This lost-and-found thread on FlyerTalk highlights one of life’s strange paradoxes. Leave a jacket on an airplane and the airline finds and returns it within a day or two and you probably think, “Oh good, they found it.”
Leave a jacket on an airplane and the airline finds and returns it over a year later and you think, “Amazing!”.
The latter is precisely what drowelf experienced with United Airlines. And he isn’t alone, as others chime in with some surprising lost and very eventually found stories of their own. Like this one posted by USHPNWDLUA:
Was HP frequent flyer in the days when they had “hubbed” CMH. Partner was CO. HP used CO ground crew at EWR. Flying via EWR en route to Europe, LHR, I think. Left brown 40R leather jacket; FAs in F had taken it to the closet and didn’t return it. I forgot all about it, until I was on the TATL.
When I returned state side, I called HP and asked, “who would have handled it? CO or HP?” I was told the HP would have handled it. So after calling and writing HP, nothing could be found. Not surprising, really. Brown J. Crew in one of the most common sizes? I was betting someone’s boyfriend was enjoying that jacket. I even followed up with CO at one point, but they couldn’t find it.
About 18 months later, I happened to be flying to, rather than thru, IAH. As I went down to baggage claim, I spotted a huge CO lost and found. I asked the very friendly clerk if he would have the item there. He told me that all items left over x months (x=6, iirc) would be moved to an offsite storage facility, but gave me a number to call.
When I returned to CMH, I called the number, only option VM, left one, but wrote off the coat. No kidding, two weeks later a box appears at my office, with my brown leather jacket!!! The exact one. Amazing.
I take that brown leather jacket all over the world, and except for my wife and black Labrador, it might be my best travel friend!
And fryguy89 shared a similar good experience:
Left an iPad in the seat back pocket on a flight back in December 2013. Filed a lost item report and they said that they had a pretty good recovery rate….what do you know….this week my iPad was delivered to my home!!!! Took 5 months but very happy to have it back.
Alas, not everyone is as fortunate:
Now you have given me hope that maybe my reading glasses I left onboard in October 2013 will be found and I’ll also get a call. ~nuspieds
I lost a jacket in 2013. Maybe my call will come next! ~mgcsinc
Perhaps they should remake the television show “Airline” as a cold case detective drama. I don’t watch a lot of primetime television programming, but I imagine a plot line featuring detectives would probably go over well.