August 22, 2011
Struth! Found on aircraft - one witches' broom
IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says air travellers can be a forgetful lot: Britain's Virgin Atlantic Airways has revealed that every year it collects more than 12,000 books, 10,500 pairs of reading glasses, around 5,000 mobile phones, almost the same number of cameras and iPod/MP3 players, and thousands of items of clothing that have been left on its flights.
And more unusual, cleaners have also recovered an artificial limb, an urn of ashes, a movie script, a wheelchair belonging to a member of the cast of the American TV show Glee... and from one flight, a witch's broomstick.
Flight Services Manager at Virgin Atlantic, Laura Hutcheson says many passengers go into holiday mode the moment they get on board their plane, and simply forget to check seat-back pockets and overhead bins before leaving for anything they may have put there.
And while she did not say what happened to these items, most airlines hold left items for a set number of days, and if not claimed donate them to charity (Lions Clubs getting most of the reading glasses for use in third-world countries,) or dispose of them in job-lots to private companies that sell them through second-hand outlets like www.unclaimedbaggage.com