It goes without saying, when you’re flying from one country to another, you can easily lose track of your things because of jet-lag or a race to catch a connecting flight. Changi Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, finds an astounding 3,300 abandoned items – or more – in its terminals every month. Here are some of the most unusual finds at Changi:
A bed frame
The airport’s check-in counters are always busy with activity. While some passengers travel light, there are many who travel with extra baggage that gets forgotten and ends up at the Lost and Found. One of the bulkiest and strangest items found unaccompanied was a full-sized bed frame! Airport staff believe that some travellers may bring the items with them to the airport and then discover that they are too big to bring onboard. Other similarly odd items that are orphaned at the airport include washing machines and wine fridges. You never know what other things you will find…
How about a pet hamster?
Changi Airport receives the patronage of not just humans, but also their pets! This was proven when the airport witnessed the happy reunion of a hamster with its owner. Discovered in a public area of one of the airport’s terminals, the furry pet was found safe and sound, curled up in its cage. Thankfully, the two were brought together within half an hour.
A gold bar
Perhaps one of the most valuable items lost – and thankfully found – was a 1kg gold bar! Valued at over USD35,000, it was discovered on the ground in the transit area of Terminal 2. The gold bar was kept safe at Lost and Found overnight until the owner – who had already arrived in Penang in Malaysia and filed a police report – returned to Singapore to claim it.
Airport staff find at least one pair of worn dentures every two months in the transit areas of Changi Airport. They usually go unclaimed, so the next time you’re seated beside someone on a plane who appears to be missing teeth, you may consider whether they are actually parked somewhere waiting to be discovered.
Recovering lost items
There are several ways to report or claim a lost item at airports. At Changi Airport you simply visit an information counter at the airport and staff will direct you to Lost and Found. Alternatively, you would call the Changi Contact Centre at +65 6595 6868, or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org, or file a lost report on the Changi Airport website.
All items found are kept for 60 days from when they are handed over to the Lost and Found department. After the 60-day period, non-personal items such as bags, clothing, watches, etc. are donated to charity. Items containing personal information phones and documents are incinerated.
With Changi serving as a hub for travellers jetting across the globe for countless reasons, it’s not surprising that the airport’s Lost and Found is filled with eclectic and interesting wares. But travellers can rest assured that misplaced items, if found, will be kept safe until they’ve been returned to their rightful owner, so long as they are claimed within 60 days.
About the Contributor
Changi Airport is the world’s sixth busiest airport for international traffic. With over 100 airlines providing connectivity to 380 cities worldwide, Changi Airport handles more than 7,000 flights every week (which works out to one every 90 seconds!). You can visit their website here and their NowBoarding blog here.