Weird and wonderful
objects left behind
The Weird and Wonderful Objects Left Behind at Airports
With millions of travellers rushing through the world’s airports every day, it’s no wonder items sometimes get left behind.
The long list of weird and wonderful objects left at departure gates, security checks and on planes is quite extraordinary. With abandoned items including wedding dresses, false teeth and even a spare tyre, sometimes it’s hard to fathom why someone would be carrying such a thing through an airport in the first place, or indeed how on earth they could forget such an important item.
What do travellers leave behind?
Most often, it is the simple, everyday items such as belts, mobile phones, chargers, earphones, laptops, iPads, cameras and umbrellas that are left, usually during security checks.
But sometimes, the items are a little more unusual. Everything from prosthetic legs, walking sticks and crutches, to a bicycle and a guitar amplifier have been found in airports. Mystifyingly, someone once left a 15kg boulder at Dublin Airport!
The moral of the story: always ensure you have all your belongings with you at all times.
Items left at hotels
The list of weird and wonderful items doesn’t just extend to airports. Plenty of guests forget to take their possessions home from hotel rooms too. Forgotten items include a miniature Shetland pony, a rice cooker, a 3D model of London, a business contract between two oil companies, a replica of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, a Swarovski encrusted 5ft wedding cake and a suitcase full of Jimmy Choo shoes. Premier Inn even reported finding 18 Queen Elizabeth II masks in a London hotel room.
Having said that, objects such as phone chargers, ties, toiletries, tablets, kindles and teddy bears are far more commonly left behind.
What happens to forgotten items?
At London’s Gatwick Airport, lost items are meticulously recorded and stored for 90 days. During that time, 85% of ‘high-value’ items, such as laptops, mobiles and cameras, are thankfully returned to their owners. However if, after 90 days, the items are not claimed, there are usually donated to or auctioned for charity. If this is not possible, the item will be recycled or, as a last resort, destroyed.
If an illegal, prohibited or dangerous item is found, the police will be called in to deal with the offending object.
If you lose something at an airport, contact your airline or the airport. If your item has been handed into lost property, you’ll be able to reclaim it.
How can lost property help you?
One of the most popular items to be forgotten when we travel are our phone chargers. So, if you ever find yourself without one, head to lost property and see if they have one you can borrow. Just remember to return it when you’re finished, so that the next forgetful traveller can charge their phone too.