A few months ago, I was travelling home from a trip where I needed to transfer from one flight to another via Dubai airport. When flying it is always necessary for me to have noise cancelling headphones and an iPod, to listen to my music and to be able to disconnect from the boredom of the long distance flight. Normally, my iPhone and my iPod is placed in a pocket in my headphones bag.
Not this flight, I had placed my iPhone in the extra seat pocket on seat in front of me as I was listening to the iPhone instead of the iPod.
Anyway, on arrive in Dubai, I collected all my belongings and as I stood up, my foot was snagged by the headphone cable and everything went flying around. In my haste, I picked up everything and exited the aircraft.
When I arrived at the terminal to go through security, yes you guessed it, I realised that my iPhone was still in the airplane in the front pocket of the seat I was sitting in.
Panic struck!! I ran to a security guard and asked if I could go back and collect it? He said it was I could but would need to ask the security guard on the other side of security! In my naiveness I went through the security gate. The security guard at the other side then informed me that it was impossible to go back to the airplane and that needed to report to the airport police.
Dubai airport is a rather large airport and find the police station was a real challenge. Once I reached the police station my stress turned into sheer panic. The police did not really care , it was not important for them and sent me to the Lost and Found office! Off I went, this office felt like it was 10 miles away under the airport.
Arriving at lost and found, I met a Japanese gentleman in tears, who had lost his Samsung phone with no hope, getting little help from the people there and he left empty handed.
After waiting another 20 minutes, I started to explain my story, the exact position of the iPhone, the serial number, etc. Their relaxed reply was that they would have to wait for the cleaning team to collect the phone and it would take about three hours. This room was around 15 m2, contained 5 personal and 10 huge crates full of phones and tablets.
The feeling of loss was enormous, I know that it is only a piece of technology, (fully backed up and replaceable. BUT it was mine, my photos, my detail, my music, my configuration, mine, mine, mine!!
I was given a ticket with a lost and found serial number and was asked to complete a lost and found questionnaire so that the could contact me when they found it! I proceeded to one of the many computer retail stores and logged into this site.
My next step was to contact the airline I was flying with, with apparent nonchalance , they took some details and informed me that this happened all the time and they would fix this without any problems.
Frustration and anger with my self started to build up.
Whilst sitting in the airport and realised that one of my friends was flying through the same airport later on that weekend! I contacted him, explain the situation and asked if he could go to lost and found and collect my phone.
I arrived at my destination around 12 hours later and went to the desk of the airline company. Again with a nonchalant reply, they asked for details and promised to call me later on once they found the phone.
A few hours later on, my friend called me from Dubai airport! “They have found your phone!! Can you send an email with a copy of your passport allowing him to collect it!”
My precious is found!
But how would he be able to get the phone to me? He lives nearly on the other side of the world! During the following days, sending emails backwards and forwards to the airline company, the shipped the phone to the destination airport where I collected it, three days after I left it on the airplane.
I must therefore thank Emirates for their handling of this matter but I really wished that their staff would go through the same experience. Also I must thank Jon for all his help during my panic!
Loosing your passport or credit cards / money is really not a great feeling!
Loosing your iPhone is 1000 times worse!
As a footnote , today, three months after the incident, lost property from Dubai airports informed me that they will be closing the case since the have not received any response!
What a wonderful world!!
george e muir