This was painful. Recently while flying back home from visiting family in San Diego I left my laptop behind on the plane and noticed after I drove 2.5 hours and arrived home after midnight. Needless to say I can’t do much work at all without my laptop, so it was necessary to recover it immediately. These are the steps that helped me recover my laptop very early that same morning.
Since I was already home and 2.5 hours away, I called United immediately
My first reaction was to call United hoping the laptop had been found and it wasn’t heading somewhere else by now on the plane. The rep told me that because it happened so late she wouldn’t be able to verify that it was there or not, though if it had been recovered it could be either picked up at the airport when O’Hare opened in the morning at 5am. This probably would’ve been quicker had this been at a different time of day. But this call happened at around 1am so United airport offices were closed at this time.
She then advised me to fill out this form online and that the best way to do this quick was, if possible, to drive back to O’Hare in the morning, when the folks from lost and found did their first round around the gate areas picking up articles that had been left behind the previous night. This turned out to be very helpful.
The point is that it may be possible to recover your lost item if you contact the right parties very quicklly. Had the lost and found office been open, she would’ve been able to call in and check on my laptop right then.
I drove back to be at the airport when the office opened at 5am
As you can tell by now, I didn’t sleep much that night. I arrived at 5:15am at O’Hare and quickly visited the baggage office in T1 baggage claim area. The agent was very nice and told me that the lost and found person was already up doing her early morning rounds along the gates, and that she should be back with news soon. She tried to contact her a couple of times and within 15 minutes they made contact. She put the person on the phone and she referred to the report I had submitted the previous night to confirm that this was in fact my laptop. The rest is history. My laptop and I were quickly reunited. The laptop could’ve also been mailed to me if needed, I would’ve had to pay for the shipping. I think the gas I used for the drive was less than the shipping costs. 🙂
I don’t know that this helps as most of it seems like common sense, but perhaps a bit of understanding in terms of what happens if things are lost at night or if you’re far from the airport when you notice that you’re missing something saves you some time and calms you down. Everything ran pretty smoothly. In any case, I hope this post is something you don’t need to worry about ever.