If you accidentally forgot a personal item in the airplane cabin or even in the airport, stay calm. You are not the only one. Thousands of personal items are forgotten daily in airports and airplanes. The panic, usually, settles once you realize what you are missing, but suppose you haven’t lost your personal object forever, hope you will recover it.

Fortunately, most airports and airlines have sophisticated processes for collecting, tracking and returning lost items to passengers.

Gatwick Airport, for example, estimates that it returns about 85% of the lost valuable things to homeowners each year, and 30-40% of items have low value, such as books, magazines, pens.

Some airlines, for example, have a well-defined protocol for re-routing high-value objects to owners, such as a laptop, phone or other device. If you have lost a good at the airport or aircraft, you are likely to have to pay a certain recovery fee, because such items require a storage room, personnel to handle them, things that involve costs.

Usually lost items are stored in a room for about 90 days. This time frame allows the owners to find out if they have lost something, where they may contact the location in question to regain possession.

At the end of this period, however, companies will simply throw away objects that have not been recovered, while others will be auctioned off and often the proceeds go to charitable associations. Some will allow bidders to see auctioned items, others will be a surprise. For example, you can bid on an unpacked suitcase and then you can decide what you will keep from it or not. Of course, bidders are hoping for valuable jewelry or items.

So, if you forgot something in the cockpit, the best option is to contact the appropriate airline or airport, as soon as possible, without spending too much time, as there is a risk of permanent loss.

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