A little more than a month ago, Sara lost her phone. We were on a plane to Houston, on our way to San Diego to celebrate the wedding of Mark and Taylor. We didn’t know where we had lost it. It was lost in the hubbub of travel with a toddler and a car seat and all the various other electronic devices (phones, kindles, cameras, extra phones that can play movies). We had gotten up at 330 AM to make our 520 flight. Somewhere in the process of going through security, waiting to board, boarding, deplaning, finding some snacks in Houston, getting back in line for boarding, and re-boarding we phone was missing. It could have been many places. When we finally figured it out, we were already seat-belted in and ready to take off for San Diego. Our previous plane was being re-routed to another location. We called our flight attendant, who informed us there was nothing she could do. When we landed, we talked to the baggage people on the ground and they were more helpful. They said you could call the local Southwest folks (in Houston) to see if anything had been turned in. I also called the 800 number and the very nice person there directed me to an online form I could fill out on Southwest’s website. We called the number for Houston and it was, of course not working. I filled out the form. Then we gave up hope and had a great time at the wedding. I also called and filled out the online form for Houston airport lost and found. The reports went through and we got responses, but both were negative, our phone was still missing.
On the way home, we stopped at the lost baggage office in St. Louis to check there just in case it had been found. They were very helpful and explained the process to us. They said if you phone is found it first is held locally, and then sent to a warehouse of lost items (I imagine something from Raiders of the Lost Ark – only with phones instead of archaeological treasures). They suggested that we send in a second lost item report, just in case. So we did. And we went home. We were lucky in that we still had Sara’s old phone so that we could turn it on and Sara would have a phone. Eventually both reports sent replies saying it had been 7 days and the item was not found, they would keep the report on file, but we shouldn’t expect much (that last part was added by me). This sucked. We were out the cost of the phone, which of course according to Verizon we would have to keep paying for despite the fact that it was, in fact, gone. We looked into an insurance claim, but our deductible was high enough that if they gave us depreciated value replacement it was better to not even report it. So it was a loss. And lessons learned. Make sure you pay for the insurance on your phone and don’t put things in the seat-back pockets of airplanes (or maybe avoid traveling with a toddler).
Then, last Monday (3/13), out of the blue, an email. They had found my lost item. If I would follow this link to verify the item and pay for shipping, they would send it back. I was so ecstatic I followed the directions immediately and payed the $25 for overnight shipping. I told Sara the good news and got a confirmation email back about my shipping payment.
I was waiting for the shipping information and it didn’t arrive. I checked my inbox, my spam, everyplace. No additional information. I woke up in the middle of the night, convinced I had been scammed. I had been so excited about the potential recover I hadn’t taken the time to match up the report number or verify that this was a real thing. So I checked. My bank account was charged the $25 for shipping but no other charges (and who goes to that much effort to steal $25). I looked at the code, at first it didn’t match, and I got worried. Then I realized it was the second report, not the first that had linked to the phones recovery. So less worried, I went to bed, assuming that the shipping notification would arrive forthwith. But it didn’t.
A week passed.
Then yesterday – a shipping notification. Lost item (our phone) would arrive tomorrow before 10AM. Now came a bit more fretting. What if it isn’t Sara’s phone, what if it is broken.
But it arrived. And once it was charged it turned on. And was unharmed by the journey. Now we just have to get the phone turned back on. What a relief. Playing monthly for an iPhone 7Plus that you don’t have would have sucked. Paying for a new one would have also sucked. Losing the countless pictures of Katie and other memories and personal information stored on the phone would have also sucked. But now, it is all good.
Take Home Lessons.
Fly Southwest – everyone we talked to was empathetic and did their best to help us, plus they actually found and returned our lost phone.
Don’t put things in the seat-back pocket on an airplane
Probably should get insurance on your phone
A unique case (otterbox synchrony navy blue with gold polka dots) that doesn’t come off easily is likely what helped our phone be found among the sea of iPhone7pluses in Black otterbox cases.