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This Guy Got The AirPod He Lost On The Tracks Back After He Tweeted About It

A cry of despair, followed by an act of good faith by a rail system that uses social media.

Originally posted on
Updated on

There are times in life when the odds feel so steep, and the obstacles so daunting, that the challenges we confront feel impossible to overcome.

Once in a while though, there's a story that gives us a little hope. So we can keep dreaming.

Here's one of those stories: Early Friday, Bay Area resident Christian Keil saw one of his prized possessions, an AirPod, tumble onto the tracks in a Berkeley Bay Area Rapid Transit station — or as it's called by locals, BART — as he was heading into San Francisco.

Keil snapped a photo of his lost AirPod and penned a small but touching obituary for it, which he then posted on Twitter.

Happy Friday to my @apple airpod, who left me for @SFBART today. I hope they love you as much as I did.

But then he had an idea!

What if, instead of jumping onto the tracks to retrieve his AirPod like a person hungry for a mouthful of train, Keil instead asked BART's Twitter account to return it to him?

@Apple @SFBART But @SFBART if you're listening, I'd love it back. 😬 it's at the Berkeley station!

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Keil was in luck.

BART staffers monitoring the rail line's Twitter account noticed his tweet and said they'd dispatch someone to return the AirPod to him.

👀 @Kantrowitz It was only a matter of time....but luckily he didn’t go into the track. We’re gonna try and send st… https://t.co/sUXEJUXFlV

To facilitate the retrieval, BART exchanged a few logistical messages with Keil.

@SFBART Yep. Berkeley station. headed downtown on SFO millbrae, I was on the very left side of the trackway.

And then, just a few hours after Keil tweeted about his AirPod's misadventure, a BART employee climbed down on the tracks and picked it up for him. It was all captured on video, along with a common-sense safety message: Stay off the tracks, folks.

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@cdkeil @Apple Never go in the trackway to retrieve an item, let us know and we will get it for you!

Keil's AirPod is now safe with BART.

He told BuzzFeed News he'll probably pick it up Monday.

@cdkeil @Apple Christian, DM us your info so we can connect.

BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said the system retrieves items every day and would do the same for anyone who asks. Hats and phones are commonly retrieved items.

So, as you confront the seemingly impossible, remember to breathe, smile, and dream. Miracles do happen. And one day, something amazing might happen to you.

But maybe not if you live in New York...

.@MTA one of my AirPods just fell down a subway grate at 86th and Lex; whom can I contact about retrieval?

.@MTA I have to be at SoulCycle in 40 minutes, so some promptness would be appreciated.

.@MTA I guess I'm not getting my AirPod back. The financial loss is far less bothersome than the social-media ineptitude on display here.


Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.

Contact Alex Kantrowitz at alex.kantrowitz@buzzfeed.com.

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