Sunday, 13 July 2014

Help! I left my iPad on the plane!

IPad
Enjoy your device on your flight, but don't leave it behind!
by Todd Romaine

Ever forgot your phone, iPad, iPod, book or glasses on an airplane before? Maybe you left it in the seat pocket, in the overhead compartment or simply on the seat.

Well unless you remember this shortly after you disembark from your plane and can chase down an agent, be prepared to delve into the frustrating depths of hell trying to get it back.

I left my iPad in the seat pocket on a flight from Heathrow to Edmonton. Admittedly, it was my own fault. I personally blame my own sleep deprivation after a 28 hour trip for such carelessness.

Once I got home, I quickly called Air Canada’s lost baggage department and quickly got a claim number from an Air Canada Agent in an overseas office. I was told in broken English that a system was in place to track down my lost item and once the airline cleaners found it it would be logged in the system, flown to Vancouver and that I would have 5 days to retrieve it before it is sent to the central lost and found in Montreal. Admittedly, it did cross my mind numerous times that the cleaners or another passenger could have swiped the device and have it reformatted but I had faith in humanity and Air Canada!


Over the course of 4 days I called the number I was given 12 times and to no avail they had no update and seem less inclined to go that extra mile and call the Air Canada Edmonton office to check with them on the recovery of any lost iPad.

I decided to then call the Edmonton Airport and request their assistance. It was made clear to me that there is a difference between Lost and Found at the Airport and Lost and Found with Air Canada. They were kind enough to forward me to one lady that works at Air Canada whom was able to track down my iPad at Heathrow!

Yes that’s right, my iPad flew from Heathrow to Edmonton and return without being noticed by the cleaners or the next passenger sitting in my seat.

She sent a note to Heathrow Air Canada to send me my iPad, and 2 days later I called again to check on the status and they never read her note so she sent another message... and still nothing. Since that time I have sent notes to the Heathrow Air Canada office as well as Air Canada customer relations and still nothing back.

Somewhere out there, my iPad is sitting on a shelf somewhere in an arena of corporate indifference to my plight to have back a device that contained many of my life’s contents. :(

Call Center Taxis Libres
The land of 1-800-anywhere...
Here are some tips if you are ever in the same situation as me:
  • Make it a habit to ensure every item is packed away and ready to go 20 minutes before the plane touches down. This includes removing everything from the seat pocket that belongs to you. In your hand should be your passport, tickets, and immigration card, alongside your phone
  • Never leave the airport without your stuff – if an agent tries to direct you towards a 1-800 number push back and force the issue for them to retrieve your item right away, if possible.
  • If you need to handle this matter once you are home, try to go local. In other words, try in desperation to get an airline contact number at the airport where your item was left, otherwise they will put you into the nebulous 1-800 land where wait times are long and answers are few.
  • Here is a good reference site for tracking telephone numbers: GetHuman.com (the site helps you get through to a human at 1000's of companies).
  • Otherwise beg and plea with the local airport to direct you to the local airline number.
  • If nothing is occurring, make a trip out to the airport and make demands to speak to managers there to elevate the issue. This has a chance of them elevating your request versus the 1-800-somewhere else agents whom are rather indifferent about your personal plight for a lost item.
  • If you lost something at an airport, contact the airport’s lost and found department.
  • Check out MissingX.com, a system used by the lost and found departments in many airports.

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