John Lewis put one of Apple’s AirTags in his wallet so he could find it if he ever lost it.
After stepping off an American Airlines flight in Florida on Jan. 24, he soon realized the worst had happened — he’d lost his wallet.
Aware that his AirTag tracking device was connected, he dived into Apple’s Find My app to see where it was. Sure enough, it was on the plane.
He next contacted American Airlines staff to explain the situation, but despite their best efforts, they were unable to locate his lost wallet.
Lewis then watched in frustration as his wallet with all his cards and ID went on a tour of the United States, visiting 35 cities over the following days.
Sharing the unfolding story on social media, he said he had contacted the airline again and explained that the wallet was definitely on the plane because his AirTag confirmed it.
American insisted they checked the jet but couldn’t find his lost item.
“They say they deep clean the plane, but how can you deep clean the plane when the wallet is still on the plane and you haven’t gotten it yet?” Lewis said.
He admitted it was his fault for losing his wallet but couldn’t understand why staff couldn’t find it, even though the AirTag showed it was still on the jet.
Lewis, a platinum member of American’s frequent flyer program, quipped, “Will they apply this to my account and can I keep any miles that have accumulated in my wallet over the past few days?” It must be 100,000 miles easily. It’s like a trip to Belize or something.”
Lost and found… somehow
Then, on Tuesday, Lewis received good news and bad news. The good news was that staff had finally managed to locate the AirTag (it was buried under the seat). The bad news was that there was no trace of his wallet.
In a social media post shared on Tuesday, Lewis praised American Airlines employees for their efforts in locating his lost item, but added that he “didn’t really get much help from the company.”
The discovery of just the AirTag prompted Lewis to consider whether a member of the cleaning crew stole the wallet shortly after exiting the plane and left the AirTag behind.
“Now it’s time to cancel all my cards and get new IDs,” Lewis said in his Tuesday update.
Digital Trends has reached out to the airline to respond to Lewis’ experience and we will update this article when we receive feedback.
Apple launched the $29 AirTag in 2021. While the tracking device has helped countless owners track down lost luggage and bags — and hopefully the occasional wallet too — the device has also come under criticism for making it easier for stalkers to track targets. Apple has released various firmware updates for the AirTag to try to curb such use.