In recent years, I’ve joined the group of travelers who prefer to always check a bag. Measuring out toiletries to be under 3.4 fluid ounces, significantly limiting the amount of clothing you can bring, and lugging a carry-on through the airport are things I just don’t want to worry about. However, there is a major concern for many travelers who are committed to being team carry-on: hopping off a flight only to find out that your luggage never made it to baggage claim. Losing baggage is not that common but, of course, it is frustrating. In the first half of 2021, a study found that 690,000 bags had been lost or mishandled. One tiny device has recently saved the day for some passengers: Apple AirTags.

On August 11, in Okaloosa County, Florida, the county sheriff’s office posted on Facebook that thanks to the combined efforts of the airline, the police department, and a victim’s AirTags, the police were able to recover luggage allegedly stolen by an airline subcontractor — and one contained $15,000 worth of jewelry. Unfortunately, another passenger’s bag that had $1,600 worth of items were allegedly stolen by the same subcontractor who found and disabled the AirTag in her bag. The stolen items were never recovered.

Apple AirTags cost $29 for one, or $99 for a set of four. They can be used on anything from your car keys to your wallet to your luggage, and there are plenty of ways to attach them. Though it is important to know that they should be hidden if possible, as they can be turned off by anyone who finds them. Cici in the Sky, a flight attendant and TikToker, recently made a video about how investing in the little dots almost guarantees that your bags will make it back to you safe and sound.

@cici_inthesky Reply to @kathiecole1 #greenscreenvideo @cici_inthesky #travelhacks #airtag #flightattendant #flightattendantlife #flightcrew #airplanetips #flighttipsandtricks ♬ original sound – ℂℂ ✈️

Of course, if you end up out of luck anyway, the good news is that all airlines have policies to make sure that you are fairly compensated for the lost luggage by reimbursing you (if you know how to fill out all the right paperwork and follow up).