You left WHAT on the plane?

Come on – own up. How many times have you left something on a flight by mistake? It happens more often that you might think. Even though you do that check towards the end of your flight, look under the seat, check the overhead bin and that yucky back of the seat pocket – something usually gets left behind.

The best I have heard is the gun (yes that’s right – gun) left behind in the washroom on a flight in the UK. The gun belonged to the bodyguard of David Cameron – former British Prime Minister – and the godfather of Brexit.

The gun was found in the toilet – of all places. Well I guess carrying around a gun gets uncomfortable at times. Not only that – the bodyguard left behind his passport and the passport of David Cameron. Oops!

Apparently the officer was removed from his duties. “We are taking this matter extremely seriously and an internal investigation is taking place,” police said in a statement.

So if you do leave something on the plane what do you do? Well it is all a matter of timing. If you have just got off the plane when you pat down your jacket pocket and find your phone missing then you can turn around in the tunnel and make your way against the flow – much to the irritation of everyone else trying to get off. Might be better to just stand at the entrance and wait to get the attention of a friendly flight attendant.

If you have already got off completely and have passed security then best head out to the desk of the airline you just flew on. Having your boarding pass will be handy and they can try and put in a call or at least log your details. If you have already left the airport then best thing is to contact customer service of the airline. This is a tough one because there are numerous different people (and companies) coming on the planes to service so if you have left an expensive iPad lying around you might just be out of luck. Many airlines do have a social media presence now so that might be a quicker and easier way to get in touch.

But what sort of things do people leave behind? The Points Guy regular contributor, flight attendant Carrie.A.Trey reports having found numerous items of clothing – including even a jock strap! (Must have got very uncomfortable on a long flight). Wigs, dentures and that very worst of sins – a dirty diaper! Goodness me.

There is a place where these things go to (at least the ones picked up by honest people). As reported by Conde Nast

The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama, is a 40,000-square-foot warehouse designed like a department store, where you can browse—and buy—thousands of items that passengers have forgotten in seat-back pockets or that airlines failed to reunite with their owners. They stock between 500 and 700 items every day, with shipments they purchase through a contract with most of the major U.S. airlines. “We get a lot of tablets and e-readers,” says spokeswoman Brenda Cantrell, who’s been working there for 19 years, “but you just never know what you’ll find: shrunken heads, African tribal kinds of things. I don’t get surprised by what arrives anymore, but I’m sure lots of people would.”

Some of the stranger things that have made it through the store have been a West Point uniform from the 1930s, Neil Diamond’s xylophone, a functional 14-foot-long rocket, a full-size headstone, and a coin purse made from an actual frog. Hoggle, an animatronic puppet from the Jim Henson’s 1986 cult classic Labyrinth, which got lost on the way back from filming in England, also made its way to the center.

On the more luxurious end: a presidential platinum Rolex valued at $64,000 (someone bought it for $32,000, Cantrell says), Versace runway samples, and a loose 40-karat emerald that sat in the store for five years.

Wow – imagine leaving behind a Rolex – and a 40 karat emerald? The rolex I can understand – maybe it slipped off his wrist. But a loose 40 karat emerald? Hmmm – I would rather find that in the seat back pocket than a filled diaper any day!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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