Travel Tip #1- Mark your important belongings
After every flight is complete and the last passenger has walked off the aircraft, it is my job as a Flight Attendant to do a final walk through in the cabin. I check to make sure that there are no passengers left sleeping in rows or in the lavatories. I also open all the overhead bins to look for left bags/personal belongings, straighten seat belts, "lightly groom" the cabin (yes this explains why I ask 5 times if you want me to take your newspaper) and throw away all the things passengers left behind for someone else to clean up.
It is during this part of my day that I also come across a lot of belongings that I know passengers did not mean to leave behind. In my 4 years of flying, I have found sweaters, scarves, cellphones, eyeglasses, sunglasses, a purse, medication, a passport, ipods, Game boys (this is the #1 thing kids leave behind on my flights),a kindle, a wallet,a few cell phones, books and a laptop computer (the laptop guy finally remembered and came back to get it a few minutes later).
What has shocked me the most in all these findings, is the lack of identification on important objects. Passengers are so concerned about making sure their luggage is marked and tagged that they seem to forget about the little things. It doesn't have to be anything big... just a name and phone number or stick your business card in the case.
There have been a few times when cleaning when I see an object, remember who was sitting in the row and find they are still around the plane/gate area. However, most of the time passengers (and myself) run off the airplane never to be seen again.
If your object is marked, I can either have the agent page you to come back and get it or I can call your cell phone and we can both figure out a way to get it back to you. (Yes I have done this and personally mailed back a cell phone and wallet, No not every flight attendant will do this for you but at least it is a possibility).
If your object is not marked, I have no choice but to turn it into the agent, who will then pass it onto lost and found for the airport we are in. I consider this a black hole since most have limited hours and who knows how many unclaimed items. I also am unsure how long they will hold unclaimed items for. It's much easier, when calling, to say you are looking for a black eye glass case with name ____ inside and phone # ____. No question to whose it is then... right?
Next time you are packing for a trip, think of those things you use in flight that you wouldn't want to lose and slap a name and number in or on it. I hope you wont forget it but it's nice to know it's there just in case!