Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

SWA procedure for lost items

HoldenFamTravel
New Arrival

Hello, 

I left my laptop on a flight from Albany to Orlando on 8/13/2022. I immediately filed a lost item report with both SW and the airport.  It has very specific identification on it  I could see the laptop location for a while on my “find my device” app and I know it was last seen in the airport. I saw it was at differing locations within the terminal prior to the battery dying and it is no longer seen. For this reason, I am 100% positive it was found by a southwest attended and removed from the plane prior to its next departure. I have continually been in contact with both Orlando Airport and SW Baggage Dept at the airport. Both say it has not been turned in. I don’t understand how this is possible since it was taken off the plane and was within the airport. 

My question is, what is the procedure for SW employees when an item is found? Does the flight attendant log the information of a found item? When he/she turns it over to someone, is there a log of that? And again, when it gets brought to the baggage office, is there another log? Etc. if so, can I use that information to find my laptop? I am a travel agent and would  also like to know the policies and procedures so that I can better assist my clients when this happen to them in the future. Thank you. 

7 REPLIES 7

Re: SWA procedure for lost items

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

All items are sent to a central location to process, this is not done at the airport.  The process can take time, think 30 days or so.  If you have submitted a report with serial number and/or other specific identifying information you have a much better chance of getting the item back.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: SWA procedure for lost items

dfwskier
Top Contributor

First off, it is possible that someone other than a SW employee took your laptop off the plane. I hope not, but funnier things have happened.

 

Second, SW's found item procedure is as follows. All found items are sent to a centralized location in Alabama for disposition. They are then entered into a database. Then there is an attempt to match found items with those reported via the lost item form data. Found items are then returned to their owners. The process can take up to 30 days.

 

The single best way to help the airline find your item is by telling the airline the item's serial number.

 

As far as whether there are any airport related lists of found items, I have no idea. No one here is likely to know about that either as this is a customer forum populated by non Southwest employees.

 

I wish you luck.

Re: SWA procedure for lost items

HoldenFamTravel
New Arrival

Unfortunately, someone has definitely stolen it. I can now see it pinging in an area of Orlando. I have filed a police report but they can’t help much since it’s a generalized location. I have locked it remotely and apple says once it goes online again it will lock immediately. The police dept told me to call and ask SW baggage office about what happens once an item is found on an aircraft. they could help follow up if they knew who found it and where it went. I called and was told a flight attendant gives it to “someone”. It might be the person at the door, might be a flight crew, might be a supervisor. There is no proof of who it would have gone to. No one signs anything. This doesn’t make sense! I can’t get an Amazon delivery without having a picture if it being left at my door, and a high value item (southwest’s wording) can be handed to just anyone when taken off a plane? That’s not right! Southwest needs to be better than this!  

Re: SWA procedure for lost items

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Perhaps it was taken by a non-Southwest employee, but I have read too many posts on hear about people tracking their missing item who make lots of assumptions based on weird tracking information they see and then 30 days later say "oh, I got it back".

 

Amazon = package delivery service

Southwest = airline

You can't even compare the two.

 

Perhaps you should do better about keeping track of your personal belongings?

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: SWA procedure for lost items

HoldenFamTravel
New Arrival

I completely agree. I should. I made a terrible mistake. But shouldn’t there be a procedure when items are found? Maybe where an item is logged into an app and followed through the process of getting to the baggage office as a lost item? Other airlines have this procedure and I was hoping SW did also. That’s all. 

And I hope I’m one of those lucky people who have it returned 

Re: SWA procedure for lost items

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@HoldenFamTravel wrote:

And I hope I’m one of those lucky people who have it returned 


Me too!  It no fun, but there's nothing much to do beyond being patient and hoping it appears.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: SWA procedure for lost items

HoldenFamTravel
New Arrival
Solution

Here’s a follow up. To make a very long story short, 2 days after leaving the MacBook on the airplane, I was able to see it again on my Find My app. I had already filed a police report, so I called the police. The MacBook was at a MacDroid Store in Orlando. The police gave me advice on how best to talk to the owner in order to have him turn my device over to me. Again, very long story short, I called the store owner. Told him I knew he had my laptop. He said he bought it from someone for $100 and I could have it back for $100. So after many talks with a police officer, I ubered to the store and was handed my laptop. It had not been touched yet. Nothing had been wiped yet. I did not pay the owner of the store the money he asked for… but I did in turn give the $100 to the Uber driver for staying with me and making sure I was ok!!