As a traveler, you may be familiar with the moment when your heart jumps to your throat because you realize you left something valuable on a plane. I realize that it’s little solace, but you’re not alone. In fact, hundreds of thousands of items are left on planes every year.
As per businesstraveller.com, these are the items that are most often left behind on planes:
In Economy Class, it’s always convenient to slip the device into the pocket on the back of the seat in front of you. Unfortunately, that kind of makes it easy to miss when you’re packing up your stuff.
2. Cell phones
People have become very reliant on their smartphones but they become that much more important when you’re traveling and need to get an Uber, use maps and GPS apps and, of course, call people. A cell phone stuck into an overstuffed pants pocket can fall out, slip down the side of the seat or be lost in the seat pocket.
3. Neck pillows
Although bulky, they can easily wind up on the floor and roll beneath a seat where they can’t be seen and more easily be forgotten.
Outer clothing such as sweaters and scarves that are taken off during a flight can easily be left behind.
Losing your glasses can be a nightmare. Unlike other items that tend to stay in your bag, it’s hard to go through a whole flight without needing your glasses, especially readers, and once they’re out, there’s more chance of leaving them behind.
A fat paperback may be easily seen, but a thin e-reader not so much. The one good thing about losing an e-reader is if you wind up having to replace it, you can retrieve your library of downloaded books.
Many people still own and bring cameras, even in the age of smartphones and selfies. A small camera to take pictures of the flight can easily be left behind, especially since it’s something you generally don’t carry with you, so it’s very easy to become an “out of sight, out of mind” item.
8. Water bottles
They fall on the floor, roll out of reach, and suddenly they’re lost.
Losing this one sucks. But again, quickly stuffing it into a pocket after filling out your customs forms means it’s easy to fall out.
10. Children’s toys
This is the saddest one of all. Lost teddy bears, Transformers, pacifiers, and crucial pieces of Lego can easily be left behind.
What to do if it happens to you
Of course, if you’ve just stepped off the plane and realize that you left your $250 over the ear noise cancelling Bose headphones in the pocket of the seat in front of you, you may be able to get gate staff to help you right then and there. But once you’ve left the gate for any substantial amount of time, you’ll most likely have to do your report and/or search remotely.
Lots of airlines suggest you report lost items via phone or online. Here are the pages for the major U.S. and U.K. carriers:
- Allegiant (I know the page looks like it’s not related to Allegiant, but that’s the URL they give if you search for ALLEGIANT LOST FOUND)
- British Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
If they find a match, they’ll ask for proof of identity and frequently your boarding pass as well. Some airlines are even high tech enough where they’ll let you search for items on their database. Most will charge you a fee to return the item to you. Which is…I get it, but….(sigh).
Anyway, make sure to keep and eye out for your stuff (and your kids’ stuff) and hopefully it’ll never happen to you. But if it does, at least you kn ow what to do. Good luck!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary