What to do if you leave something on a plane

I may be a fool, but I’m a lucky fool at that.

If you read my post from a couple of days ago, you know that I’m a forgetful dunderhead and left my iPad on the plane.

When I first realized it wasn’t in my backpack I felt as though the wind had been knocked out of me. After asking Josh if he knew where it was, I suddenly had a vision of myself placing it in the pocket in front of my seat. %&@!!!! It was on the plane. I had left it on the plane.

It didn’t take long for me to accept my stupidity. There isn’t much one can do about carelessness of this magnitude, and as I tell April on a daily basis, there’s no point in crying over things you can’t change. So I didn’t cry. I took action.

After the girls were in bed, I did what any other young technologically-savvy person would do. I googled the airport, the airline and for good measure I put in a search for “what to do if you leave something on a plane.”

The best article I found was on Airfare Watchdog’s blog. And the best part of the article is as follows:

We’re not going to remind you to check carefully the area around your seat, in the overhead bin, and in the seat pocket in front of you. You’ve heard that a million times before and apparently it doesn’t work.


Never, ever place anything in the seat back pocket in the first place. Just pretend it’s filled with sticky used napkins and chewing gum (which it probably is). This is the black hole of any airplane, the place where most items get left behind.

After cursing myself, I moved on to the airport website, where they suggested I call the police station located on the premises. In typical South African style, the number listed and the email address were both incorrect. I searched for the correct number and spoke to a very helpful and friendly police officer. He didn’t have my iPad but suggested I try to contact the lost luggage department at the airport.

There is no lost luggage department at Cape Town International Airport.

After attempting to contact Turkish Airways, but only finding a number in Turkey and a contact form that didn’t work, I started losing hope.

In a last effort, I emailed the general contact at the airport and explained my situation. All I could do was wait and see if anyone replied.

They did! This morning I received an email from the airport with an email address for Turkish Airlines and within an hour got an email back asking to identify the iPad. After speaking with another helpful and friendly man on the phone, we confirmed that they do have my iPad (apparently they found two, so I’m not the only fool out there).


All this to say: if you forget something important on a plane, don’t give up. Contact the airline. Contact the airport. Email and call anyone who might possibly have it. As I keep on discovering, there are lots of trustworthy, helpful, kind individuals in the world. One of them is going to get lots of chocolate tomorrow.


The lost iPad
The lost, and now found iPad.


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1 Comment

  1. “there’s no point in crying over things you can’t change. So I didn’t cry. I took action.” I TOTALLY AGREE. 🙂 Good thing you were able to locate it. 🙂

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