Apple AirTags have been in the news recently when the airline Lufthansa decided to ban them from checked luggage and then quickly decided not to. With lost luggage at airports on the increase, people are looking for ways to track their precious cargo and the Apple AirTag seems an ideal way.
Indeed, when travelling, I’d started to do the same, albeit I’d put my AirTag inside my suitcase. The only issue there was reception, which made tracking more difficult. What I needed was a way to secure it on the outside, but without worrying that somebody would steal the pricey bit of tech (read tips on how to disable a stolen AirTag below).
There are lots of cheap, simple solutions – luggage tags that will hold an AirTag – but they don’t keep the AirTag itself secure. Step in Belkin and the “Secure Holder with Wire Cable for AirTag”, to give its full title.
It can be bought from Apple, where it’s labelled as “Only at Apple”. Not true – it can also be purchased from Amazon and Belkin direct. It’s cheaper from the latter two – £17.99 compared to £19.95 – but if you’re near an Apple store, it may be more convenient to pick one up there.
So, it’s not cheap, but with the promise of being fully secure, can this be the solution for luggage tracking?
Belkin AirTag Secure Holder: how it works
The simple cardboard packaging quickly reveals a plastic holder (available in either black or white) with a wire tag. A provided hex key allows you to remove screws, which flips open the holder, allowing the tag to be removed and the AirTag to be added. The procedure to add the AirTag is simple and the fact that you need the hex key to open it gives you piece of mind that nobody is going to easily steal it.
At this stage, my only concern was the length of the wire cable – my suitcase handle is wide and padded and it only just went around it.
Belkin AirTag Secure Holder: Real-world test
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating”, as they say, and it’s no coincidence that I bought this just before a trip to the USA.
The AirTag was securely in the Belkin holder, wrapped around the handle of my suitcase, as I arrived at Heathrow Airport. A quick bathroom stop occurred and then I was off to check in my luggage. At this point I noticed that that holder was gone. I’d literally been there five minutes.
The Find My app on my phone told me that it was nearby but, even after wandering around for ten minutes, I couldn’t get close enough to fully track it. I needed to get my plane, so abandoned it. First trip and it was lost.
How did this happen? The Belkin Holder was fully tightened, so it remains a mystery. However, the fact that the cable was tight on the handle may have been the problem. Had this popped open the plastic holder? Yes, it may use a metal hex screw but it’s attached to a plastic case. I’ll never know for sure, but I suspect that’s what happened.
I contacted Amazon and it kindly refunded me for the holder. I reached out to Belkin on social media too, but after being told to DM the company I haven’t received a reply in over a week.
What to do if you lose your AirTag
Assuming you’ve used the Find My app to try and find it, it’s time to take further action.
- In Find My, click on Items and then select the missing AirTag
- Scroll down the AirTag details and enable “Lost Mode”
- You’ll be able to specify a message at this point, including a phone number – if anybody tries to connect to it, they’ll see this message
If you believe the AirTag was stolen, or you simply don’t want anybody else to use it, then don’t remove the AirTag from your account. Although mine was stolen, tracking suggests that someone else may have picked it up – by keeping it on my account, they are unable to use it for themselves.
Belkin AirTag Secure Holder Review
Value for money
A great idea in theory, but the AirTag was lost within five minutes in our real-world test
- Black and white colour options
- Hex screws to keep everything together
- Our test AirTag came off on luggage
- Expensive for what it is