Advertiser Disclosure

Delta outsources Lost & Found: Will you lose?

by on Tue August 19, 2014 • 85 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.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.

"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

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

  1. Jacqueline Didcock

    I left my iPhone at Duty Free shop in Terminal 4 of JFK. I called the phone and a shop assistant answered and told me he had it. I then called Delta’s UK customer services number and the agent asked me to file a lost item report (number 1449552) which I did. I have also been in contact with Delta over social media and they arranged for someone from their airport leadership team to call the shop assistant at Duty Free and asked him to hand the phone in to baggge services. The shop assistant confirmed the name of the person who originally called him and of the person he physically handed the phone to. I have had no further contact from Delta to arrange shipping despite both the shop assistant and the Delta social media representative confirming Delta have the phone. I then get a generic email from the lost item report today saying they are still “diligently looking for my item” even though I know they have it. I go back on to social media agent today (someone different) saying they called baggage office at JFK and no one can locate information about my phone!! Has it been sent to Scottsboro? How long will it take to get there or when shall I call? HELP!!

    1. Melody Dufrene

      Delta will NOT get back with you about shipping your phone back to you. They do not handle that and you will have to speak with someone in Scottsboro. I would call them now and let them know what you are looking for and what information you have about it. Such as name tag on it, type of case, serial number, anything that can help to identify it. They are very nice and may already have your lost item. If they don’t have it yet, then they can be on the look out for it and reach out to you. As my item was there but there was an issue with my married name on one thing and I have switched back to my maiden name, so my item was there and just waiting for me to call. Best of luck

  2. Linda C

    Another success story! It took 11 days after I left my 11″ MacBook Air in the seat back pocket for it to get to the Scottsboro lost and found center. I realized I had left it as soon as I got home and went to pull it out of my briefcase. I filed an lost item report immediately with Delta. It helped that I had a record of my device’s serial number that I could add to the report. I called the service center several times over the 11 day period. I never did speak with anyone but each time, my voice mail was responded to with an email within 5 minutes of leaving the voice mail. Finally on the 11th day, my laptop arrived at the service center and was matched up with the lost item report. What a relief!

  3. Mary

    The system worked for us! My daughter left her iPad on a plane and didn’t realize it until she was packing up to head home 5 days later. She filed the Delta online form for lost items and then I dug around online, found this blog post and called the number listed several times in the comment string: 256-999-0980. The gentleman who answered was very courteous and helpful. They didn’t have the item yet but he said it can take 1-1.5 weeks until they receive the items. He also assured me that they enter all iPad serial numbers into their system so if they’re listed on the loss claim forms, then they’ll be connected to the owner. I didn’t have the serial number on hand when I called but I described some other identifiers on the case. A few hours later, I received an email notice that they have an item that seems to fit our description so I called back, reached that same gentleman and BINGO! He said when they received the item, he recognized the descriptors I provided when we spoke earlier. I opted for 2-day return shipping and I just received it today via FedEx — right on time. While losing something on a plane is nerve wracking and inconvenient, Delta’s system with this third party company worked great for us and the staff person was super helpful.

  4. Jill

    My mom lost her phone on a trip home from Hawaii yesterday. I was able to locate it by the Find my Iphone app today. It has been located in LAX terminal 2 Gate 22A. It must have fallen out of her bag there. That is a Delta gate. Do I need to file a report with Delta lost and found if it was in their terminal (and not on their plane) or do I file with LAX? Hopefully it is with Delta since you gave that phone number of the outsourced company in your article. It sounds like some people have had success finding their lost items that way. If I have to file with LAX, it doesn’t sound like I will ever get the phone back. It’s so frustrating to be able to see exactly where the phone is by the app, but not be able to do anything about it. Any information would be of great help. Thank you!


      @Jill – If it’s still in the gate area – any way you can get back there? Maybe no one has picked it up. If it’s still in the gate area, it’s not in the hands of the outsourced company.

  5. #EmbarrassedInStPaul

    We didn’t realize we had left the iPad Pro on the plane for a week. Disney is enough fun that we didn’t even think to use.

    Filed a claim with Delta immediately after noticing it was missing. Called Delta, TSA, the airport lost and found.

    Hadn’t heard from Delta for 60 hours other then a form letter to say they were looking for it.

    Found the Scottsboro number 256-999-0980 here and five minutes later the iPad was found. Spoke to a human being who was very helpful.

    Good luck to everyone else.

    Thanks much

  6. LaToya

    THANK YOU for providing the phone number for the central lost and found location in Scottsboro! I literally just filled out the on-line lost and found report on and tried the phone number for good measure. I’m so grateful that I did because I hit option 2 for the Delta lost and found and was connected with Rebecca. After briefly describing my lost article, she told me that she had just handled it. After giving her verification info, we were able to confirm that it was my item within 5 minutes of the phone call! She also let me know that she was able to get an e-mail address from the item and she was going to e-mail me to let me know she had found it. All I can say is thank you for Rebecca and her great customer service!!! She immediately sent me an e-mail so I could arrange shipment and my lost item will be shipped to me on Monday morning. Yay!!!!!!!

  7. Kathleen

    I lost my Kindle on a Delta plane that landed in Seattle, Washington. (I live in VA.) Thank goodness I thought to google a way to report it missing! (Thanks for the info on this page and for the links to lost/claim forms!) I filled out Delta’s claim form right away, within 2 hours of noticing my missing device. I had NO HOPE of getting it back. HOWEVER, I did! For all of the negatives I’ve read about folks not getting their missing items back, I read few about successes, so wanted to share my experience. A serial number is most helpful to those folks looking for your missing item. Share if you have it! Be very descriptive with where you were sitting on the plane. (In my case, I switched seats with my daughter…) That will help them know where to look, or match up with where an item was discovered on the plane. And, I learned I should label my items before flying. Losing something is never intentional. It’s an accident. So, I will be better prepared for my next trip. Good luck to everyone out there. And know, some folks do get their missing items back. Mine came back to me in pristine condition and was packaged extremely well when shipped!

    1. Jasmine

      Hi, i left my iPad on a plane, I made a claim, waited for 14 days and got an email back from delta saying that they couldn’t find it. I am tempted to to call the company’said but the problem is that I lost the iPad about a month ago and don’t know if it could be there. And I would like to know when you lost your Kindle and when you called the number. It would be very helpful. Thank you

      1. Danielle


        I walked off the plane with my carry on still in the overhead. I realized I left it about 5 minutes after I walked off, but you can’t enter the gate once you leave. I called relentlessly and for sure thought I would never get it back. They were dismissive and practically said sorry, your fault for leaving it. I didn’t give up and i miraculously got an AMAZING employee who went the extra mile and actually just checked the bag that was under their noses the whole time. Delta may give you a number of the airport’s central security office which houses electronics, phones, iPads, etc. but i called delta’s baggage services at JFK. DONT GIVE UP!

  8. Matt Mann

    I left my GoPro on a flight back to Heathrow from salt city. I have try everyone to get hold of delta. But not been able to speak to someone. They useless. I have filled a form. Gone back to the terminal to there service desk. But no one there. The virgin team couldn’t even give me a number. Any help on how to increase chances of finding my GoPro world be amazing. As had over 400 videos of a once in a lift time dream road trip down Californian. Thank you

  9. Melody Dufrene

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! If not for your blog I may have NEVER retrieved my laptop from Delta. I called the 256-999-0980 number as listed and was actually able to speak with someone. My laptop was there and they apologized for the delay in getting back with me, but there was a problem with how it was tagged for lost and found. Today makes 19 days since I filed my lost and found claim. Delta is even paying for the shipping fee back to me due to the delay in getting my item back to me. I had left my laptop on the plane in a rush to not miss my connecting flight due to a mechanical delay of 45 minutes, and was told by the Captain on my connecting flight that my laptop was located and sent to Lost and Found, not knowing how difficult it would actually be. I again can’t thank you enough for the information. I am a nursing student and have so much information on that laptop, not to mention the money it would have cost for a replacement!!

    Calling the 256-999-0980 was the key to my success

    1. Melody Dufrene


      Confirmation email received, laptop has shipped and will be back to me on Monday. Once again, thank you for the information

    2. Carol Vesecky

      Thank you, Melody, for including the number in your post! I called there and received courteous service. The notebook computer I left on a Delta flight was even located and I was able to arrange for its return!

      All this after carefully filling out a lost item report and two complaints at the appropriate Delta site and not even getting an acknowledgment. Calling Customer Care twice also didn’t help; they could not even connect with the service receiving the reports filed online.

      All’s well that ends well; anyway hopefully my computer will be back home tomorrow!

      1. Carol Vesecky

        Hmmm, sorry I didn’t include the number for others; now I can’t see it in Melody’s post and can’t retrieve it from my old-fashioned phone. :- (

        But it should be somewhere in this string….

  10. Elisabet Morgan

    I left my IPad in the airplane flying to Atlanta. I realized about it two hours later. Went back to gate and was told that yes they found it but it was in the secured box and only one person has the key. So asked to contact that person. Since I was flying to Spain and wouldn’t be back for 6 weeks. They answered me to go to D27and across there is a Delta help counter. What a jocke…. I begged them to help me to get it, I offer to pay that person to come and open the box…. The answers were NO WE CANNOT, NO then we would have to do it with everybody. The man was very rude. I explained I had documents needed for my surgery and that I would have to do all the tastings again. He didn’t care. He called the person that has the key to confirm they only go bye the boxes once a day and they start at 6:00pm. I asked why not to request to start a little earlier and that way I could get mine since nice it was 5:00 and my flight was leaving at 5:44…. The answer again was…… NO THEY CANNOT DO THAT! And I was asked to go to my flight.
    I have been searching for a phone number to call and came along this information, I’m praying it still there and can be returned to me. Thank you for the information I hope it works.

    1. Elisabet Morgan

      customerservice at

      This is the email address to the Scottsboro location, if you cannot reach them on the phone then e-mail them.
      They are open from 7:30 to 4:00 central time from Monday to Friday and found many blogs saying they help and find your items. I hope they find mine

    2. Elisabet

      Called the number and they found it! Very nice people, very helpful, so happy. Still no emails from Delta.
      Don’t give hope up and call the number!

  11. Cathy E. Grosso

    My boss lost a tote bag in Detroit Metro Delta Airlines on 6-4-17. I submitted a report on line and it was located. I filled out the form and paid to have it shipped overnight to him on Friday 6-9-17. Report/Claim # 1201252. The bag did not arrive on 6-10-17 nor has it been delivered today 6-11-17. Please advise the status of this bag. Mr. Craft is leaving town again on Thursday and he needs to have this bag before that time.


      @Cathy – Sorry to hear about that. We’re not Delta so don’t have info on the status, but give a call to the numbers mentioned here to see if you can get any help.

  12. Vanessa B

    Thanks to the info on this page, my item has been found. I had given up hope with Delta to be honest, but I phoned the number at Scottsboro & they were fantastic. They explained the process and that even though I had left the iPad on the flight 8 days previously, if it had been handed in, it wouldn’t arrive at their facility until later this week. This morning I received an email saying it has been located & would be shipped back to me!! OVER THE MOON!!!
    Don’t give up hope!

    1. Vanessa B

      I received the lost iPad just over 2 weeks ago, thank you Scottsboro! I’ve just had an email from Delta saying that the search continues….we are diligently looking for your lost item!!!!????

      1. Jessica jones

        I lefty iPad on a flight 3 weeks ago, I kept getting emails saying they were diligently searching too and I gave up hope. 2 days ago I got an email saying they found it!! I did overnight shipping and was reunited with my IPad this morning!!! So keep hope alive.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  22. 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. . . . .

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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?

  33. 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.

  34. Lisa

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

  35. beverly

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

  36. 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?

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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.”

  43. 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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X Email Alerts
Hear about new offers and tips