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New Yorkers Losing So Many AirPods in Subway Tracks That MTA is Considering a PSA to Warn Commuters

So many AirPods have been lost in New York City subway tracks in recent months that the MTA is considering initiating a public service announcement urging commuters to refrain from taking AirPods on or off while entering or exiting trains, a spokesperson for the transit agency told The Wall Street Journal.

Ashley Mayer recovered her AirPods with a broom and duct tape

The PSA would hopefully alleviate the delays caused by the numerous AirPods that fall between the cracks each day:
"They're tiny. They're hard to find," said Steven Dluginski, an MTA maintenance supervisor. Given the darkened tracks where they drop, he said, "the only saving grace is that they're white."

AirPod rescues from New York City subway tracks ramped up in March, when Apple released a new version, Mr. Dluginski said. This summer has been the worst, possibly because the heat and humidity on subway platforms makes the ears and hands of New Yorkers pretty sweaty, he guessed.

Transit workers use a pole that extends to about 8 feet and has two rubber cups on the end that can be squeezed together to grab small objects. The "picker-upper thing," Mr. Dluginski called it.

Around noon on a recent Thursday, Mr. Dluginski's team had received 18 requests to fetch lost items. Six were for AirPods. "It's job security, as far as we're concerned," the maintenance boss said.
While the location of AirPods can be tracked using the Find My iPhone app, the earphones often become trapped in hard-to-reach places due to their small size. This led The Wall Street Journal to highlight the extravagant measures that some customers have taken to recover their lost AirPods:
Passenger Ashley Mayer recently live-tweeted a track rescue in a lull between passing trains. One photo, featuring the caption "game on," showed her purchasing a broom and duct tape. She used the contraption to nab the AirPod from the tracks, which can be dotted with rats.
In an extreme case, well-known Apple analyst Gene Munster admitted that he has apparently lost 10 pairs of AirPods.

Apple charges $69 for a replacement AirPod in the United States, totaling $138 for a pair. Replacement charging cases are also available for $59, while the wireless AirPods charging case is sold separately for $79.

Paywalled article: America's Stormy Affair with Apple AirPods: Love 'Em and Lose 'Em

Related Roundup: AirPods 2
Buyer's Guide: AirPods (Buy Now)


Top Rated Comments

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3 weeks ago
If only they could put some kind of cable on them. Would solve the issue. Could even have the cable connect to the iPhone and power them. That would be some innovation.
Rating: 36 Votes
3 weeks ago

In an extreme case, well-known Apple analyst Gene Munster admitted that he has apparently lost 10 pairs of AirPods.

Welp, this is it—the single best MR article ever written.

I know it's close to September 10, but I think we can pretty much shut things down now.
Rating: 34 Votes
3 weeks ago
Problem solved.
Rating: 30 Votes
3 weeks ago
These things were always dumba** ideas, anyway. There was even a joke commercial about people losing them a while back:

[MEDIA=youtube]z_wImaGRkNY[/MEDIA]
Rating: 23 Votes
3 weeks ago
I’ve been a day 1 owner, never lost an AirPod. You have to be careful.
Rating: 21 Votes
3 weeks ago
Okay this is actually kinda funny.
Rating: 20 Votes
3 weeks ago
I bet the Rat King is sitting on a pile of these somewhere deep below West 81st.
Rating: 16 Votes
3 weeks ago
classic New Yorkers...
Rating: 15 Votes
3 weeks ago
OK, if my AirPod look anything like that after retrieving it from a subway track, I would just cut my losses and purchase new AirPods. That’s pretty disgusting, even more so what is stuck next to the AirPod on the tape.


Rating: 14 Votes
3 weeks ago
Just got back from 7 days in Manhattan. I've never seen that many Airpods in my life. Without fail - 1 in every 10 people had them passing by me. It was pretty amazing. I live in Vancouver Canada where I see maybe 10 - 20 pairs in an entire day. In NYC I was seeing that many every few minutes...
Rating: 9 Votes

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