If you're a New Yorker and you've been on a delayed 4, 5 or 6 train recently, you can probably blame Apple's AirPods for your recent transit woes. According to The Wall Street Journal, New York City commuters have lost so many AirPods over the summer that the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) is considering recording a new public service announcement aimed directly at AirPods owners. The potential PSA would ask commuters to refrain from taking their AirPods on or off when entering or exiting a train. The hope is that the PSA will reduce the number of times the MTA is forced to delay a train while its staff rescues one or more of the in-ear headphones.
According to Steven Dluginski, an MTA maintenance supervisor, AirPod-related rescues spiked in March when Apple released the second-generation AirPods, and they've only become a more frequent occurrence over the summer with the hot and humid weather. On one Thursday this past August, for instance, his team got 18 requests to retrieve lost items before noon. Of those 18 items, six were AirPods.
"It's job security, as far as we're concerned," Dluginski quipped to the WSJ. Coincidently, all those lost AirPods don't hurt Apple's bottom line either. In the US, the company charges $69 for a replacement AirPod. If you lose the pair, it's $138.
Game on.— Ashley Mayer (@ashleymayer) July 11, 2019
(The romaine is for dinner, not rescue.) pic.twitter.com/3iqDCT7UFQ
Apple could easily solve a lot of headaches — for both owners and transit authorities — by redesigning its Bluetooth headphones to make them more customizable. Unlike almost every other pair of in-ear headphones, wireless or otherwise, AirPods don't allow its owners to adjust the fit of the headphones with different sized in-ear buds and wingtips. Of course, it's hard to see the company moving away from a one size fits all approach anytime soon. Until then, we could see other subway systems issue their own AirPod-related PSAs.