Airline Luggage and AirTags

It’s not entirely clear whether or not Lufthansa is banning the use of AirTags in luggage stowed on their planes. It seems, however, they at least don’t like the idea.

I’ve been using AirTags in airline luggage since AirTags first showed up, and I plan on continuing to do so. Apple’s tiny tracker confirms for me when my luggage gets on the plane and then later gets off my plane. AirTags also come in handy to know exactly when my luggage makes its way to baggage claim and confirm that it doesn’t leave baggage claim without me.

I keep my luggage AirTags on the inside of my luggage, and I’ve never had a problem with reception. They come in very handy when traveling.

Four Months with the Nimalist AirTag Wallet

In March, I was hunting for a better AirTag Wallet, and a friend showed me his Nimalist AirTag Wallet. I liked the way it looked and even ordered one while on-air recording the Mac Power Users.

My wallet eventually arrived (it took several weeks), and I’ve been using it exclusively since then. (By “exclusively”, I mean whenever I carry it when I leave the house, which does not happen every day.)

The wallet has three card slots, a transparent holder on the back for your ID, a cash pocket on top, and a receipt pocket on top. (In the official picture, they’ve got a Goldman card in that slot. Fancy.) The credit card slots are big enough to put two cards in one slot. (I’ve got my insurance and health savings account card in one.) Nevertheless, they are sufficiently grippy inside that I’m not worried about losing anything. I had a session of vigorous upside-down shaking before taking the below photos, and nothing came loose. For your Apple AirTag, there is a stitched circular slot with a button on the top to hold it in place. The button has stayed … well … buttoned since I first set it up.

The “Official” Image of the Nimalist AirTag Wallet

The leather quality doesn’t match the leather in the Apple wallet, but the Nimalist is less expensive. There is RFID shielding, and despite holding four cards, cash, my ID, and other bits of detritus along with a chunky Apple AirTag, it feels pretty slim in my pocket.

The Nimalist Wallet purchase was interesting for me for a few reasons. First, I didn’t do any research. It looked nice and I ordered one. Usually, I sweat the details on something as personal as a wallet a lot more. Second, I’ve had many emails from listeners and Labs members about this purchase. Several folks followed me down the path. Most feedback has been positive. Some of it has been negative. Some complained that their wallet isn’t holding up for them.

Mine is starting to show small bits of wear. My prior Apple Wallet was built much better and I expect that I won’t be using this wallet in a few years, but it doesn’t look bad either. It’s only been four months, and I haven’t been gentle with it. The wallet serves the dual purposes of 1) holding my stuff and 2) being admirably AirTag trackable. At $50, I’m happy enough with it. Ideally, I’d like this to last a year or two while better designs come to market (or better yet, Apple builds AirTag technology into their own wallet sans the bump. Below is a gallery showing the current status of my Nimalist Wallet.

The ElevationLab AirTags Wallet Insert

I’ve never actually lost my wallet. I have misplaced it, though, between couch cushions, under the bed, and in the car. So the idea of attaching an Apple AirTag to my wallet has seemed like a good idea. I’ve been watching the mushrooming market of AirTag holding wallets, but none of them seemed worth to me to replace my beloved Flipside wallet.

Then last month, ElevationLab released a line of AirTag friendly wallet inserts. They are pieces of molded rubber engineered to hold an AirTag and slide into your wallet. So this isn’t an AirTag wallet but instead an upgrade device for your existing wallet. I bought a pair.

They arrived promptly and are just like described on the tin. AirTags fit in them nice and snug, and the rubber can slide into your wallet. ElevationLab makes good stuff. This is no different.

What this rubber device does not do, however, is magically make the AirTag itself any thinner. You still have a pretty thick piece of hardware you are putting in your wallet. The insert worked perfectly with my wife’s wallet. If you have a wallet thick enough to hold an AirTag, this $10 piece of rubber will get the job done.

Sadly, it didn’t fit inside my Flipside wallet. Ultimately, I resorted to something a bit more pedestrian. Here is my wallet with a Gaffer-taped AirTag on the inside. It’s ugly, but it is the lowest possible AirTag profile for my wallet. Even with just the Gaffer tape, the Flipside still bulges a bit.

I’m willing to put up with this wallet bulge for the ability, on those rare occasions, to easily find my wallet. Maybe someday someone will make the perfect AirTag wallet for me, but it hasn’t happened yet.

AirTags and Kids

I’m in the midst of a short stay at Walt Disney World this week. Something that I didn’t expect to see, but I keep seeing, is kids wearing AirTags. There are kids with AirTag necklaces. There are kids with AirTags hanging off their clothes. I even saw one little girl with an AirTag connected to her shoe.

When they were first released, a common question was “Can I use AirTags on my flight-risk dog?” According to Apple, No. And there are, frankly, better options. The question I never heard at the time was, “Can I use AirTags on my flight-risk kids at theme parks?” I know Apple doesn’t want you to use an AirTag to track people, but parents of small children are using Apple’s tracker for just that.