We have all been there before. That moment of panic when you realize you lost something. Did your phone slip out of your pocket as you rushed through the airport to make to your flight? Did you forgot to pick up that bag you set down when printing your boarding pass? You mentally retrace your steps in your mind to figure out where your item could have gone missing or you run back in the hopes of tracking down what was lost.
But all hope is not lost. The Sea-Tac Airport Lost and Found office wants to reunite you with your property as soon as possible.
It’s located in the Mezzanine level above checkpoint 3. Use the maps on the Sea-Tac App to help you get there.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Lost and Found office and the most common items that are lost at the airport. Plus, a few tips on how to hold on to your items.
1. Clothing and Accessories
Belts, hats, jackets, and sunglasses are the most commonly lost items at the airport.
Here are a few tips:
- Write your phone number and name on the care label or an inside seam with a permanent ink laundry marker. Put a piece of cardboard under the label to catch any ink that bleeds through to protect the fabric. Or use a textile stamp with permanent ink
- Pin your business card into the pocket or lining of that stylish plaid blazer or your expensive rain jacket
- Purchase stick-on labels for that stuffed animal your child insists on bringing on the plane
- Remember the sew-in clothing labels that your grandma gave you for your birthday as a kid? That would be a big help in finding your items.
- For glasses, put a business card in your glasses case, or use a lanyard to keep them attached to you while traveling.
- Or use Orbit, the world’s smallest Bluetooth tracker, that enables you to find them with your phone
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you are likely carrying a laptop, cellphone, or tablet to help with the boredom of a long flight. Many times, they are left behind on a table or chair, while passengers wait for their flight or at one of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints.
Pro tip: Slip a business card into your cellphone case or tape it onto the back of your device.
3. Canes, walkers, and car seats
If you’re traveling through the airport in a wheelchair, it’s easy to lose track of your items in the rush. Items commonly left at the airport include a collection of canes, walkers, and car seats. Here’s a great way to use those free return address labels that you keep throwing away.
You won’t have a fun or stylish vacation if you leave your carry-on in the terminal. And there’s nothing worse than attending a business meeting in the clothes that you wore on the plane. One of the more interesting items found recently was a duffle bag packed with pastries. We hope to reunite it with its owner before the sweets become stale.
Pro tip: Buy a luggage tag that will not come off in baggage claim, and don’t rely only on the paper tags issued by the airline. Better yet, buy a smart luggage tracker that helps you locate your luggage using a smart phone. Read a review of smart luggage tracking devices from Travel and Leisure.
Remember, the Sea-Tac Lost and Found office will only receive luggage that was lost in the terminal.
If you lost your luggage while in transit, you will need to contact your airlines customer service number and they will be able to guide you through the next steps on how to claim your lost luggage.
Here’s a tip from tripsavvy.com:
"I duct tape a card with my name and address to the inside lid of my backpack and leave a copy of my itinerary and tickets inside in plain sight in the hopes that someone might actually read it if trying to unite me with my bag. To my travel itinerary, I paper clip a sheet with my cell phone number and my home phone and write 'phone number' on it in relevant languages. If your bag is discovered, it's far more likely it'll find its way home to you if it has your details inside."
After parking your car in the second largest parking lot in the world (under one roof), make sure you hold onto your keys. They are often forgotten at TSA security checkpoints and are easy to misplace at the airport. Here are a few ideas for getting your keys back to you quickly.
- It’s not a bad idea to add your business phone number to your personal key fob.
- Keep an extra set of keys at home with contact information for somebody who can help you retrieve them
- Purchase a key finder device that syncs with your cellphone. For instance, Tile can locate your item on a map and put out an alert to other Tile owners in the area so they can help you find them.
- If you lose any of these items in the terminal, promptly fill out a detailed Lost Property Report online for the best chance of locating your lost item.