Apple’s AirTag used to track a mailed package by an UK resident

An UK resident named Kirk McElhearn successfully tracked an item in the mail by placing Apple’s AirTag in it. He posted the story on his blog Intego which outlines his fun little task of sending an envelope to a friend of his living in a different city.

It didn’t take long for my AirTag to start its journey. At 5:49, it had started moving, going into Stratford-upon-Avon, presumably for it to be loaded on to a truck to go to the next location. At around 6:40, it had left the town, heading north.

AirTag in Envelope [Image Credits: MacRumours]

At 7:30, it reached the South Midlands Mail Centre, a “highly automated mail processing centre,” a massive warehouse-like site where mail is sorted. The presence of even one employee with an ‌iPhone‌, with ‌Find My‌ turned on, was enough to register this location, but it’s likely that many of the employees have iPhones.


Kirk reportedly built a custom script on his Mac computer which took screenshots of the Find My app every two minutes. The goal with the script was to have a log for all the movements of the AirTag enclosed envelope, according to Kirk. He posted a video on his blog which shows the AirTag on the map.

After the AirTag was delivered, my friend left the envelope on a table in his house. He has an ‌iPhone‌, so I expected him to be notified of the presence of the AirTag after a while.

I therefore expected my friend to get such a message on or after Monday afternoon, three days after I mailed it. By Tuesday, he had still not received any alerts. As I write this article, I just checked in the ‌Find My‌ app, and the AirTag was last seen 13 minutes ago, at his location, but he still has not received any alerts.