HOUSTON (KIAH) — At airport security checkpoints, travelers empty their pockets, remove their shoes, and take certain items out of their bags.
With those and other distractions, often times, personal belongings get left behind.
“Every day, all day long,” Hobby Airport Supervisory Coordination Center Officer Doug Lovins said of the frequency at which travelers lose items at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints.
The T.S.A. allowed rare access into their lost-and-found inside Hobby Airport on Thursday.
Lost items ranged from neck pillows and umbrellas to expensive devices.
“We probably have 20 laptops sitting in here right now — 20-plus iPads,” Lovins said.
Every lost item that T.S.A. recovers at a checkpoint gets entered into a database.
People looking to retrieve their item need only give lost-and-found officers the date on which they were traveling and a description of the item.
That needs to be done within 30 days of losing the item, or it could be sold-off with the money going — not to T.S.A. — but the federal government’s general fund.
A traveler can get the process started by calling 713-454-6933 if their item is missing from the security checkpoint at Hobby Airport or 281-443-5301 if it’s lost at Bush Intercontinental.
While most items left behind are fairly routine, Lovins said there are some exceptions.
“I’ve seen a prosthetic finger,” he said. “People have left the checkpoint wearing one shoe — go running down the hall with one shoe on — left one shoe behind. You name it, they’ll leave it behind.”