Airport Lost and Found: Three Tips On Safeguarding Your Valuables When Traveling
How to Leave the Airport with Everything You Brought with You
“Paging Passenger John Smith. Please return to security checkpoint A to retrieve your laptop. Paging Passenger John Smith…”
If you are traveling through an airport this summer, and who among us is not, you may very well end up leaving something valuable or important behind. Travelers tend to have much on their minds: they focus on the trip, the next day’s meeting, or even a delay. As a result, they sometimes forget what they have shed at the security checkpoint or put down on the seat next to them in a lounge or gate area.
The most common items travelers tend to lose include clothing (including belts removed at security checkpoints), mobile phones, laptops and tablets (including iPads), wallets, and watches.
In 2012, Southwest Airlines said that the four most common items it finds on planes are books, mobile phones, clothing, and glasses. Meanwhile, McCarran International Airport reports that mobile phones, eyeglasses, belts, watches, and wallets top their list.
This week, London City Airport reported that belts, clothing, and mobile phones are the top three, with iPads and umbrellas close behind. Somewhat inexplicably, the airport said that shoes were number ten on its list. London City Airport also published a list of the most unusual items it has found in the past year, topped off by £50,000 in cash, a bag of diamonds, and a checkbook with blank checks that had been signed.
While it’s easy to forget items, it’s just as easy to prepare in advance and not lose anything. Here are our top three tips.
1.) Checkpoint-friendly Bags
When Frequent Business Traveler Editorial Director Jonathan Spira goes through a security checkpoint in the U.S., he never removes his laptop. In fact, he hasn’t taken it out of his carry-on bag since 2009, thanks to his Tumi T-Pass bag, which has a laptop-only section that attaches to the rest of the bag via a full-length zipper. Such bags are available from a variety of manufacturers. When it comes to jewelry, the TSA advises wearing it as opposed to removing it when traversing a security checkpoint. This goes for eyeglasses as well. If you do remove jewelry, especially items of value, don’t put them in one of the bowls provided at the checkpoint, but rather place it securely inside one of your carry-on bags.
2.) Dress and pack for travel
The more you wear and carry with you, the more complicated it will be both at the security checkpoint and in the course of the trip. While many travelers seem to be able to pack two weeks’ worth of clothing and necessities in one roll aboard, others seem to require three bags for the same length trip.
3.) Don’t spread out
How many times have you seen someone sit down at the gate or in a lounge and unpack across multiple seats? It’s a miracle if everything ends up leaving with the traveler. Take one thing out at a time and put it back (something you were probably told about your toys when you were five years old, but that’s still good advice).
(Photo: Accura Media Group)