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Item left on plane - now in Never Land

New Arrival

I've loved Southwest and will continue to fly with them..... but..... this situation has really been a problem.

My husband has received the runaround. He put his MacBookPro in the back pocket of the seat in front of him when he was being rushed by the attendant to move things around as we were descending for the landing. The tray table had to be put up etc.  (He was in a deep conversation with the person seated next to him.) The laptop had a cover on it that was multicolored so apparently it blended in very well with the magazines and safety cards also in the pocket.

We left the plane without realizing it was still in the pocket and not in the carry case. 

It was 2 days before he realized it was missing. He obediently filed a report and described the cover, which should have been a benefit now because it had to stand out amongst all the other lost items as it was Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night.  

On our return trip we stopped at Southwest baggage and they said not to worry that this 3rd Party ALWAYS returns ALL the lost items - that they are very good at it and it usually takes 30 days.

That was around 10/10/18. 

We had another trip scheduled around 12/3/18 on SW.  Once again we went directly to the SW Baggage desk to try to find out the name of the 3rd Party company that supposedly EVERY airline uses and if there was any way to contact them. The rep at the desk said basically "nobody knows the name of that company and there is no phone number...... but not to worry because they always TRY THEIR BEST to return the items."  Then she actually said that 3rd Party company was the also the biggest distributor of used electronics as though that was a good thing. Gee, I wonder where they get their inventory from????????   I COULD NOT BELIEVE SHE SAID THAT!!!!!  IT CERTAINLY WAS NOT REASSURING SINCE THE MAC BOOK PRO IS AN ITEM THEY COULD EASILY SELL IN A SECONDARY MARKET. Now we wish we never asked about it again because our hearts sunk into a pit!

Today is 1/3/19. He still gets the emails that it is the final notice that nothing has been found and they are closing the case once again.

I'm sure this is not a reassuring post.  We are still trying NOT to buy another Mac by coping with a new really really really dirt cheap HP laptop for now - hoping the Mac will show up.  

8 REPLIES 8

Re: Item left on plane - now in Never Land

New Arrival

I forgot to mention another comment from the informative rep was the 3rd party returns about 60% of the reported items to the original owners. REALLY? Is that supposed to be good?

Re: Item left on plane - now in Never Land

Top Contributor

@JBL1 wrote:

I forgot to mention another comment from the informative rep was the 3rd party returns about 60% of the reported items to the original owners. REALLY? Is that supposed to be good?


Considering how many items are indistinguishable from any other, and electronic devices lost while locked in airplane mode that seems pretty good to me.

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Item left on plane - now in Never Land

Top Contributor

Sorry to hear about your missing MacBookPro..

 

Southwest has to deal with tens of thousands of lost items every year. It is an enormous task.  All it can do is try.

All you can do is help it try by doing things like provideing a serial number.

 

In the end, there is no guarantee that Southwest ever took it off the plane. Another passenger could have taken it.

 

If your unit has a "find me"  feature, you might wnt to try to activate it.

 

 

Re: Item left on plane - now in Never Land

New Arrival

So sorry about your lost Mac.  I recently left my iPhone on 1/6/19 from Charlotte to Dallas, and now also received the email that my phone wasn’t found and SW is closing my lost item report.  I was informed by SW about this 3rd party cleaning service as well, and have similar thoughts about them as you stated.  Regarding Rising Star’s post about phones being locked and in airplane mode....there is a way to turn the airplane mode off even if a phone is locked which would allow the owner to call it if the phone still had power.  All you do is tap emergency call and the phone will prompt you to turn airplane mode off without having to enter a passcode.  So the airplane mode thing is really a non issue and shouldn’t keep SW from returning iPhones to their owners.  Also, I want to think most SW travelers would be Good Samaritans and turn in other people’s lost items.  So where does that leave us??

Re: Item left on plane - now in Never Land

Top Contributor

@sad_momma1 wrote:

I was informed by SW about this 3rd party cleaning service as well, and have similar thoughts about them as you stated.  Regarding Rising Star’s post about phones being locked and in airplane mode....there is a way to turn the airplane mode off even if a phone is locked which would allow the owner to call it if the phone still had power.  All you do is tap emergency call and the phone will prompt you to turn airplane mode off without having to enter a passcode.  So the airplane mode thing is really a non issue and shouldn’t keep SW from returning iPhones to their owners.  Also, I want to think most SW travelers would be Good Samaritans and turn in other people’s lost items.  So where does that leave us??


I'm not sure if the Aero Serivces people are doing the emergency call work-around or not. However you can reach out to them if you phone has any distinctive markings or you have the serial numbers. Otherwise I think it is likely that you item never made it to them.

 

I have seen from other threads that they do at least power the phones up so that people may use Find My iPhone. 

 

You may be optimistic on that last point to some degree. I'm with you though - I want to believe in people, and have chased fellow passengers down at LAS (headphones) and FLL (hat) with items that I personally found on the plane and remembered who was sitting in that area. 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Item left on plane - now in Never Land

New Arrival

Sorry....I want to clarify about the 3rd party end of day plane cleaners, which is different from the 3rd party lost and found warehouse.  I was informed by SW that the end of day cleaners in Dallas are actually SW employees, but the Tulsa (where my plane went next) end of day cleaners are 3rd party.  SW also told me, as already stated in the previous posts, that the lost and found warehouse, located in Dallas, is also another 3rd party.  My plane had only one destination (Tulsa) left for the day.  What is more likely.... that a dishonest traveler found it on that one flight, or that it ended up in the hands of the 3rd party plane cleaners or the 3rd party lost and found warehouse?  Guess I’ll never know and now I have to say goodbye to my new baby’s birth pictures forever.

Re: Item left on plane - now in Never Land

New Arrival

Rising Star, thank you for the information.  Could you please tell me the contact info for Aero Services?  Thank you.

Re: Item left on plane - now in Never Land

New Arrival

It leaves us only with the serenity prayer of knowing to accept the things (of past history) we can not change.   

 

Thank you you for listening and advice from your own experience unfortunately someone who has authority at Southwest and the airport needs to change procedures for items left at airport or planes.

 

  How about tagging items with dates, airport, airline name, flight number and time with destinations, and area found.   List by dates with airline.  Maybe a start because what is procedure for finding what is lost??? The item???