A passenger who spent weeks trying to find his lost luggage finally decided to storm an office in melbourne Airport after GPS beacons, attached to his suitcases, pointed him in the right direction.
Ballarat cyclist and IT professional Shane Miller landed at Melbourne Airport with Singapore Airlines in mid-June after a week-long trip to Europe.
When he did not find his suitcase on the baggage carousel, Mr. Miller learned that his bag had not made the connecting flight and was still somewhere in transit.
Airport officials told him he would be contacted as soon as he was found.
After completing the required lost baggage forms with Singapore Airlines and their baggage carrier Swissport, he left the airport and returned home.
What the airport didn’t bank on was the Apple Airtag attached to Mr Miller’s bag, which rang a few hours later.
‘The location of my bag was not visible until it arrived in Melbourne around 8.30pm after returning to Ballarat,’ Mr Miller told Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday.
“I was relieved to know the location of my bag and expected continued updates and delivery within a day or two.”
Shane Miller traveled to Melbourne last week after a quick trip to Europe but his luggage was lost. After a full week of no response from customer service regarding his luggage, he drove himself to the airport and tracked it using the Apple Airtag on the bag (pictured)
In a video, uploaded to YouTube this week, Mr Miller said he spent a week trying to contact the airline and Swissport, but did not speak to anyone about customer service.
“I didn’t think there was that much in the bag, but after counting everything this week, there’s over $6,500 worth of stuff in there,” he said.
“The bag itself is $800, there’s cycling gear worth a few thousand, cycling kits, clothes, gifts for my family.
“My issue with Singapore Airlines and their Swissport ground handling service is that there was no interaction. The number given to me for Swissport the night I landed, I called 16 times and received no call back.
“He goes to voicemail and someone checks them because the box is emptied every few days but no answer.”
Mr Miller followed the scathing Airtag to his lost luggage leading him through the inside passages of the airport where he was stopped by security (pictured)
Mr Miller’s Apple Airtag in his bag guided him to the exact location of the suitcase – a security desk at Melbourne Airport.
“The website that lists lost suitcases has not been updated. If I didn’t have this tag, I wouldn’t have any idea where in the world the bag was last seen. I had seen it, it was at Amsterdam airport,” he said.
“After a week of unsuccessful attempts to retrieve my bag, I decided to get in the car and drive back to Melbourne airport and start knocking on doors.”
After visiting the Swissport offices, he followed the app into rooms full of luggage tagged with baggage check tags (pictured)
After driving the two hours from Ballarat and paying $30 for half an hour of airport parking, Mr Miller headed to Terminal 2 and followed the location tracker on his app.
“I hope it will just be a matter of choosing your bag from this range, but I don’t think it will be that easy,” he said.
After entering a baggage area behind security doors, a friendly guard informed him that the Swissport office was upstairs and the locator could ping the upper level.
He went upstairs and was taken to the Swissport offices by an employee after explaining his situation.
He eventually located his own bag among the collection (pictured) and is allowed to leave with it after showing his ID
WHAT IS AN AIRTAG?
An AirTag made by Apple is a small disc-shaped tracking device similar to a keychain that can be attached to bags, electronic devices and cars.
The device emits a weak Bluetooth signal that can anonymously connect to any Apple device within 40m.
The worldwide network of Apple devices acts as a GPS grid that can report the item’s location on an app – similar to how Find My Phone works.
Users are required to acknowledge that tracking people is illegal. A built-in alarm sounds when the location is tracked.
The tags cost around AUD$45 with competitor Samsung having a similarly priced version called SmartTag.
He was then led, still tracking his phone, through rooms that appear to be filled with stored luggage, sports equipment and even a guitar amp, all labeled with bag tags.
Mr Miller eventually located his bag among the collection after venturing into a third luggage room and was allowed to retrieve it after showing his ticket and matching ID on the luggage tag.
On the way home, Mr. Miller expressed his frustration with the situation.
“I had a conversation with them about the unanswered customer service line and they acknowledged it,” he said.
“I’m lucky that I got my bag back so easily. Since there were so many other bags there, I just know there are other people missing their luggage too.
“These people probably don’t have Airtags and won’t be able to communicate by phone or email, so they’re in the dark.
‘Is this customer service? Having lots of bags of people, maybe a hundred, thrown into a spare room with no apparent tracking.
“There are a ton of bags in there in several offices stacked on and around the desks and I saw no indication that they were being processed.”
Mr Miller told Daily Mail Australia that even after collecting his bag himself, he had had no contact with Singapore Airlines or Swissport and that the ‘delayed baggage report’ on the website given to him remained unchanged.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Swissport and Singapore Airlines for comment.
MR MILLER’S MISSION TO RECOVER HIS “LOST” LUGGAGE
Mid-June: Mr Miller arrives at Melbourne Airport in the early afternoon after flying home from a week-long trip to Europe.
Her bags are not at baggage claim and airport staff tell her they were misplaced in transit. He fills out forms and is told they will contact him when he is found.
Around 8:30 that night: The app on her phone saves the location of the AirTag on her bag after she arrives in Melbourne on a later flight. He expects it to be delivered in every other day.
A week later: Mr. Miller has not received his baggage or any communication from Singapore Airlines or their baggage carrier Swissport. He has called Swissport 16 times and receives a voicemail and no callback.
June 20: He can see exactly where his bag is using his phone. Mr. Miller, frustrated, decides to go to the airport and “knock on doors” to retrieve it.
He follows his phone app through the airport to the Swissport offices where he finds rooms filled with luggage tagged with check-in tags.
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