Lufthansa says it hasn't banned AirTags, but it's far from clear cut

Airtag In Hand Lifestyle Hero
(Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / iMore)

If you're wondering whether you can use an AirTag to track your luggage when flying the answer is normally that you're good to go. But German airline Lufthansa has added some confusion around AirTags and, despite aiming to clear it up, all it's really done is confuse people even more.

The short version? If you plan on using an AirTag to track your luggage with Lufthansa, you're good to go. Except you might not be. Confused? You aren't alone.

Nobody knows for sure

The whole mess started when Lufthansa tweeted that it was banning AirTags aboard its flights because they are "classified as dangerous and need to be turned off." AirTags obviously can't be turned off, and even if they could, that would defeat the whole purpose of using them in the first place.

The person in charge of the Lufthansa Twitter account then doubled down when asked for clarification, saying that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) says that trackers like AirTags are "subject to the dangerous good regulations." But why is that?

As The Points Guy points out, it's all down to the lithium-powered batteries that they use — a standard CR2032 battery that you might find in your car key fob or a watch. The amount of lithium metal content is minuscule, but it seems to have been enough for someone at Lufthansa to decide AirTags must be banned. Except, Lufthansa says they aren't banned at all.

"The Lufthansa Group has conducted its own risk assessment with the result that tracking devices with very low battery and transmission power in checked luggage do not pose a safety risk. We have never issued a ban on devices like that," the German airline told The Points Guy in a statement.

The airline went on to say that it's now up to the ICAO to decide what to do, which means that at this point you're probably OK using that AirTag to track your luggage if and when Lufthansa loses it.

Or you might not be. Nobody really seems to know.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.