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Air Canada traveller uses AirTag to track lost baggage for 5 days

As Canadian airports report increasing claims of lost or missing baggage, one traveller took matters into her own hands and tracked her missing baggage for five days from Toronto to Saint John, N.B. using an Apple AirTag tracking device.

Kelly Laing is a frequent flyer, with her work often bringing her to Toronto from her home in Saint John. After hearing about the recent flurry of flight delays and cancellations, she decided to put one of Apple’s Bluetooth-based trackers in her suitcase for her flight and documented her experience on TikTok, attracting tens of thousands of views.

“(The AirTag) was originally given to me as a present on Christmas because as an avid golfer, I carry everything in my bag and golf clubs are thousands and thousands of dollars,” she told in an interview on Thursday.

“I decided to put the tag in my normal luggage for my own peace of mind, and I’m just so lucky I did because my luggage didn't get on the direct hour and a half flight from Toronto to Saint John.”

When Laing arrived at Saint John in late June, her luggage had not arrived with her and couldn’t be found at Saint John Airport. She then tracked her luggage for five days on her iPhone.

According to her, the AirTag showed that her bag didn’t leave Toronto’s Pearson Airport for four days before it was flown to Moncton, N.B. on day five and then was driven to Saint John’s airport.

“So, if I didn't have the tag, I would have just like kept coming to the airport every day and bugging staff, like, ‘did my bag come?’ That was gonna be my next step,” she said.

Despite the five-day delay, Laing considers herself fortunate as she is a local at Saint John and was able to replenish her items with ones she already owned at home.

Laing says she was left without several necessities such as her contact lenses, toiletries and clothes, and did not know when or if she would get them back.

“I'm just lucky that I flew into my home because I obviously have clothing and other items at home ….If this was someone on vacation, who didn't have their luggage … they would have been way worse off than me.”

Laing arrived at Saint John airport to pick up her luggage, five days later, before even receiving a notification from the airline that her bag had arrived.

“I received little to no communication from Air Canada during this experience, and I applied for compensation a week ago, but have not heard back.”

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority attributes baggage chaos to flight delays, cancellations, staffing shortages and temporary mechanical disruptions within the baggage system. They say a baggage service recovery task force has now been implemented to examine and address system failures.

"Everyone has seen those videos -- I have seen the videos and experienced them -- of massive piles of bags at different airports that people have to sort through and root through," Jennifer Weatherhead, founder of, told in a phone interview on Tuesday.

"I think right now (trackers are) a wise option, especially for flying through one of those major hubs that have a connecting flight," she said.

Popular Bluetooth-based trackers include Apple's AirTag, Samsung's SmartTag and Tile, which operate through a mobile app to help locate the item being tracked.

All three operate through an existing network of Bluetooth devices, working as crowdsourced rays that ping one other when in the same vicinity to determine the item’s location.

For example, Apple's AirTag uses other iPhones, iPads and Mac devices on the Find My network to help track an item.

Trackers may be specific to certain operating systems such as iOS or Android.

The Apple AirTag has raised privacy concerns, with reports over the past year showing the tags can be slipped into people's belongings, such as a purse or car, and used to track people without their knowledge.

Apple says AirTags has a feature to "guard against unwanted tracking" and shares alerts if an unknown tracker may be travelling with you.

Laing says that while she’s aware of the potential safety concerns of the AirTag, she doesn’t plan on flying in the future without one.

“I’d rather just know for myself that my personal items are safe rather than having to wait on a phone for three hours or maybe not getting any compensation if my luggage is delayed for weeks,” she said.

Laing’s series of videos rang similar to stories being shared across the country of lost baggage headaches, and resonated with many passengers in similar situations who’ve turned to using luggage trackers.

With files from’s Michael Lee Top Stories


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