LAX Airport lost and found
LAX airport Lost and Found facility, and his missing keys

Travelers leave all sorts of items behind at Los Angeles International Airport that end up in Lost and Found. While we can say with certainty that 100 percent of the items there were found, many are lost in only a loose sense of the word.

“We get a lot of phone cords, baseball caps, airline pillows, stuff you know no one will ever want,” said Rob Pedregon, spokesman for LAX Airport Police.

And many items are abandoned on purpose because the travelers’ luggage is over the weight limit and they’d rather discard unnecessary items than pay a hefty fee per-pound to transport it. LAX Airport lost and found

Perhaps the most unusual item the staff remembers was a 9-foot teddy bear, the transportation of which would have required buying an extra plane ticket. Teddy was kicked to the proverbial curb.

Some items, though, have value. My keys, for example. Los Angeles Airport lost and found

Coming back from vacation in Germany a few weeks ago, I boarded the LAX FlyAway Shuttle only to discover to my horror that my keys were no longer in my carry-on. My airline said the plane had been swept and no keys were found.

My landlady let me into my place and I copied her key for about $2.50. And I ordered a new electronic key for my car at a cost of (choke!) $250.

At a friend’s urging, though, I went online to LAX Lost and Found and filed a claim form, describing my basic key ring and keys. And by golly if the next day I didn’t get a reply that they might have a match.

I spoke by phone with Officer Janette Utsey, describing my keys in more detail and emailing a photo of the replacement set. She said the match was perfect.

The process of reclaiming them would involve sending a FedEx form for shipment, or picking them up on a weekday. Under the theory that Rahm Emanuel’s famous dictum “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste” might apply, I decided to go in person, get a tour and write about it. LAX Airport lost property Los Angeles Airport lost property

After all, others lose items at LAX too. There might be a story there, or at least a cautionary tale. Also, I could run my errand on work time. Everyone’s a winner!

And so on Wednesday I made my way to LAX, all by public transit: Metrolink, then the Purple, Blue and Green line trains. Pedregon gave me a lift the final few blocks to 5600 W. Century Blvd., Lost and Found’s nondescript office and warehouse.

Customs has its own Lost and Found. So does the Transportation Security Administration. Airlines have their own. But anything found in the general terminals or outside goes to the LAX facility.

“Right now we probably have 20,000 items in our inventory,” Capt. Michael Scolaro told me.

The warehouse was not the endless Indiana Jones Hangar 51 I had hoped for, or Charles Foster Kane’s vast storehouse of packing crates, personal effects and antiquities.

But there was secure shelving, which Utsey opened by spinning open a wheel like a vault. She pulled out items to show me: wallets, electronics, cameras, glasses, a walking cane, a garment bag, a backpack, a guitar.

“Whatever you can think of, people leave it,” Utsey said.

“They’re as simple as a used lottery ticket, no good any more, but turned in, and as expensive as a Rolex, valued at over $150,000,” she continued. “The owner sent his secretary to pick it up from Texas. We weren’t going to ship that.”

At a minimum they keep items 90 days, but a few straggling items dated to May.

After that, items are assessed and sorted. Decent clothing is donated to a homeless assistance agency. Caps, underwear and other personal items are tossed. Items with some value are sent to auction by a third party. Proceeds go to the city of Los Angeles, not the airport.

The auction area had laptops, tablets, Beats headsets, a pet transport (empty), a car seat (also empty), Coleman cots, a souvenir sombrero in a bag, boxed toys, two bicycles, a skateboard, even a surfboard.

I’m picturing a stoned-looking traveler, boogie shorts, no shirt, looking around the terminal. Dude, where’s my surfboard?

The return rate is 39 to 45 percent, which Utsey said was pretty good considering how many items aren’t worth the trouble of reclaiming. She said about 10 percent of the owners who are found say they don’t want whatever was lost.

The surfboard, the bikes and many of the other items fall into that category. “That’s an example of people deciding they can replace it for less than it would cost to ship it,” Utsey said.

One of the more unusual items they’ve encountered was a TV script.

“We had a whole script for the second or third season of ‘The Walking Dead,’” Pedregon said. ‘Nobody ever claimed it. It hadn’t aired yet. We think nobody wanted to admit they lost it.”

Anything sentimental or expensive, they take extra care with. That was the case with a wedding album found in the international terminal in 2014. A Facebook campaign led to its return to a couple in Modesto.

What surprised me was the number of suitcases, six or eight of them. Officers went through them and found no clues. “With some, all you have is clothing and lotion. It won’t give us any information,” Utsey said.

“People don’t think, ‘I should put a tag on my carry-on,’” Pedregon said.

He and Utsey advised placing a business card or note with your name and number inside each bag. Utsey further suggested luggage transponders, which will notify the owner of a bag’s location, and TSA-approved locks on suitcases.

And now for my keys. Officer Van Clease photocopied my driver license and Utsey had me sign a form. Then my keys were back in my hands.

They were turned in at the international terminal Aug. 21, a full week after my landing.

“Some good citizen said, ‘Oh, here’s somebody’s keys.’ They brought it to the information booth,” Utsey said.

My keys therefore made it off the plane and through customs. They might have made it out to the shuttle waiting area and been jostled out of my bag on the sidewalk or curb, which could account for the week’s delay in finding them.

Inches from my goal of getting home, but so far.

At any rate, it’s good to have a second set of keys. As I left Lost and Found, I was careful not to leave anything behind — but knew that if I did, it would be in safe hands.

Latest Post

The Museum of ‘Please Find Me’ – JFK Airport lost and found
United Airlines pilot flies lost wedding ring over 2,500 miles to owner
Girl’s lost teddy flown 200 miles home to Orkney from Edinburgh lost property
Kitten adopted after being found at Orlando International Airport lost and found
Karaoke stand, walking sticks up for grabs in Brisbane airport lost property auction
As CVG’s volume increases, so does amount of stuff left behind- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport lost and found
Registration Begins Wednesday For Massive Government Auction-McCarran International Airport Lost and Found
You might find a great deal at the Pittsburgh airport lost and found auction
Abandoned cars along with lost and found items to be auctioned at Norfolk International Airport lost and found
Sydney Airport lost and found auction benefits local charities
Cat ‘lost’ at Dubai airport reunited with UK owners- Dubai Airport lost and found
LAX airport Lost and Found facility, and his missing keys
Glasgow Airport lost property aims to reunite children with their lost toys
Honest immigration officer lauded for returning lost $1,900
Sharjah man returns Dh100,000 lost at Sharjah airport
Tucson airport workers help return Houston football player’s lost ring
Over 7,000 volunteers serve Hajj pilgrims at Jeddah airport
Teddy bear lost at Dallas airport reunited with little boy after family’s plea
Phuket van driver returns large sum of lost cash to tourist -Phuket Airport lost and found
Couple still waiting on luggage in Orkney following Manchester Airport security alert
Strollers, TV among ‘lost and found’ items at Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Lost in transit: How not to spend 24 hours at Singapore’s Changi Airport
10 pounds of marijuana found in suitcase at Louis Armstrong airport
Luggage missing at the airport? Here’s what to do
Passenger sought after R9m tik found in bag at Cape Town International Airport
Grieving mother sues American Airlines for allegedly losing daughter’s ashes
Irish family gets stuck in airport limbo in Barcelona
Lost dog WestJet put on wrong flight found safe near Hamilton airport
John Legend’s bag stolen at JFK Airport; Suspect charged with grand larceny
Airline baggage theft: The most common place for carry-on and checked baggage theft
3,000 items lost monthly at Sea-Tac Airport
A Look Inside Washington Airport lost and found
Tugade gives honest men at airport bear hugs and checks
Cork airport is desperately trying to reunite this lost pink teddy bear with its owners
RM1 million drugs discovered in KL International Airport’s lost and found department
Lost and found operations highlighted at McGhee-Tyson Airport
BNA offers look at lost and found
Pet hamster, bed frame among ‘strangest things’ left behind at Changi Airport
Girl reunited with beloved teddy bear lost in chaos of deadly Florida airport shooting
Appeal to reunite lost Luton airport lost property ‘teddy’ with owner takes off
Frustrated travelers, 20K lost items as Fla. airport resumes operations
This is what happens to your luggage if you leave it at Cardiff Airport
From a Forest season ticket to glass eyes – the unusual things left behind in lost property
Finding hope in an Donald Sangster International Airport
Weird DIA lost and found items: 70-inch TV, chainsaw (Video)
A toilet and cistern, an urn with ashes and a puppy – Here are some of the things that go missing at Dublin Airport
Sonoma County Airport seeks owner of a Purple Heart
Airline worker and girl’s lost teddy bear share epic adventure at DTW
Lost and Found: How to Get Back Items Left at Airport Security Checkpoints
MIA’s lost, found and auctioned event raises over €9,000 for Inspire
Auction at Matla airport lost and found is back
Houston woman’s dog lost in Mexico City airport found thanks to Interjet
A Shocking Number of People Leave Laptops Behind at Airport Security Checkpoints
A plea to help stranded travellers — the stuffed kind — at the Halifax airport
Newlywed Who Lost Wedding Ring at LaGuardia Airport Will Get It Back in Time for Thanksgiving
The TSA Instagram account is a treasure trove of insane items travelers try to get through airport security.
K9 unit rescues mini pinscher abandoned at Naia
Airport worker returns congresswoman’s pouch with over P100K cash
Airport security could add £500 to the cost of your holiday
Buyers snap up things airport travelers leave behind
There’s a giant store in Alabama that sells your lost luggage to strangers
Airport handyman climbed through soffit to steal from lost and found room
Pittsburgh airport lost and found to auction lost, abandoned items
Lost and forgotten luggage to be auctioned off for charity by Sydney Airport lost and found
Strange range of lost items at KL International Airport lost and found
What happens to lost items at the airport
South Florida airport’s lost and found now includes a mannequin
Iguanas on a plane: WestJet flight grounded in Toronto after reptiles lost aboard the aircraft
A rare look inside Sacramento Airport lost and found
Manila Ninoy Aquino Airport workers win recognition
Darwin airport turns to social media to find owners of old photo album
Even seasoned travelers leave money behind at TSA checkpoints
Rogue Valley International Airport donates unclaimed lost and found items
What happens to stuff you lose at Dubai airport?
New research reveals ‘weird to wonderful’ items lost at UK airports everyday
Wallet with €5,000 is lost, man who found it and kept the money is taken to court
Inside the Portland Airport’s Lost and Found
Air France under fire for lost bag, no wheelchair
A bear hunt at Denver International Airport
Forgot something at a Bay Area airport? Head to lost and found
Woman accidentally leaves her laptop at Stansted Airport… and now ‘has travel to Romania to collect it’
Couple Returns Envelope Full of Cash Found at Barcelona Airport to Its Rightful Owner
The 10 lessons I learned after leaving my iPad on a plane
Rescued dog adopted by Seattle family found, lost and found again
Behind the Scenes at Bradley International Airport’s Lost and Found
Lose a stun gun or a back brace? They might be at the airport
What types of prohibited items get abandoned at McCarran Airport?
KSL TV KSL Investigates luggage theft at Salt Lake International Airport
Lost-and-found items increasing at ABIA
I-Team: Lost and found at Bradley International Airport
Now, simply ‘tweet’ and get your complaint resolved at Delhi Airport
Airport officials clueless about abandoned passports found in post box
TSA working to return lost items to passengers
Three Lagos airport cleaners return lost luggage
Man claims cellphone was taken at Charlotte airport
Lost a bag and, oh, about R8m of crystal meth?
Freshwater turtle found on plane at Hobart airport an ‘invasive species’, will be euthanased
Dublin Airport staff bowled over after toilet shows up in lost and found
Brisbane planes, trains, buses and ferries: strangest lost property items
Cork Airport reunites owner with his very special teddy bear after losing it on a flight



Closely Works With OVER 11,000 AIRPORTS AND AIRLINES Worldwide!