When FT contributing editor and business travel columnist Michael Skapinker left his Kindle on a flight from Dubai to Heathrow, anger at himself eventually gave way to frustration as he stumbled through the twisting corridors of the lost property maze. Readers shared their similar experiences, the best of which are collected here.

Suspecting the cleaners

I left a laptop on a BA flight back from Tokyo about 7 years ago. In spite of being able to describe exactly where the laptop was left, it never reappeared. I assume it was fenced by the cleaning staff. — john9973

Treated well in the Middle East

I had a [great] experience with Qatar Airways. I left a laptop at a security check in Doha a few years ago during a connection on an outward flight and they had found and logged it by the time I came back on the return leg. Then they made the effort to deliver it to me in the transfer terminal. Fantastic — Parisian Brit

Nightmare in Johannesburg

A few years ago I flew from London to Cape Town via Johannesburg on SA Airways. As we were changing terminal in Joburg I realised I had left my little travel bag in the foot locker in my seat. I was still in the airport and immediately went to lost property. They assured me it wasn’t there.

They were wrong, and I subsequently found that the plane then went on to Mauritius and I managed to contact the appropriate company there. They found the bag but couldn’t send it back to Joburg as it was ‘unaccompanied luggage’. A real nightmare. The reality is that airlines are not very good at reuniting people with their lost property. — High Flyer

Good news in Japan

Best ever was Kyoto taxi. Forgot a phone, no clue of the colour, company or name of driver, no command of japanese . . . Only rough pick-up time and place and drop-off time and place. 24h later and the phone was delivered at the place of stay. — PH

Catered to in the forward cabin

I left my wallet in that handy but forgettable footwell bin in club world. Luckily I remembered in the lounge and BA staff got it back to me before the onward flight. — Aroundtheworld

Follow Diana Ross’s example

Last year my wife managed to leave an iPhone on a BA flight that had landed at Heathrow’s T5 and they had her reunited with it by the next morning, which I thought was quite impressive. But certainly it can be a nightmare, especially when the airline itself is responsible for the misplacement. This is why apparently Diana Ross always insisted on keeping her stage clothes close by her side as hand luggage (I guess you are entitled to more hand luggage in first class). — Good European

Best to lose your stuff in the gulf

Michael is right — the seat pocket is the biggest culprit, but I should advise readers from my own experience, if you’re going to lose something ever, lose it on Emirates or in Dubai airport. You will get it back and you will get it back fast. — observer

Lots of paperwork but worth it

I had the distinct misfortune of leaving behind my passport in the airline seat after landing in Mumbai, flying on a domestic Jet Airways flight. Contacting Jet, they reverted within 6 hours that my passport had been found and handed over to the airport authorities — which turned out to be a private company (GVK, which built and now operates the airport). While the document was identified, getting it returned proved fairly problematic with multiple documents — ranging from my original boarding pass (which I had retained luckily), to a document authorising the collection and lastly a certificate from a notary public (required for foreigners). Thankfully they dispensed with the last requirement once I berated them on the phone, but getting to a person authorised to make that concession took over a couple of hours. In all, my passport was reunited with me within 24 hours, which isn’t bad compared to this story  — Darth Vix

What are your experiences getting your lost property back? Have you ever had a travel nightmare or were you pleasantly surprised by an act of goodwill and professionalism? Tell us below.

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