The number of people losing AirPods onto the subway tracks in New York has reached such a level that the city is considering piping in public service announcements to make commuters aware of the risks, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Steven Dluginski, a maintenance supervisor on the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) says that the number of daring AirPod rescues attempted has gone up considerably over the summer as the extreme heat makes hands and ears slippery with sweat. Apparently on one day in August, his team received 18 calls for help retrieving lost items, and six of those were for missing AirPods.
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“They’re tiny. They’re hard to find. The only saving grace is that they’re white,” Dluginski said. The MTA’s solution? An extendable eight-foot pole with two rubber cups on the end, christened “the picker-upper thing.”
In one respect, rescuing AirPods is pretty simple: as long as they have battery, the Find My iPhone app can locate them. On the other hand, the New York subway is full of tiny cracks making rescues extremely tricky.
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People go to such extremes because AirPods are expensive to replace. Buying a whole new set with a charging case will set you back £180, and getting Apple to replace a single lost one will cost you £65.
As well as having no wires to tether them to you, AirPods are particularly high risk due to their lack of customisable earbuds. The one-size nature means that if your ears are unusually wide, you should take special care when boarding or leaving trains.
Have you ever had to rescue a lost AirPod? Let us know what happened on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.