Here is why everyone should have AirTags in all their baggage…

DLSJR

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I just returned home last evening from a successful Lord Derby Eland hunt in Cameroon with Alan Vincent.

I flew Turkish Airlines, and while both Emirates and Qatar are a better overall experience in my opinion, Turkish was pretty close. Turkish is very diligent in handling firearms and ammunition baggage, just like Emirates and Qatar. Yesterday, on arrival at San Francisco, their diligence along with having AirTags in each of my pieces of baggage resulted in recovering my rifle at SFO after a 2-hour search for my gun. I believe my gun may have disappeared for good but for having AirTags to identify where it was located.

First, I had the peace of mind knowing that my checked bags made it to Istanbul as the AirTags showed them at IST as soon as they were unloaded. I had a very short 1 hr., 45 minute connection but the AirTags showed my bags as ‘with you’ before we pushed back for my flight to SFO. That peace of mind was comforting as I was worried not only about them leaving Cameroon with me, but also making my connection.

On arrival at SFO, the AirTags App showed all my bags at the airport, so I knew all had gone well. My PelicanAir case came off as one of the first bags on the regular baggage carousel, I grabbed it and headed to the Oversized Baggage belt where my Tuffpak always shows up. On my way to get my gun, a fellow in uniform walked up to me, identified himself as a representative of Turkish Airlines and asked my name and that I had confirmation of the Pelican being mine. That went easily and he explained that he’d been sent a picture of my Pelican with the orange Gracy Travel luggage tag and that’s how he found me so quickly. Istanbul had sent a picture of my checked bags (the Pelican contained my ammo) to make sure they got into my hands instead of someone else. We proceeded together to oversized baggage and that’s where the AirTags saved my gun. We waited a good 15-20 minutes and the Turkish Rep. (a contractor, not actual airline employee) became concerned as he told me the Pelican and Tuffpak were loaded together into the same cargo container that was loaded onto the plane and were supposed to be among the first bags delivered to baggage claim. He called downstairs and was told the Tuffpak was the first bag loaded onto the oversized baggage belt, ahead of some golf clubs. The golf clubs were there, but not my Tuffpak. My AirTag showed the Tuffpak nearby, but not with me like it showed for my Pelican and carry-on bag.

We checked regular baggage again, then oversized, still no gun case. Finally the guy went downstairs himself to search for my Tuffpak in baggage handling. He was told the Tuffpak had been sent up quite a while earlier and after looking around for it and not finding it anywhere downstairs he came to tell me what he’d learned. By now, nearly an hour had passed. The guy went over to Customs to see if they’d grabbed my gun case by chance. Of course, they hadn’t. Now, the search was getting serious as the Customs agent was demanding that my gun case be found, no matter how many people it took to find it. The Customs officer was seriously pissed off, not at me but at them not knowing where my gun was and why it couldn’t be found. A Turkish Airlines official was on his way to assist, while the contractor went upstairs to departures to see if it somehow got sent up there (it hadn’t been).

The whole time, my AirTag showed the gun case in the same location and not moving, so another trip down to baggage handling for further search which didn’t turn it up. Nobody could find it, but we knew it was still somewhere nearby. Finally, with two contract guys, Customs and a Turkish rep all involved and nobody finding my gun, it suddenly came up on the oversized belt, fully 2-hours after my plane landed. Nobody could find it downstairs despite several searches, so my conclusion is that a baggage handler probably realized what was inside and decided to steal it, hiding it somewhere on the ground level. After the heat got to be too high, he put it on the baggage belt when everyone was back upstairs with me.

I’m thoroughly convinced that if I did not have an AirTag in my gun case, we’d have never recovered it as I wouldn’t have had proof it was nearby. They’d have had to search SFO, IST & DLA, not having any idea at which airport it was located. After this experience, I’ll never fly without AirTags in every bag, checked or carry-on.
 
Thanks for sharing.
I always fly with Air tags in my luggage, firearms or not.
Kudos to Turkish air btw for being diligent.
 
Glad it was resolved, a lesson for everyone.
How about some pictures of your hunt when you get a chance.
Here’s a teaser picture…

517c3478-b0ef-4dcf-b304-e2739ec0b50b.jpeg
 
AirTags are a great item. Thank you for sharing your experience. Very nice eland!
 
Have used Air Tags. Alerted us rifles were still at Houston airport, unfortunately we were in Louisville. thankfully got them next morning. Damn United!
 
I just returned home last evening from a successful Lord Derby Eland hunt in Cameroon with Alan Vincent.

I flew Turkish Airlines, and while both Emirates and Qatar are a better overall experience in my opinion, Turkish was pretty close. Turkish is very diligent in handling firearms and ammunition baggage, just like Emirates and Qatar. Yesterday, on arrival at San Francisco, their diligence along with having AirTags in each of my pieces of baggage resulted in recovering my rifle at SFO after a 2-hour search for my gun. I believe my gun may have disappeared for good but for having AirTags to identify where it was located.

First, I had the peace of mind knowing that my checked bags made it to Istanbul as the AirTags showed them at IST as soon as they were unloaded. I had a very short 1 hr., 45 minute connection but the AirTags showed my bags as ‘with you’ before we pushed back for my flight to SFO. That peace of mind was comforting as I was worried not only about them leaving Cameroon with me, but also making my connection.

On arrival at SFO, the AirTags App showed all my bags at the airport, so I knew all had gone well. My PelicanAir case came off as one of the first bags on the regular baggage carousel, I grabbed it and headed to the Oversized Baggage belt where my Tuffpak always shows up. On my way to get my gun, a fellow in uniform walked up to me, identified himself as a representative of Turkish Airlines and asked my name and that I had confirmation of the Pelican being mine. That went easily and he explained that he’d been sent a picture of my Pelican with the orange Gracy Travel luggage tag and that’s how he found me so quickly. Istanbul had sent a picture of my checked bags (the Pelican contained my ammo) to make sure they got into my hands instead of someone else. We proceeded together to oversized baggage and that’s where the AirTags saved my gun. We waited a good 15-20 minutes and the Turkish Rep. (a contractor, not actual airline employee) became concerned as he told me the Pelican and Tuffpak were loaded together into the same cargo container that was loaded onto the plane and were supposed to be among the first bags delivered to baggage claim. He called downstairs and was told the Tuffpak was the first bag loaded onto the oversized baggage belt, ahead of some golf clubs. The golf clubs were there, but not my Tuffpak. My AirTag showed the Tuffpak nearby, but not with me like it showed for my Pelican and carry-on bag.

We checked regular baggage again, then oversized, still no gun case. Finally the guy went downstairs himself to search for my Tuffpak in baggage handling. He was told the Tuffpak had been sent up quite a while earlier and after looking around for it and not finding it anywhere downstairs he came to tell me what he’d learned. By now, nearly an hour had passed. The guy went over to Customs to see if they’d grabbed my gun case by chance. Of course, they hadn’t. Now, the search was getting serious as the Customs agent was demanding that my gun case be found, no matter how many people it took to find it. The Customs officer was seriously pissed off, not at me but at them not knowing where my gun was and why it couldn’t be found. A Turkish Airlines official was on his way to assist, while the contractor went upstairs to departures to see if it somehow got sent up there (it hadn’t been).

The whole time, my AirTag showed the gun case in the same location and not moving, so another trip down to baggage handling for further search which didn’t turn it up. Nobody could find it, but we knew it was still somewhere nearby. Finally, with two contract guys, Customs and a Turkish rep all involved and nobody finding my gun, it suddenly came up on the oversized belt, fully 2-hours after my plane landed. Nobody could find it downstairs despite several searches, so my conclusion is that a baggage handler probably realized what was inside and decided to steal it, hiding it somewhere on the ground level. After the heat got to be too high, he put it on the baggage belt when everyone was back upstairs with me.

I’m thoroughly convinced that if I did not have an AirTag in my gun case, we’d have never recovered it as I wouldn’t have had proof it was nearby. They’d have had to search SFO, IST & DLA, not having any idea at which airport it was located. After this experience, I’ll never fly without AirTags in every bag, checked or carry-on.
i dont check a bag without an airtag. even going on a ski trip. its nice to know your bag arrived no matter the contents.

one thing to consider is that almost every square inch of “sterile” airport property in the united states has cameras. u could probably press the issue and see if there was any potential shenanigans by a baggage service employee. bag theft by airline employees is rare but it definitely happens. airlines nail employees to the wall with firings and prosecution to set an example to the other employees.
 
i dont check a bag without an airtag. even going on a ski trip. its nice to know your bag arrived no matter the contents.

one thing to consider is that almost every square inch of “sterile” airport property in the united states has cameras. u could probably press the issue and see if there was any potential shenanigans by a baggage service employee. bag theft by airline employees is rare but it definitely happens. airlines nail employees to the wall with firings and prosecution to set an example to the other employees.
I fully intend to press this issue, both to find out who was responsible for it going missing, as well as to credit those who aided in it finally showing up.
 
Thanks for posting. And congrats on the Bull. It looks like it was warm!
 
Last edited:
I have AirTags in all my luggage. It showed me that apparently my luggage was gone through in Vienna. The luggage arrived and the AirTag continued to stay at the Vienna Airport. It continued to show its location for months. LOL
 
Great bull, congrats !
 
I fully intend to press this issue, both to find out who was responsible for it going missing, as well as to credit those who aided in it finally showing up.
I definitely would. The airline will be happy to find somebody that’s stealing.
 
Thats a whopper Eland, well done.

Air Tags are awesome, I'm glad it worked out for you,.....its only going to worse as time goes by with these jackals at the airports throughout the world.....
 
I also fly with air tags and am a believer in their use. As a reminder remember to always change your batteries every year on those air tags.

HH
 
question on your tuffpac - do you put your airtag inside, or do you use a luggage tag? if inside do you have any issues with reception for the tag?
 

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