Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Information Desk
Reload this Page >

Need help to solve a mystery missing bag at the airport.

Need help to solve a mystery missing bag at the airport.

Old Feb 23, 22, 11:46 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 8
Need help to solve a mystery missing bag at the airport.

Hi there,

I'd be grateful for anyone's thoughts on the below lost luggage mystery.

Let me know whether you've had similar experiences or if you've worked at the airport as a baggage handler.

Some time ago my suitcase was taken from the baggage claim at Frankfurt airport before I could get to it. I know this as the airline confirmed that the bag was scanned at the baggage claim and I even have CCTV images of the person taking it.

I had reported it to the police as a stolen bag and the airline conducted a search regardless and confirmed after 90 days they couldn't find it and I got compensated.

Some time has passed but I'm now evaluating numerous pieces of evidence that indicate the bag wasn't actually stolen but taken in error and brought back to the airport. Consequently, it's been mis placed by airport staff due to them not paying due care and attention and actually the bag is somewhere still tin the airport to this day outside of the lost and found storage areas.

The reason I don't think it's been stolen is due to the following: I had three credit cards in the bag and none of them have been attempted to be used after all this time. I also had a password list and again i've had no notification that anything has been compromised. The person who took my bag looked like a smartly dressed business class passenger and they blended with my luggage as I had nice hard shell glossy blue bag as opposed to a scruffy individual taking a nice bag. The bag did hold some significant emergency money and expensive items, assuming it had been stolen the person would have likely been back for more until he got caught, as that particularly baggage claim area in Frankfurt airport can be accessed by the public. To date the airport police have confirmed they have caught some people for baggage theft but none matched the image of the person taking my bag. So all the above would indicate that this person took it error and returned it to the airport.

Now for the contradicting part that leads to this to being a mystery.

The airport's procedure for dealing with lost bags is that they go to lost baggage area where they are logged on a database, to see if they can be matched with the airlines list of missing bags. The bags are subsequently opened and searched and eventually auctioned off if there is no evidence to identify the owner. The bag has to be opened and inspected before being auctioned off as they must take out cash and any perishable goods or illegal goods. That's the process. Now my bag is labelled inside and out with all my contact details, as well as having credit cards. The tag was metal and can even be seen on the suitcase on the CCTV images. So I can only conclude that the bag has not been threw this process as it would have made it's way back to me long ago.

So whilst there is still a possibility it was stolen there's also evidence to suggest it was taken in error and returned to the airport and somehow mis placed somewhere and is lying dormant. The airport is saying that they have no other storage areas other than the lost and found storage areas as detailed above.

So the question is, if it has been misplaced in the airport what areas could it be in that people in the office are not aware of? I don't know if anyone has had any experience of bags turning up after a long period of time where they have been all this time? Or maybe you worked as a baggage handler and information on where neglected bags could lay dormant in an airport due to employees not paying due care and attention.

I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on this that could help point me in the right direction to help solve the mystery.

Now here's a potential twist....

Whilst my airline consistently relays the lost and found process to me, they have also admitted that they have experienced baggage turning up after a year!!!! I asked how is this possible given all their checks. They advised if the bag was with another airline they wouldn't have visibility of it. They also advised if someone did take my bag in error they would have returned it to their airline.

Would love to hear people's thoughts / experiences on this.

Is there anywhere in the airport that suitcase could be lying dormant outside of the lost and found storage areas?

All the best and many thanks for your thoughts.

Many thanks,

Nick
Nicolas Piere is offline  
Old Feb 23, 22, 2:36 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,446
Once in the pile of bags they may not pay much attention. I once went to JFK to retrieve a bag that we left curbside by mistake. Lost and found claimed they didn't have it. I had to be at JFK a few days later and passed by the office to have a look and lo and behold the bag was right there.
erik123 is offline  
Old Feb 23, 22, 2:58 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 25,003
Welcome to FlyerTalk, Nicolas Piere.

I'm sorry for your misfortune regarding your missing bag. I'm sure that you realize now how unwise it was to pack cash, credit cards, and passwords in a checked bag.

Even if the airline were to recover your bag, are you sure that you could still claim it? When you received compensation for the lost bag, were you required to sign a waiver of rights to the bag and its contents should the be recovered?
irishguy28 likes this.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Feb 24, 22, 9:41 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New York, NY
Programs: AA Gold. UA Silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt (Lifetime Diamond downgraded to Explorist)
Posts: 6,774
You've been compensated so the airline's liability to you is over when you accepted that compensation. They effectively bought your property and it'll eventually end up in some airline/airport employee's possession or sold to one of the companies that sell lost bag items after "disposing" of private items.
You should NEVER pack the items you mentioned in checked luggage. Cash, a password list and credit cards? I imagine you canceled those cards, the cash is gone and be sure to change all of those passwords and any other accounts that use the same password.
Yoshi212 is online now  
Old Feb 24, 22, 10:38 am
  #5  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Canada, USA, Europe
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 31,453
Welcome to FT!

Maybe I've missed something, but there is no evidence in your story that the bag was returned to the airport. There are many explanations for other scenarios, including that the person who took it did so by mistake, took the cash and dumped the rest. Maybe this person even went back to the airport and later claimed their own bag. The airport wouldn't necessarily put the two events together. If you saw the CCTV footage, is it really good enough to tell that it was indeed your suitcase?

Why did you put credit cards, money and passwords in a suitcase? These things don't weigh anything and take up no space! Good luck, I hope your suitcase makes it back to you.
Adam1222 and irishguy28 like this.
LondonElite is offline  
Old Feb 25, 22, 1:40 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: DL PM; IHG PlatAmb; Hilton Dia; Marriott Plat; Radisson Gold; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 6,273
Alas, like others, I think there's less mystery here than you believe. You should treat the bag as irretrievably lost, and learn a lesson about what to put in checked luggage. The detective work is unlikely to get you your bag back.
Adam1222 is offline  
Old Feb 27, 22, 10:32 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 8
Thanks for yoru thoughts / experience on this. It just goes to show that the lost and found people are not always right.
Nicolas Piere is offline  
Old Feb 27, 22, 10:36 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 8
Thanks for your thoughts.Yes, I do realise now how unwise it was to put those espensive and sensitive things in my bag. I have been compensated for my bag by the airline and the insurance thankfully. However, the airline has stated that even if my bag appeared they would still give it back to me.

I truly beleive the bag has been mis placed in the airport outside of the lost and found process in another storage room by a baggage handler.

I would welcome anyone's thoughts if the the baggage conveyor belt system may have storage rooms with idle bags for whatever reason.
Nicolas Piere is offline  
Old Feb 27, 22, 10:39 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 8
Thanks for your reply, I've been compensated and cards cancelled.

However, I don't believe the bag has been sold to an auction company. They would need to inspect the bag first to remove cash, perishable items and any potential illegal goods before they sold it to an auction process. If they were to do this tye would have seen my contact details on the outside and inside of the bag. So it would have made it's way back to me. This is one of the reasons why I belive it's been place in a dormant storage room in the airport by a baggage handler that is outside of the lost of found process.

Let me know if you have any experience of any such rooms.
Nicolas Piere is offline  
Old Feb 27, 22, 10:45 am
  #10  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Canada, USA, Europe
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 31,453
Or maybe it’s not at the airport and hasn’t been since someone else took it.
Yoshi212 and Adam1222 like this.
LondonElite is offline  
Old Feb 27, 22, 10:48 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 8
Thanks for your thoughts. The cards and cash I put in the bag was contigency. I had more money / cards on me and my travel bag. The idea was that if anything happen to me I would have some emergency cards / money in my bag. The password list I took with me in case I needed to log into something. I thought the likely hood of someone stealing with my bag would be slim as it's a heavy object and would only go from the airport to the hotel.

It could be the case that someone has stole the bag and just took the cash and dumped the rest. However, thinking about it on the balance of probability it's more likely someone took it by mistake rather than stole it. Had someone even stole the bag, had they found cash and cards inside I'm sure greed would take over and they would at least try one card or return to the airport to steal more for another score. The police have caught people stealing bags since then but they don't match the person who took my bag. Hence, why I think the bag has been misplaced.

It would be really interesting to speak to a baggage handler to see what happens with idle luggage from their perspective.
Nicolas Piere is offline  
Old Feb 27, 22, 10:50 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 8
Thanks for your thoughts. I've certainly learn't my lesson but would like to think on the positive side lol.
Nicolas Piere is offline  
Old Feb 27, 22, 11:38 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Canada, USA, Europe
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 31,453
What do you mean when you say the airline confirmed the bag was scanned at claims? Ive never had a bag scanned after Ive picked it off the belt.
LondonElite is offline  
Old Feb 27, 22, 11:44 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: DL PM; IHG PlatAmb; Hilton Dia; Marriott Plat; Radisson Gold; Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 6,273
Originally Posted by Nicolas Piere View Post
Thanks for your reply, I've been compensated and cards cancelled.

However, I don't believe the bag has been sold to an auction company. They would need to inspect the bag first to remove cash, perishable items and any potential illegal goods before they sold it to an auction process. If they were to do this tye would have seen my contact details on the outside and inside of the bag. So it would have made it's way back to me. This is one of the reasons why I belive it's been place in a dormant storage room in the airport by a baggage handler that is outside of the lost of found process.

Let me know if you have any experience of any such rooms.
I think you have received lots of feedback here and everyone is telling you that they don't see support for your suppositions and that these theories aren't supported by reality.

Even if some airport somewhere once had a magical extra storage room, that has nothing to do with your bag.
irishguy28 likes this.
Adam1222 is offline  
Old Feb 28, 22, 11:20 am
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 8
Thanks for your thoughts but I really need the thoughts of someone who works as a baggage handler or ground crew as they know the inner workings of the airport.

As far as I know no one in this thread have stated they have experience of the above occupations.

The airline has confirmed they do have instances where bags turn up after a year so there must be other storage areas where cases get neglected for whatever reason.
Nicolas Piere is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread