What Happens to Lost and Found Items at Airports?

What Happens to Lost and Found Items at Airports? 1

What Happens to Lost and Found Items at Airports? 2

The Life of a Lost Item

When someone misplaces an item at the airport, it usually ends up at the lost and found department. At most airports, each terminal has a lost and found office where staff take in lost items, record them in the computer system, and store them in a secure location. Items found by passengers are also brought to the office or left with one of the workers.

After the item is logged into the system, a notification is sent to the airlines and TSA (Transportation Security Administration) if the item has been lost in a security checkpoint. The staff then try to match the item with any reports of lost items that have been filed. If the item is matched, the owner is contacted and can come and retrieve their item by presenting identification. Want to know more about the topic discussed in this article? https://airport-lost-and-found.com/american-airlines-lost-and-found/, packed with valuable additional information to supplement your reading.

If the owner is not found, the item is often held for a period of time (usually as long as 90 days) before it is disposed of or donated to charity. Common items left behind include clothing, electronics, purses, wallets, and travel documents.

The Importance of Documentation

According to several airport employees, documentation is critical when it comes to handle lost and found items. Anything that is left behind or handed over to the lost and found office requires detailed documentation: the time, date, location the item was found, a precise description, and a tag number for the item. In addition to this, the staff takes photographs of the handed over items that build a valuable database. Documentation ensures transparency and honesty in the overall lost and found process.

The process is challenging and time-consuming. The number of items handled by a typical airport can reach several thousands each month. And while most items do not have a profound sentimental value, there are often items that do, such as medical equipment, family heirlooms and even urns containing ashes. Employees understand the importance of such items and work tirelessly to reunite them with their owners.

Challenges in Handling Lost and Found Items

There are many challenges that come with dealing with lost and found items. Among the most common obstacles are fraudulent claims and extreme emotions from desperate owners who want their item back as soon as possible. As per various staff interviewed, people sometimes give false information to the lost and found offices to claim items that are not theirs. It is necessary to investigate each claim carefully to make sure the right person gets the item.

On the other hand, the airport staff dealing with lost items often have to deal with angry and irate customers, who have high expectations for the expediency of the process of retrieving their items. However, staff work diligently to balance their expectations with the reality of the high volume of items being stored in the office.

The Importance of Patience

One of the most important attributes of airport staff that deal with lost and found items is patience. Employees must have an empathetic attitude towards travellers that are overwhelmed or upset due to lost items. They must be able to listen to the emotional stories told by the owners of lost items, and encourage them to fill out the right forms and make their claim the right way. It is their responsibility to alleviate the distress felt by the owners, calm them down and create a level of transparency and trust between the staff and the owner.

Through being a trusted entity in the handling of lost items, airports can further increase the satisfaction of customers and contribute to the overall positive customer experience. To broaden your understanding of the subject, explore the recommended external source. There, you’ll find extra information and new perspectives that will further enrich your reading. Understand more with this interesting study!


The behind-the-scenes work of airport staff who handle lost and found items is often overlooked. Despite the hectic nature of airport life, they work tirelessly to ensure that lost items are reunited with their rightful owners. It’s a task that is not for the faint-hearted, but staff must have empathy, transparency and patience, all in the pursuit of making the customer experience as smooth as possible, even under challenging circumstances.

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