrier, Swissport, still hadn’t been in touch.

“I gave Swissport a week to get back to me or to give me status updates. There was a website that I was checking daily, there was a phone number that I was calling two or three times a day, that was reaching a full mailbox,” Miller said.

Apple AirTag. (A Current Affair)

“So I couldn’t get through to anybody. I tried contacting Swissport in Melbourne, Swissport International, Singapore Air direct – no one was able to help.”

Taking matters into his own hands, Miller decided to drive back to Melbourne Airport to retrieve the bag himself, vlogging the experience for his YouTube account.

After a few helpful encounters with Melbourne Airport staff, Miller found himself at the Swissport corporate office.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus. (A Current Affair)

“They then walked me down the hallway to another office and then ‘Ping’… the phone lit up and told me exactly where my bag was,” Miller said.

As traffic through Australia’s airports continues to rise over the school holiday period, travellers are being warned to anticipate potential delays.

“Airlines are doing everything that they can to reconnect people with their baggage as quickly as possible,” Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus said.

Luggage. (A Current Affair)

“But we have seen some additional baggage disruption over the peak periods.”

Swissport, a baggage carrier service used by many major airlines in Australia has responded to baggage delays by offering their baggage handlers an additional $50 per day until the end of the year.

Miller has a word of advice for other travellers out there, worried about their luggage.

“If you want to know where your bag is, put a tag in it – simple as that,” he said.

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