Airplane lost & found – apparently there is a “found” story

I’m of a somewhat split personality when I’m traveling. On the one hand I’m rather OCD about most of my plans. On the other hand, I have a particularly bad track record with leaving stuff on airplanes. In the seat pocket or in the various storage cubbies or even just in an overhead bin. I’ve pretty much been an idiot more times than I care to count. And by the time I do realize that I had lost something it is generally too late to matter. I managed to recover my laptop (yes, I left my laptop on a plane) a couple months ago but I hadn’t yet left the terminal. Other than that, however, the Lost and Found gods have taken phones, a Kindle, MP3 players, headphones and a jacket from me at various points in time. And those are just the things that I can remember that I lost.

My trip to Texas this past weekend was just another example. I had a great flight and was pretty happy as I stood up to recombobulate upon arrival in San Antonio on Friday. So happy that I managed to leave my little Flip video camera in the cubby next to my seat. I realized it mid-day on Sunday. Whoopsie. I figured it was gone. History. Never to be seen again. After all, that’s the way it has always been.

Imagine my surprise when my phone rang this morning with a Caller ID number in San Antonio. It was the baggage services office from Continental calling to find out if perhaps I’d left something on the plane. Why yes, yes I did. And so they’re sending it back up to me. Pretty impressive service I must say. Doesn’t happen all the time, but I’m certainly happy it did this time.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I second the trackitback comment. I have a sticker on my Bose and a colleague asked me about it. About a month later he commented as to how he had put it on his Kindle and then left it in a seat pocket on the second trip with it. Got a call the same day and reunited with it a few days later.

    I have their stickers on headphone and Kindle and their bag tags on luggage for when I check stuff.

  2. Glad you got your stuff back.

    Sad to admit that in 2011,I’ve TWICE left my laptop on planes. Both times on UA flights to SFO.

    Happy to report in both instances, my laptop was return in amazingly quick fashion. In fact, I need to go write my compliments to UA for their stellar Lost & Found staff

  3. Good to hear.

    Occasionally one gets lucky. I left my iPod on a US Airways plane once and someone who worked at PHL tracked me down and arranged to get it to me. (Perhaps it helped that the iPod is about six years old, but I was grateful nonetheless and wrote a snail-mail letter to US saying as much.)

  4. I left the iPad on the CO plane in BOS. I didn’t even know it until I had collected baggage, and was on the rental car bus, the call came in. 20 minutes later – the gate agent met me curbside in my rental car.

    These are the reasons that I wish CO would issue the “awards” to their elites so that they could recognize such efforts on the spot.

    1. I’m surprised you got your iPad back, Will. I figured the only reason I got this camera back is because it is basically garbage.

      I do love having the GTEM certs from United to hand out where appropriate.

  5. Lost my iPad on Continental flight from Chicago to SFO, reached back airport but nothing yielded, been patiently trying to reach the airport call centres since past 2 days, but they dont even give me a complaint/case tracking number..i had mobile me on, but since it was wifi, i hvae not been able to track it on icloud. i also have UDID and Serial number but not sure if it can help me get my ipad back.

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