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Delta outsources Lost & Found: Will you lose?

by on Tue August 19, 2014 • 60 Comments


Leaving an item behind on a plane is an invitation for headaches.

But this year Delta Air Lines made a change that might make you wait longer than before to get a lost item back.

It’s outsourced lost & found handling.

Delta now sends all unidentified found items to a central processing center owned by a third-party unclaimed baggage company.

Basically, items are put on flights to Atlanta a few times a week where they are hauled away to a warehouse in Scottsboro, Alabama.

If you call Delta to report a lost item they’ll tell you to fill out this online form and wait (or pray).

Note that the form is not hosted on, but on an outsourcing company’s website.

Delta (actually, the outsourcing company) will spend 14 days searching the inventory database for your item, but if it doesn’t show up in the system by then, you’ll never see it again.


And the people in Scottsboro are in luck.

Because then Delta will ‘salvage’ your item, which means it sells it to the outsourcing company for pennies on the dollar. And the outsourcing company might then sell your items in its 40,000 square foot store right next to the warehouse, which attracts millions of visitors wanting to buy lost property.


Delta will claim this is a more organized way of dealing with lost items, with more sophisticated inventory handling. Maybe that’s valid for a huge hub like Atlanta.

But it feels like a way for Delta to cut costs at your expense.

Delta is not alone in this

Southwest Airlines uses the very same company to handle its lost and found, with an online form similar to Delta’s.

But at least Southwest makes the company wait a full 30 days before giving up and selling your items.


Delta gives less than half that time, just 14 days before you’ll never see them again.

American and US Airways still handle lost items at the airport.

While United has centralized lost & found in Houston, it hasn’t outsourced it, so there’s less immediate pressure to get your items sold and turned into profit for the airline.

There is a workaround

While Delta phone agents and its website won’t tell you this option, at some airports the items are still held at the local baggage claim office for a day or two before being shipped off.

So if you lose an item, get back to the baggage office quickly and see if it’s there.

As a last resort, if you’re sure your item has been sent to the central facility in Scottsboro, consider calling the company associated with the Scottsboro facility on 256-999-0980, which some readers have reported helps.

But whatever you do, don’t fill out a claim form at the site

The site charges you to fill out a lost property ‘claim’ and has zero relationships with any airline or airport to search for your lost items. It’s just a bulletin board where reports of lost items can be posted, but there is no way for others to contact you if they find your items. It claims to be a lost and found database, but there is no database for ‘found’ items, rendering it virtually useless, and duping thousands of travelers a year.

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60 thoughts on Delta outsources Lost & Found: Will you lose?

  1. Pankaj Patel

    I lost Samsung NOTE 3 on a delta flight from Honolulu to Salt Lake City, I went back to thee gate to ask them to look for it, before it left. The stewardess claimed she did, but i think she did not look carefully. and refused me to go look. I have sent a message via the Android Device Manager, to lock the device and show a contact# to call. It is easy to locate the owner by just turning on the device, but I think they dont care. People have very valuable information on the smart phones, and it only take a little effort to locate owners, as they (Iphones and Androids) have systems to track and locate and even looking at the contacts for OWNER

  2. Susana Garcia

    My husband was travelling from Paris, Charles de Galle to New York and then San Francisco. His flight on the January 27th was cancelled and he flew next day. Now, his luggage didn’t arrived when he arrived in New York. It is almost two weeks and the bag hasn’t been located. I just called the (256) 999-0980. Now, if the bag never left Paris, is this the place to call? Or is there a number in Paris?
    What else can we do. I tried to call SF and NY, but there is no number Delta gives direct numbers.


      @Susana – Lost luggage is different than ‘lost and found.’ If you checked a bag and have a receipt for checking the bag with a tracking number call 1-800-325-8224 or +33 155698468 for the France office.

  3. Anonymous

    So what about if you left something at a foreign airport (Charles de Gaulle in Paris) at a Delta gate. Does that stuff come all the way back to Alabama as well? I left my two month old $260 North Face ski jacket there last Saturday and did not realize it until the plane landed back in the U.S. I was very deflated when the baggage office handed me a card with a website to fill out a form. Great, robots. I knew instantly I would probably never see my coat again, but I did fill out the form on Sunday. This gives a glimmer of hope, though. I thought about maybe calling the lost and foumd office in Paris directly. Any thoughts?

  4. J Bryan

    **Success Story**
    I left my Microsoft Surface in the seatback on a flight from Reno to Salt Lake City yesterday.
    I didn’t have any identifying info on it (shame on me).
    I immediately filled out the online claim form as soon as I realized it (on my next flight, about 2 hours later).

    After reading this thread, I wanted to catch it before it went into the official lost and found system.
    I just called Salt Lake City Lost and Found and Laurie (very helpful and nice) said she would ask the person who handles Delta lost and found, but she said they would only have it if it was in the concourse (not the plane). I figured it was worth a shot, but not likely since I knew I left it on the plane.

    She came back on the line and told me that they had it and she’d transfer me over!

    A very nice and helpful guy named Cal came on the line and confirmed that they have it and asked for my credit card info to ship it via UPS. He then politely advised that I should label it with some contact info.

    For what it’s worth – if they didn’t have it at Salt Lake City, I was prepared to call all of the places that aircraft has been since then (Detroit, Washington, Minneapolis, La Guardia, and Denver (in 24 hours – wow) since I figured it was just as likely to be discovered in any of those locations. This info can be tracked down on and getting the aircraft tail number from the flight and then tracking the tail number.

    So my success came from calling the airport lost and found and having them put me in touch with the delta folks. The key here was to catch it before it got shipped to the 3rd party lost and found center.

    Hope others can have a similar experience!

  5. S Benfield

    I left my iPad on a flight to Dulles. Filled out the lost & found form. Then watched as my fully charged iPad stopped at UPS centers down to Atlanta where I live. I thought–great–it is coming to me. Passed me by and went to Scottsboro, AL. I know that is where they sell Unclaimed Luggage so I’m thinking maybe it is going there. Nope–it stops at this shopping center for a day. I google map it and don’t see anything except a Dollar General and some other stores. Looked again the next day and zoomed in more and see ‘Lost and Found Central’. This looks promising. I tried calling but got a message saying they don’t answer the phone. Two minutes later, Delta emails me and said my iPad was found. I found this site by googling Lost and Found Central. So the system does work or can work. I was able to watch my iPad over a week because it was 100% charged when I left it on the plane.


      @S Benfield – Glad it was found for you. Looks like there are a couple ‘Lost and Found Central’ numbers – (256) 417-8433 and (256) 999-0980.

  6. Lea

    Ours is a success story thanks to that number being posted. My daughter left a brand new verizon childrens tablet on a stressful flight home. She realized about 30 minutes after leaving the airport. Delta numbers/staff were no help….BUT the folks at lost and found central were very helpful and four weeks later (Christmas holidays) the tablet just arrived at the door. If not for the info here, we may have never received the tablet.

  7. Cassie M

    CALL THAT NUMBER!!! They will answer, A REAL PERSON! I got my issue figured out within days after I filed my report because of the phone number. The DELTA airline warehouse is: 256-259-1525. I was talking in a private message on twitter to Delta and this is the number of the warehouse in Scottsboro, AL. My boyfriend called for me because I obviously was without a phone, and the email for the shipping was sent to me within 1 minute!

    1. Caden Howell

      I just called the number and got the operator and they were no help whatsoever. She told me that Delta holds the lost items for 90 days. It sounds wrong, but I don’t know how i can get them to help me find my 2 lost Kindles.

      1. patrick downes

        You have to call 256 999 0980. I just did and they found my son’s ipad in less than 20 minutes. So if they have it, they will find it. The man was super helpful and competent.

  8. Melissa

    Wow–thank you so much! I left my cell on Southwest flight. After three weeks, Find My IPHone said the phone was in Scotsboro Alabama (location of Unclaimed, the vendor who matches lost items and reports for Southwest & Delta). All efforts to get Southwest to assist were fruitless and frustrating! Using the phone number provided by an earlier poster, I called and within two minutes the person who answered had found my phone and is sending it back. Number is 256-999-0980.


    I have been searching for a way to contact Southwest Lost and Found for over a month. I did everything they told me to do “fill out a report and wait”. What a joke! I tried everything – baggage claim at my local airport (who did remember my item but told me it had been sent to Lost and Found), nagging anyone who would listen at Southwest for a contact person for Lost and Found. Nobody else UNTIL I found this article. I called the number someone had listed for lost and found, got a caring person who pulled up my report and then looked for my item, and she found it!! It should never be this hard to get your items back. My item was unique so it would have been easy to find if someone had bothered to match up my report to the item. She said the reason it wasn’t a match was because I had said on the form the backpack was called “Concept Wine Backpack” and they had it entered as “Concept Picnic”. So go back and revise your lost and found forms to include different variations of the name of the item. The number to call is:+1 (256) 999-0980

  10. happy ending

    I, too, lost a computer most likely by leaving it on a Delta flight (but a slight possibility it fell out of the backpack in the cab). When I got home sans computer I followed the advice and immediately tried to recover the laptop from the destination airport. Although it was a bit of an effort to get past the automatic answering responses and get to a person, I was successful through Delta ticketing at the airport. The airport people were great, but did not have my laptop. It must have returned to Atlanta. Then the Atlanta nightmare. VERY, VERY hard to get anything like a person who was able to contact Lost & Found.

    These were the useful numbers. 404-714-2622 (the actual L&F but only an automated message – -I left several kindly desperate ones)

    404-714-0538 the Baggage claim office next to Lost and Found and can tell you if they are in the office.

    My computer was returned. It had been turned on and someone had gone into the system information (probably by pressing F1 or F8 before it boots up) but they did not get into personal stuff.

    GOOD LUCK everyone. Perhaps this is an issue of stealing. . . . .

  11. Veronica

    Hi everyone,

    I have been crying all day, I flew from Philadelphia to Detroit Yesterday, 10/1/16, arrived in Detroit around 11:20am , I forgot my HP laptop on my seat. In the middle of midterms and paper and projects I decided to hold to my laptop during the flight so I can work on a paper, but I was in the middle seat, and decided it was too crowed to use my laptop, so I just read a book and left my laptop in its sleeve next to me, standing up. I was running late to a wedding, and when we arrived there was a wait to get out (there was someone sitting in the window seat next to me, I still wonder if she saw my laptop, and why wouldn’t she say something, maybe she didn’t see it?) I spent 5 hours on the airport talking to baggage claim and lost and found, and no results 🙁 It also seems that for them it is an everyday thing, but for me my laptop is of very high importance (I’m a doctoral student, and I had all of my school work, thesis, papers, everything in there 🙁 ) in there. I cannot stop crying, I have reached out to Delta when I arrived back in Philly today, no one wants to give you any phone numbers. I hope who every found it returns it, I’m praying so much for this. If anyone else has any suggestions on what to do next? if they can’t find it, can I open an investigation? Has anyone done this?

  12. Cynthia Deluise

    Left apple MacBook Pro on delta flight 4161 arriving JFK 8-12-16. I am desperate to get it back. I gave serial number and identifying Sticker on front cover. I have done everything except go back to JFK to see if it is still sitting in terminal 4 delta baggage office. Does anyone recommend that at this late date? I called JFK delta baggage office several times earlier in week and was able to speak to a human who said it was not there.
    So far two automatic emails received from Delta lost and found about finding nothing. Can anyone offer any suggestions? I have to get it back. I have never been so frustrated.

  13. William

    I left my Sony Viao on a delta flight and I have not received anything besides they cannot located email after filling out both forms for Atlanta and Delta. After reading these blogs you could almost assume that the lost found out sourcing idea created a profitable and there are really no real attempts to return lost property. This should be investigated!

    1. Frances O.

      I left my iPad on a delta flight in June. I went through the process online but only got the usual email. On August 22nd I got an email from the lost and found company saying my case was closed because they couldn’t locate my iPad.
      I immediately started a search for the company’s info and found this chat. I called the number on one of the posts and someone answered. She was very helpful and asked for the serial number to help locate the iPad. I couldn’t find it and she said to call back when I have it. I went to the Apple Store, got the info and called the next day. She found the iPad but it was labeled as salvage. She called back, asked for my code to unlock it as a confirmation that it was mine. She sent the iPad to me by FedEx and it only cost $18 and some change. I have my iPad back!!
      The number to call is
      +1 (256) 999-0980
      Scottsboro, AL
      I hope this helps you.

      1. Cynthia de Luise

        Dear Frances O –
        Thank you so much for posting this very happy ending to your story. It gives me great hope that I will be reunited with my laptop as well. I am so happy that you were able to get your iPad back.

        It’s been one month and still no word. I call Scottsboro, Alabama (the number that you posted) every weekday to get a status update. They told me to open another report so that the case stays open for longer to give them more time to find the laptop.

        I hope that I get luck like you did.

        Thank you – again.

      2. Lisa

        Thank you so much for posting this. I am going to call first thing in the morning. My son left my ipad on the airplane two weeks ago November 25th. Had we known they would have kept it in baggage claim for a day or so, we would have check there. They immediately told us to fill out the paperwork online and we will hear from someone. My husband is a Diamond member and called all the numbers he had possible and still got the runaround. This is making me sick and I am obsessed with finding this item. Detroit airport logs nothing, you think they would have logged what came in and out of Baggage Claim, but according to them, they do not! So happy you found your item!

    2. Lisa

      Agreed – if Delta is profiting from this it is criminal. If they aren’t – it’s still crummy and negligent. It has been made crystal clear to me that they don’t care one iota about thier customers. I lost a necklace with my engagement ring, wedding ring, a cross and a mother/child pendant with diamonds in the bathroom of a Delta flight. (TMI ahead – I had air sickness and was cleaning up in the bathroom when we landed. The only people left on the plane when I got out of the bathroom was the cleaning crew and flight crew! Still was led down the black hole of Delta Lost and Found.) Thank you so much for this phone number, I will try calling it today and will report back.

  14. Linda

    Does anyone know of a business or person I could pay to go to look at the lost luggage store and try to find a lost item of sentimental value? At this point, I would be happy to buy it back if only I had someone to go look for me.

  15. Melanie

    I left my iPad on a Delta flight that landed in Tampa on March 12, 2016. John from Delta’s baggage claim office in the Tampa airport was very helpful. He reassured me they’d do everything possible to retrieve my iPad. To make a long story short, the iPad was shipped to Alabama. I had ended up submitting a lost item form online and was notified that my iPad was found when it arrived in Alabama. It was shipped back home to me two days later. I highly recommend submitting a lost item report online. Delta’s service was a relief and much appreciated in this instance. I am very sorry for others who have posted here and who have not had their left items returned.

    1. Lisa

      Did you have to supply the serial number for you ipad? I don’t have the box and don’t have the serial number anywhere, bought it from best buy back in 2013 and they did not print them on the receipt back then. HELP!

  16. donna

    My daughter left her driver’s license on a SW flight. Another passenger found it, turned it in and then saw my daughter to let her know. She had to catch her connecting flight, so she couldn’t retrieve it at that time. She called the airport the next morning, the airline had identified the license, saying they had it in their possession. She told them she wanted it back and inquired about how to do that. They said she needed a FedEx acct. so they could send it back. She called me and I called the airport, hoping that I could just have them mail it to us directly if I sent them the postage (mind you, our home address is on the license and could’ve been easily returned). They said “no”. I made it clear that we wanted the item back. So a couple of days later, I made a FedEx acct. I called them to have it sent to us, and they told me they sent it to Alabama! This all occurred in a matter of five days. We have made many phone calls and done online research, with frustrating results. My question is (other than what happened to human decency): Now that I know that items are sold through this facility, how do they handle personal identification? How secure is my daughter’s personal information? Would they sell her id? How can I find out? Thank you for your reply


      @donna – Terrible to hear that. What airport and what desk at the airport were you speaking to? At this point you may want to report the license lost.


    I feel for everyone who has to deal with Delta lost baggage in Augusta, GA – I am currently dealing with two pieces of lost luggage now for 7 days and I am vacationing in Barbados. Flew in from Atlanta – I have given up as Delta last told me three days ago that the bags were placed onboard the Royal Princess cruise ship from St. Lucia to Barbados which is not true (as I and not Delta) tracked down the shipping agents in Barbados who had no knowledge of the bags. I called Royal Princess cruises directly and they sent a message to the ship which was traveling to St. Thomas. The following day I received a phone call from the Pursers office on my cell and he informed me that there were no bags with my name or description onboard. Kudos to Princess Cruise Lines. I confronted Delta baggage with this info and all I hear is that it is after 5 days, please complete the lost baggage form and thanks for flying Delta – have a nice day. That’s it in a nutshell…..

    1. Jeff

      I left a laptop on a plane last week, 3/22. I have had nothing but total runarounds from Delta ever since. I am a Million Miler and delta could care less. I have NEVER seen such poor management and systems in place that do not work, nor do the employees care. One person laughed and said good luck! I spoke to a “Manager” at the Detroit airport who was a total joke, and had no idea how lost items are handled, as she said everything was sent to Arkansas. Now I read and see, Atlanta, Alabama, another mgr. told me NC ! it’s almost funny………..the phone number I was given for Lost and found is for baggage only,NOT LOST ITEMS !!! I ask if they could look at a log book to see what was sent last week from either Manchester NH or Detroit to “wherever” stuff goes and they looked at me like I was nuts…..they keep no logs…….come on DELTA get your crap together!!!

      1. Carolyn Bennett

        Jeff – I feel your pain. I lost my iPad on a trip from Manila to LA March 17th. I completed the on-line lost & found without much hope of seeing it again. About 10 days ago I purchased a replacement iPad. Today I was notified that my “lost item” was located, I needed to pay for shipping and it is scheduled to reach my home on 4-20. I’m amazed – and will be more amazed when I receive the “lost item”. Hoping it’s my iPad!! Thank goodness for cloud technology – recovered most but not all contents. We used that same technology to disable and clean the data – now how to make it workable again.
        I wish you a positive outcome! Carolyn

  18. Anna

    I have traveled with Delta for years. I have the Delta AmEx card. At this time (2016 and beyond) I am envisioning flying with Delta at least 4 times each month. I consider myself a loyal customer.

    As I boarded my flight last Sunday (Mar. 6, LAX, Flight 129) to sit down in row 2 (c) I realized that the lady next to me was traveling with her husband although he sat in row 1 (b). I asked if they would prefer to sit next to each other. They did and subsequently I moved to row 1. However the overhead bin did not allow for additional storage (according to the crew) so my computer bag was left in its original location (row 2).

    During the flight I used my lap top and when the flight crew announced it was time to descend, the steward took the lap top and placed it in the head bin. Once the plane landed (Seattle) I struggled to get a hold of my bag. Given the fact that all passengers are keen to debark it can be challenging. It creates a crisscross of flow but in the end I managed to grab the bag without disturbing my fellow passengers to much or interrupt the flow of departing passengers. I picked up the rest of my luggage and went home. Only to realize that the lap top was missing.

    The lap top it turned out had been stowed in a separate overhead bin. It was discovered in Vegas (!). I am absolutely desperate to get this lap top back. It is my work computer and is crucial to my work life.

    For days I have been in trying to communicate with Delta staff trying to locate the PC or at least get an update. No luck. The Delta representatives do acknowledge that the PC was found (in Vegas) but is unable to give any further information which is discouraging, alarming and upsetting.

    One Delta representative suggested that I call Vegas’ lost and found (702-261-5526). It was presented as my “best bet”. I called. The Delta representative was not very helpful or kind. She asked why I was calling. I explained (to locate a lost item) however she was still unable to comprehend why I called. She did not ask for any details (type of PC, model, item serial number etc.) instead she proceeded to relay that there had been 3 shipments of lost and found items since Sunday. Apparently no one could relay what those shipments entailed, where the lost items went or if they had gone through any formal process (such as logging, recording, packaging and so forth).

    I have spent my entire career in logistics and realize that reverse logistics is challenging. I also know that it requires through itemizing of each item, triangulation of location and great staff that are truly keen to close the loop by matching a lost item with its owner. At this time I see nothing of this process in place with Delta.

    In addition, it is frightening to realize that the 3rd party vendor that Delta is employing take no calls from travelers (such as me) who has lost a personal belonging. This in combination that it sell refurbished items (via store front) – is alarming. Think about it – according to Delta, lost items get shipped to its 3rd party vendor in Alabama SANS any itemizing or record keeping. According to Delta, it simply rally up all lost items and send them to the vendor. This process has no accountability. Because Delta does not know what was sent to the vendor (number of items, type of items etc) – the vendor seemingly have a carte blanche.

    I have now called over 8 different phone numbers (including the Diamond Desk), sent emails and used twitter. No information retrieved. There is NO phone number or other communication channels to connect with the 3rd party vendor “managing” lost and found for Delta. On top of this – Delta representatives will not be the conduit talking to its vendor on my behalf. It is a black-whole and a closed system seemingly designed not to retrieve lost items to its owner.

    If you have any additional advice – please share.



      @Anna – A terrible story – our only advice at this point is to contact – a good consumer advocate, and also consider a complaint with the Department of Transportation about this lack of accountability.

  19. Erika

    Egregious Left an iPad on board in seat pocket Got off plane and realized this. plane was at the gate parked. I was in Atlanta for two hours waiting for a connection NOBODY was able to get on this plane or radio crew on the plane or radios the cleaning crew on the plane.I had to fill out the form and its been 3 weeks. Nothing! WTF?! I provided all the info and the seat number! The iPad is engraved with my name. The thing is not LOST it was LEFT!


      @Erika – That’s a terrible situation. Strange that the agent couldn’t go down when they were getting ready to board the next flight.

    2. Mary

      I left in my seat (not lost, left) a very expensive scarf ($1300) and they refused to allow me to retrieve. This is theft for them not to return it. And I had a first class seat. If I were an attorney I’d start a class action suit against them. Completely unacceptable.

  20. J. R. Kennedy

    I left my brand new CPAP sleep unit and case on flight #2500 from Louisville to Atlanta on November 8th at about 9:30 pm…I’ve filled out the forms for Hartsfield Airport and feedback from Airport lost & Found,
    A couple of ” still looking” emails from Delta..The information was given the next day to both entities…
    This was my first time traveling with it… I feel like an idiot losing make matters worse, I had no name on the grey case, just the manufacturers tag..ResMed, inc….very expensive ventilator type unit…any hope? Is it more likely in the Delta system or Hartsfield Atlanta? …Do they make any effort to contact? The manufacturer says the serial # on the unit would identify the distributor, the distributor would identify me…any hope?


      @J.R. – Sorry to hear about that. If you contacted Delta in person that’s about all you can do at this point. Maybe worth trying to call them again on 1-800-325-8224.

      1. Helen Pollard

        I am wondering why gave out this 800 number when, if you left an item on a plane, you’re told to fill out a form on Why suggest this?

  21. Katie

    I lost my item (Kindle) and it was found. Woohoo! Or so I thought… It was shipped via FedEx, and while the tracking system said it was delivered, I never received my Kindle. Delta deferred me to their 3rd party company who then deferred me to FedEx. FedEx denied my claim because “signature required” was not selected- which was out of my control and not selected by this company. If I had lost my kindle and it had never been found then I think I could handle it. But the fact that it was found then lost again…. Not ok. Any suggestions?


      @Katie – What a mess. So sorry to hear about that. Would say follow up with Delta that their third party company didn’t follow common sense and require a signature for a valuable item. Alternative is to bring up small claims with the third party company.

  22. Lisa

    What does Delta do with contents such as business/legal documents, manuals, or items that would not be appropriate for resale?

  23. beverly

    I want to buy unclaimed baggage fro the airline. please send me infromation . Tank you. May God Bless you.

  24. DeltaFlyer

    I actually did receive get my left iPad back.

    I recently left my iPad on a Delta flight. Realized it later that evening, filed the report. Got the standard “We’re looking real hard” email. 2 days later, received an email saying “we haven’t found it yet”, we’re still looking, but after 2 weeks we will consider this closed.

    I set an alert to play a sound, and alert me when the iPad shows up on the network using Apples “Find my iPhone” feature.

    Five days after I lost the iPad I received an alert that it was turned on and gave me the location of Scotsboro Alabama. A friend recalled the Unclaimed Baggage store located there so I called. They told me it wouldn’t be there yet…it was probably in a lost and found center also in Scotsboro (they implied it was not part of their business). They said they didn’t have a phone number, but they did have an email and “they are usually responsive”.

    I called the Diamond desk, told them my iPad had shown up in the Lost and Found center, and asked if they could track it down for me. After 20 minutes of trying and escalating, they were as frustrated as I was that there is absolutely no access into the Lost and Found center. They said there was nothing they could do as no one could get a number to call.

    I reset the alert message on the iPad to include the Delta claim number, and sent an email to the customer service address I was given by the retail store telling them my phone had turned on in their center and to call me.

    30 minutes later I received a machine generated message that my iPad had been found and asked for how I wanted to pay for the shipping to get it back.

    So you can get something back. But if I hadn’t seen the alert, and if I hadn’t known about the Lost Baggage store being in the town where it was found…I would have concluded the iPad was taken by someone. A google map search of the location only shows a small town strip mall. Nothing indicating a Lost and Found center.

    Three lessons:

    1. Clearly Delta never tried to match the iPad to it’s owner while it was in the Atlanta lost and found. All they had to do was open up the case and turn it on to see if there was owner information. So going back to the airport is the best option for recovery.

    2. I think it is very borderline that Delta would outsource Lost and Found to a business that benefits by NOT matching lost items to lost reports. This is not consistent with Delta’s values and how they handle their high value customers.

    3. Delta does not make it easy to track. When the Delta Diamond desk can’t get through to the lost and found center, it is clear they do not want you to find your items. Had I not connected the city my iPad showed up in with knowledge of the Lost Baggage center, I would never have known.

    You can get it back…but the odds are against you.

    Delta does many things great. This is not one of them. In fact, I think it has to be very borderline in terms of everything they promote regarding Customer Service and the value they place on premium flyers.


      @DeltaFlyer – Great advice – but such a shame it took all of that to get the iPad returned. Can you share the email of the lost and found center?

  25. Emma M.

    I’m just wondering if anyone has received their lost items back from Delta’s outsourced lost and found? I lost an item last week, went back to the gate and to lost and found and they said they would ship it to the lost and found if found. I filled out the form, but have heard nothing back.

  26. Britta

    same exact story as JE Carroll — I am giving up on getting my phone back and it’s only been 6 days. Unfortunately I was on an international flight and discovered my phone was lost while in the KLM lounge of the Amsterdam airport, which complicated matters. The delta manager onsite was nasty to the helpful woman in the lounge and I have no faith they actually searched my seat. @deltaassist claimed they contacted my departure airport (where the plane was returning) to alert them my phone was likely still on the plane… With no response or help. I called baggage claim there the next day, they had no idea I had left a message and items were already boxed to ship – they couldn’t check. A few years ago I lost a notebook on my plane. It was waiting for me at my gate at my return flight after very helpful and personalized customer service and gate agents helped me out. This new system takes that personal touch out of the process and SUCKS for delta customers who have been loyal for years. I am pissed!

  27. Jacqueline Cassar

    As many of you, i left my iPad on the plane. I tried to reach someone with no luck. so I filled out the necessary documents online. Following I received a auto response to my complaint two days later, saying they were still searching. In the mean time was watch my iPad (via iPhone tracker) go from Orlando airport, up highway 95, ending up in Huntsville Alabama, to Deltas outsourcing baggage claim. Which I should remind all of you, Oprah featured this place as a great bargain shopping destination. After countless phone calls it seemed hopeless. I finally got my husband involved who is a million mile flyer, and has a special number for Delta. Even that did not help. He finally sent a nasty email complaint to Delta explaining the situation, mind you it has been over a month now, in a reply e mail from Delta, they said the typical YOU HAVE TO FILL OUT THE LOST APPLICATION ON LINE (seriously) , one more nasty reply to this email, and they once again asked for serial number. I get they have hundreds of left items, however they need a better system. Ibelieve the online application never gets regarded. It seems to me that the whole thing is a scam.
    It sat one day at Orlando airport before it was transported. My mistake for not trying to get in touch with baggage claim at the airport. however, Delta makes it SO difficult to find numbers to anything related to such. on a lighter note, I now will always make sure all of my personal effects, iPad, phone, earphones etc have my personal information on them.


      @Jacqueline – Sorry to hear about this. Sounds like that less than 24 hour window where it’s at the airport it was found is the only reliable window – and visiting the baggage office before it gets hauled off is the only hope.

      That tracking right up to Huntsville and the lost baggage store is chilling.

  28. Eddiemac

    I’m quite sure my mistake has turned into Delta profit (or the “outsourced charity” to which my laptop has arrived). Even a thief will spend $40 to buy a power supply to turn on my locked / password-protected MacBook Air. Delta has dismissed every human contact I’ve attempted to make in retrieving my laptop. I was fortunate enough to retrace my travel through a planned business trip. “Did you fill out the online form?” “Oh, it’s probably gone, then.” – said 45 minutes after reporting it.

    Frustrated with my senseless trip: yes. Angry with my carelessness: yes. Apalled at Delta’s callous program: you bet. Giving up: no freakin’ way.

  29. Eddiemac

    This report sheds light on my biggest fear: that my lost property is being held for profit. I left a MacBook Air on a Delta flight from Daytona Beach to Atlanta on March 6th. I’ve had NO PERSONAL OR TELE CONTACT FROM DELTA AIRLINES. NONE. I’ve filled out a claim, gotten the number, and have gotten nothing for an update.

    Here’s the thing: I’ve got my machine synced for ‘Find My Mac’. It has not been turned on or connected since I lost it. Yes, it could have been stolen by the next traveller to occupy my seat, but that traveller really needs to know what they are doing to avoid the alerts.

    The Delta Lost & Found strikes me as very unwilling to ‘search for my lost item’, as it seems to be a problem they wish not to engage.

    I don’t know what my next move is going to be, as my 14 day period is close to an end.

    Please advise.


      @Eddiemac – Really sorry to hear about that. There’s not much in the new system you can do other than try to hound the lost luggage company in Alabama or pay a visit to the Delta baggage office in Atlanta if you live there.

    2. J E Carroll


      I am convinced that Delta has an unofficial “lost/left behind” electronics theft policy. I left my Note 3 on a plane, realized it before I left the airport, returned to the gate, was told they didn’t find it on the plane, immediately filled out their lost item form, went to customer service who kindly called the arrival gate for the planes next stop in Detroit (which I had looked up online), was told the flight attendant found the phone and that the RedCoat supervisor was taking it to baggage claim there. Asked baggage claim in my city to call baggage claim in Detroit(DTW). “I would but they never answer their phone. In the 9 years I’ve worked here, they’ve never answered.” That is a problem that should be reported then. I got the number from an unnamed Delta staffer and called myself. They answered in two rings but claimed they never received my phone. DTW baggage claim has a policy of holding lost or unclaimed luggage and other items for 24 hours before shipping to their third party. Ridiculous!! I have heard nothing from Delta or their third party processor since the sixth day after the phone was lost/found when they sent a perfunctory email saying they are still looking. That was six days ago. I have two days left before they close my claim and sell my phone even though they told me they had it and I provided a description and serial number on the claim form. In their greed, they don’t think about the irreplaceable last text of a lost loved one or documentation that may help in a custody case. A very sad state of affairs at Delta which I intend to bring to light at every opportunity. Just take a look on Twitter at the posts from @DeltaAssist regarding lost items. All pretty much say, “Fill out the form. If they don’t call you, they didn’t find it.” I’d like this practice investigated and will be searching the Internet, Twitter, FaceBook and any other electronic or social media for people having the same issue and will contact media, USDOT/FAA or anyone else until this gets attention. I’ll check back in a week or so to see if you got your item returned. Good luck!

  30. Keri

    I had a similar situation to Maureen, SEA BSO called to tell me I left and item and they would make a one-time exception to hold it for me until I returned at 5:30 the next morning. It was my IPad and they also attached my itinerary and contact information to this so I would easily be able to retrieve it when I arrived at BSO. It was no where to be found and I was told to fill out an online report. It will be 2 weeks on Monday and my report will be closed and IPad will be auctioned to the store mentioned above (per the Delta Corporate office). I also have an engraving on my IPad as well as a case, which is all noted on the report. What I don’t understand is how something with my contact information taped to it, does not get matched to the report I filled out with my contact information on it. I’m baffled. I’m a platinum medallion on Delta and have been extremely loyal over the years. This is just absolutely ridiculous and makes me think this could be just another profit center for Delta, in a world where these businesses try to make a buck however they can. Word to wise: don’t lose anything on Delta!!!

    1. Eddiemac

      I went to a lost and found at New Orleans International Airport: they had a STACK of iPads. I’m not kidding: maybe a dozen! I asked, “Why aren’t these turned into TSA or put on a reported missing list?” “these computers have been here for months.”

  31. Maureen Jones

    I left a tablet with earphones attached in my business class seat Nov. 18 when I went through customs in Seattle and on to San Diego. I realized I had done that when I was in customs and went through security to get to my next flight. I went immediately to the gate for my next flight and the agent called about the tablet. She said they if they found it they could not get it to me at my departing gate in time for my departure. The following day, I picked up a message on my cell phone left by the lead mechanic for the plane on which I had left the tablet. It said that it had been retreived at 12:15 p.m. and would be sent to customs and on to baggage claim lost and found. That was plenty of time to retreive but I did not get the message while still there. The following morning I filled in the lost form and placed a call to this fellow, Paul. He called me back and explained he had tried to reach me but that by now, the next morning, it would have been boxed up and sent to central place mentioned here. HE gave me his name and employee number and wished me luck. I edited my claim telling them it had been found. He got my number because it says on the screen, If found, please call this number, which he did. So I know they have it. I have not heard from them and am concerned about the 14 day thing. What else can I do


      @Maureen – Sorry to hear you missed such a close call.

      Just make sure the description you have in there is very very accurate and you make it clear that while it was recovered, it is still not in your possession. The lost luggage handling company is related to this store:

      But unfortunately don’t think the store side will be of much help with finding your item.


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