A lost and found room is a treasure trove of assorted objects of the most ill-assorted kind—just like the people who left them behind.
Some of the things are so whimsical that it feels like you have been transported to a world of fantasy. Other stuff is so ordinary that it’s like walking into your local CVS, the must-haves that will most certainly have to be replaced before the next shower.
Thirteen-year veteran and lost and found supervisor for the Orlando International Airport, Patricia Sarria, took WESH 2 on an eye-opening tour.
There are enough coats and jackets to rival a department store. Same for a bevy of stuffed animals. Some brand new, some used and most likely, very cherished. Those will surely be missed.
There were plenty of theme park souvenirs. The most popular were Star Wars light sabers.
A standout was a used Keurig coffee maker. Did someone really take the trouble to bring that on a trip with them?
One passenger lost a refrigerator used to store makeup. I didn’t know such a thing even existed.
A karaoke machine, canes of all shapes and sizes, crutches, baseball caps, and hats galore hint at people’s hobbies, occupations, and medical mishaps.
People lose track of their electronics. There are cabinets full of those. Well, most of us can say: “been there, done that.”
What explains the presence of wedding rings? Were those taken off in mid-flight?
Some of the more surprising things found in the past include the bumper to a car, false teeth, a loved one’s ashes, and a wedding dress.
Believe it or not, the bride forgot it in the airport on the way to her wedding. The folks with Orlando International Airport got it back to her just in time for her big day.
“She actually had it in a piece of luggage and she was crying. But they were happy tears,” Sarria said.
The two most common items people leave behind are belts and glasses. All kinds of glasses, including prescription and sunglasses.
They said the vast majority of items are left at security checkpoints, so keep that in mind when you empty your pockets going through the screening device.
If you think these items are strange, consider some that have been found at other airports over time: a Chinese opium pipe, a 5.6 carat diamond hidden in a sock, vacuum-packed frogs, bagpipes, a suit of armor and a stuffed goose. And to top it all off, an authentic shrunken head.
What do they do with the unclaimed treasures? The TSA makes every effort to return the items to their owner, but they don’t always succeed. The items are held by TSA for a minimum of 30 days, and if not claimed, they’re either destroyed, turned over to a state agency for surplus property, or sold by TSA as excess property. In some other cases they are auctioned off.
So next time you got to the airport, be more mindful of your stuff!
Discussion about this post