I recently traveled to Spain with my three kids under the age of 6.
We had four suitcases, including car seats and pack and plays for my younger kids.
Having AirTags made it easier to find them, though we still had to buy a week's worth of clothes.
My family of five recently traveled to Spain for two weeks. Because we live near a small airport, we had to connect flights from the US to Europe. Having read so many nightmare stories about lost luggage, and especially because we were traveling with our three kids, all under 6, I chose to buy AirTags for all of our suitcases just in case.
That turned out to be a smart move because our airline lost all four of our suitcases in two different cities. The AirTags allowed me to help the airline staff find our stuff and eventually be reunited.
As soon as we landed, I knew our stuff was missing
Our trip had a bumpy start when our first flight got delayed because of weather, making us miss our connection to Madrid. I managed to get us on a flight to London that same day because I figured it'd be easier to get to Madrid from there than from any major city in the US. That's when I first knew the AirTags were a good idea; I had a feeling our items weren't going to make it onto our new flight.
When we landed in London the next morning, I turned on my phone and was immediately notified that two items had been left behind. I checked, and the tags suggested two of our suitcases were sitting in a terminal in Philadelphia, where we'd had our short connection. Our other two items were apparently with us in London.
Because we were traveling with little kids, we had car seats and pack and plays. I hoped those were the items that had made it, since they would be harder to replace than clothes and toiletries.
AirTags helped the airport staff find our suitcases
While boarding our flight from London to Madrid, I spotted the two items that had made it onto the previous flight sitting on the runway. I talked to the gate agent, and they told me that the bag tags on the items were faulty but that they would load the luggage on the flight anyway since I had visually identified it.
When we arrived in Madrid, our two items never came out of the luggage claim. But I knew they had made it to Madrid, as the AirTags were showing up at Terminal 4. After waiting for over 45 minutes with overtired kids, we moved to the lost-luggage counter to start our claim.
The agent insisted none of the suitcases had made it to Madrid. I showed her my app and how two of them, or at least the AirTags for them, were in fact in the airport. After some calls and showing her exactly where on the map on my phone they were, they were able to find those two suitcases and send them to baggage claim. I sighed in relief.
2 of them took a week to get to us
The two missing ones were still in Philadelphia and had our car seats and all of the adult clothes. The airline insisted our missing suitcases would be put on the next flight to Madrid, but we had to rent car seats to be able to leave the airport and start our trip.
Because we had planned a road trip with stops in several cities, I had to constantly contact the airline to see when it would deliver our luggage. Again, the AirTags came in handy because the airline never called — as it promised — to let us know when our stuff would be delivered to our Airbnb; I could see the little suitcase emoji move on the map on my phone, so we were able to be home when they arrived.
Still, because they took almost a week to get to us, my husband and I had to buy clothes to wear and get toiletries for the whole family. Now I have an open claim with them trying to get our money back, which I have a feeling is going to take way longer than what it took for our suitcases to be recovered.
I learned on this trip to always have AirTags on my checked items and also to load my carry-on with essential toiletries and an outfit change for everyone — just in case.
Read the original article on Insider