Apple's AirTags are an excellent way to know where your luggage is—and a snitch on airlines who don't know where your luggage is. Lufthansa is the first to ban them after "an awful summer of lost bags", reports Ben Schlappig. The carrier cites the industry's undead policies against electronic devices on flights.
Lufthansa argues that baggage trackers fall in the category of portable electronic devices, and are therefore subject to dangerous goods regulations issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This is specifically because of the transmission function. Lufthansa claims that the transmission function needs to be turned off during flight when in checked luggage, just as is required for cell phones, laptops, etc. My first thought is that I'm not surprised to see Lufthansa be the first airline to add a ban like this. Lufthansa isn't exactly a customer-friendly airline, and the airline has had an awful summer when it comes to lost bags (I even had a delayed Lufthansa bag experience). AirTags empower travelers in terms of knowing exactly where their bags are, and I imagine that's something some airlines don't actually like. If you look at Twitter, you'll see a ton of people expressing frustration with Lufthansa because they know exactly where their checked bag is, while the airline refuses to help.
Embedded below is the real problem, for airlines: passengers publicly exposing the stock deceptions and delaying tactics used on the ground by staff, and gathering hard data on baggage handling failures.
Update: Confirmation from Lufthansa.