Laptop left on United flight, no cooperation. What are my options?
July 9, 2014 12:57 AM Subscribe
The short version: Left my laptop on a United flight. Realized it after leaving security and was unable to get anyone to do anything to retrieve it. Went through all official channels. Nothing.
posted by neuroking to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total)
Detailed version: Was on a flight from PVD to ORD. Flight went out to the runway, waited around, went back to the gate, and was later cancelled. Left my Surface Pro 2 (super thin laptop/tablet) in the seatback pocket. Yes, my bad. Here's where it gets infuriating...
I left through security, realized it was gone, went to the United Baggage Services. The plane was one of the last ones out, and instead of going to ORD it ferried (flew without passengers) to EWR. The staff at PVD was unable to communicate with the plane, which was on the runway. The Baggage Services person and I tried about a dozen numbers for EWR, including United lost and found, EWR lost and found, United EWR Baggage services, the United ticketing, and a bunch others. Not a single person ever answered a phone. We waited on hold for over 3 hours - literally from the time the plane was on the runway at PVD until it landed in EWR. The main United customer service people were unable to get anyone at EWR on the phone.
I filed all the appropriate reported (LOB report), which gives you no tracking number. Called all the numbers the next day, left several voicemails, etc. Nothing. The people at PVD looked at me like I was insane when I said, "There's a phone at the gate in EWR. How do you make a call to that phone? Is there a manager, a department, anything?" This whole thing could have been avoided if someone could have just called that phone and had a maintenance person check for it. I also went to physically to the lost and found at PVD and ORD, and a relative went to the lost and found at EWR the next week.
United is obviously trying to avoid any possible paper trail. No calls from them, no emails, no confirmation numbers. I have Prey installed on the laptop and it hasn't been online since it disappeared. The plane was relatively small, I was towards the middle, and the Surface is easily concealed behind the magazines in the pocket, so the chance that another passenger took it is minimal. I'm hoping the laptop is just stuck in the bureaucratic nightmare that is the United lost and found.
It's been 21 days. What are my options? I'm considering a small claims court case in PVD. I have phone records, tickets, report filing browser history (including the confirmed submission page), and names for most people I talked to.