Lost and found in the travel industry
When Jennifer Clardy Chalmers was little, she left her teddy bear on a flight from Texas to Louisiana. At least one of them was inconsolable.
While the 10 year old tried to readjust to life without her stuffed companion Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica , Preppy Bear was traveling the country to Atlanta and then to Florida before winging it back home to Shreveport, La. A small squadron helped replica louis vuitton bags recover the bear: Jennifer’s parents, who immediately called the airline; Delta crew members, who located the toy and rerouted it to Shreveport; and a neighbor, who collected Preppy Bear at the airport and gave him a lift to the Clardy residence.
“Twenty years later I can hardly imagine that a stuffed teddy bear not only traveled back across several states thanks to some very kind airline employees,” Clardy Chalmers said by e mail, but also “was simply handed over to someone who said they knew my family.”
Every hour, if not every minute, some traveler somewhere forgets a personal item in an airport terminal, on 1:1 replica handbags a plane, in a hotel room or in a rental car. You’d think we’d learn to check the guest room outlet for the charger, the seat pocket for the high quality designer replica handbags iPad and the rental car trunk for the suit bag. But, alas, we don’t.
Fortunately, all is not lost.
The major players airports, hotels, airlines and car rental agencies have established procedures regarding travelers’ misplaced goods. Company Web sites feature detailed forms and phone numbers to help track down items. On the ground, employees sweep hotel rooms and plane and car seats, turning any finds over to the high quality replica handbags china lost and found department or drawer. (One unfortunate reality: the staff member with sticky fingers.) At Washington Dulles, for instance, passengers can knock on a triptych of lost and found doors belonging to, from left to right, the Transportation Security Administration replica louis vuitton bags , the Perfect Quality Louis Vuitton Replica airport and United Airlines. Check the airport lost and found for items left in parking lots, public spaces, concessions and post security dressing areas, as well as curbside or on shuttle buses. Contact the TSA for objects abandoned in trays and on X ray belts. Notify the airline about high quality replica handbags china articles forgotten at the ticketing counter, at the gate or aboard the plane. For hotels, try the front desk first, then housekeeping. For rental cars, go straight to the local source, not the forever loop of nationwide reservations.
Allow me to speak from experience. I connected with Lucinda Adams, who runs lost and found replica louis vuitton bags from china for some of the airport’s rental car agencies. For more than a week, Lucinda phoned in her updates, a rolling sea of promise and futility. She delivered the bad news one morning: The renter after me had searched the vehicle but had come up empty handed.
Oh well. If my shirt ever does surface, Lucinda knows where to find me.
Be quick about it
Haste also improves the odds of recovery. For example, if you’re still within the airport’s security zone, go back to the gate and ask an employee to retrieve the item from the plane. If you’ve left the secured area, alert the ticketing agent, who can relay a message to the gate staff.
“We get people reunited with their items before they even leave the airport,” said Paul Bushell, Virgin Atlantic’s vice president of airport operations in North America.
With rental cars, the optimum time is when the vehicle is still on the lot or queued up for a scrub. (I didn’t reach Lucinda until the next morning, after a new driver had sped away in my car.) At hotels, the sweet spot falls between checkout and the arrival of the next guests. And in all scenarios, we wish you godspeed if you’re within sprinting distance.
“We had a gentleman run all the way back from the terminal when we confirmed that his daughter’s stuffed animal was left behind, and she would not fly without it,” Michael Vazquez, safety and security supervisor at Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport, told me.
Personal effects aren’t housed in perpetuity; the eviction clock is ticking, in some places faster than others. City Center, six months.
The storage period benefits both parties. A traveler may be traveling abroad without phone or Internet service. Or he may not become aware of the missing culprit until days or weeks after his return.
“Sometimes we call the people and they don’t even know it’s lost yet,” said Joyce Bergin, a nine year veteran of Dulles’s L department.
Meanwhile, back at the office, employees sleuth for clues. They match hotel room numbers, flight manifests and rental car contracts with travelers’ contact information. They look for labels, business cards and printed itineraries in bags and ID holders. They send letters to addresses listed on driver’s licenses. They jot down computer serial numbers and flip on electronics, hoping for fake louis bag a hot lead.
Lots of times, these techniques work. From last January to Dec. 11, Dulles’s two person team handled more than 14,400 inquiring phone calls and e mails; nearly 4,800 hopeful walk ins; and 4,364 items, of which 1,300 Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags were returned.
“It’s like being a detective,” Bergin said.
One of her most rewarding recoveries involved Ethiopian adoption papers and the promising tip of a state notary stamp. Bergin chased down the adopting couple, using the notary seal and the Web fake designer bags to find their home city and phone number. She later received replica louis vuitton handbags a thank you card with a family photo featuring three beaming children adopted from Ethiopia.
The office’s cramped back room resembles a suburban garage sale, with objects stacked high on metal racks. On a recent Wednesday, three seasons of coats hung on a rod, and valuables such as computers and gadgets bedded down in plastic bins inside a secured cabinet. On the February and March racks, rolling bags made space for a ukulele, a mattress foam, a Hello Kitty backpack dolabuy.su , a dumbbell and a Louis Vuitton makeup case mistagged as Yves Saint Laurent.
“We get a lot of big things, like 70 or 100 pound suitcases and bikes,” said Bergin, “and a lot of keys, cellphones and glasses.” A toilet, a hermit crab and a samurai sword are mentally filed under oddities.
Before lunch, the office had received two backpacks, a purse, a laptop (property of a passenger arrested at the airport) and a pair of visitors searching for a Thermos and a charger. Neither object appeared in the computer database. The men would have had better luck if they’d lost an Eisenhower era hair dryer, which patiently sat on the middle shelf of February.