How To Retrieve Lost Items That You’ve Left Onboard Aircraft

Have you ever left the airport and found you left your (insert something important to you) on the plane? Trying to find lost items is often tedious on flights. In this article, we discuss the most effective ways to get your items back. While they don’t guarantee you’ll be reunited with your Kindle, MacBook, or Bose headphones, these tips and tricks may only help if you’re lucky!

Return to the gate

This tip only works if you haven’t left the airside area of ​​the airport. Returning to the gate and speaking to the gate agent gives you the best chance of getting your items back. Although it is highly unlikely that you will be allowed back on the aircraft for safety reasons, the gate agent may be willing to go to your seat and check that the items you described are still there.


The cleaning staff or the cabin crew can also help with the search. However, please remember that unfortunately even returning to the gate just 5 minutes after disembarking does not mean that you will definitely be reunited with your items.

Inquire at the baggage service counter

At most airports, airlines have their own baggage counter near the baggage claim area. This is usually to facilitate lost luggage, but you can also ask for lost items at the counter. The staff will likely contact the gate agent or turnaround manager at the gate and will also ask for your contact details as well as your boarding pass for verification. After leaving the airport, it is recommended to regularly check your phone for calls, texts or emails as the airline may contact you if they locate the item.

Another piece of advice is to contact customer service via email, SMS or simply by calling the airline. This tip is similar to asking at the baggage service counter, but customer service may be able to find your items because they can search the entire airline route network.

Some airlines have very tight delivery times and as a result your item may not be in the airline’s lost and found network for a few more flights. Customer support may have the networks and resources to contact managers and turnaround supervisors from different airports, increasing the likelihood of your items being returned to you.

Last resort: Twitter

If the above three tricks don’t seem to work, fear not as Twitter may be your last resort. Many airlines are constantly monitoring their Twitter feed as the platform allows airlines to receive news and make announcements. Tweeting airlines and their associated accounts can speed up your search for your lost items. Of course, airlines are not guaranteed to reply to your tweet as they can receive hundreds of them every minute. Despite this, many passengers were reunited with their lost items via Twitter.

Ever left an iPad or wallet on a plane? Were you able to find your missing items? Let us know in the comments section!

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