It’s no surprise that that everyday items are sometimes left behind when passengers disembark aircraft such as wallets, mobile phones, kindles, reading glasses etc. As well as the predictable lost property, airline staff also make some astonishing discoveries.
Here are some unusual items that passengers somehow forgot to gather up in the rush to reach their final destination…
Despite the fact that this is the number one item you need to exit the airport, an amazing number of travellers leave their passport behind, often tucked into the seat-back pocket. Most passengers realise within minutes that they’ve left this vital document behind, and with luck, ground staff will be able to contact cabin crew or cleaners before the aircraft is locked. If the passport can’t be retrieved immediately, you probably need to prepare yourself for difficult conversation at immigration. Emergency documentation can be issued, but the process will certainly take some time.
Flight attendants are mystified when they find false teeth left behind in the cabin. It’s hard to imagine how passengers can fail to realise their teeth are missing but this oversight is not as rare as you might think.
Top secret documents
One retired purser back in the 70’s found a dossier of classified government information in a seat pocket of the first class cabin. The documents belonged to a government minister who had enjoyed a drink or three during his journey. Fortunately, the minister was still on the tarmac being greeted by local dignitaries when the discovery was made, and the purser was able to return the dossier (unopened!).
The unfortunate baby in question was actually left behind at an airport rather than on the aircraft. The incident made global headlines back in 2019 when a Malaysia-bound plane was reported to have turned back to Saudi Arabia after a passenger told cabin crew she’d left her baby behind at the terminal. Air traffic controllers agreed the plane could be turned around and the woman was reunited with her child.
A few other crazy items left behind:
An Egyptian burial mask and mummified falcon has been found in an old Gucci suitcase.
A Rolex watch valued at $64,000
An eighteenth-century violin
A live rattlesnake
A Barbie doll stuffed with $500 of rolled bills.
A valuable canvas painting
A top hat!