Woman Who Lost her AirPods on a Plane Tracked Them to an Airport Worker’s Home

A woman tracked her AirPods after an employee stole them on a plane.

Earlier this month, a US woman, Alisabeth Hayden, lost her AirPods while exiting a plane in San Francisco. The headphones were with her while she was on the flight, even before disembarking.

As reported by CNN, “Hayden was flying back from a trip to Tokyo to visit her husband, who is on secondment in the military, when she was parted from the earphones.”

“Disembarking from the plane at San Francisco International Airport – and a little disoriented after a nine-hour flight from Tokyo – she left her denim jacket on her seat, at the back of the plane.”

According to Hayden, she was the third last passenger to leave the plane and immediately realized that she forgot her denim jacket, which (contained the AirPods) on her seat.

“I realized before I was even off the plane,” she said. “I was the third from last off the plane, so I asked the flight attendant if I could go and get it. He said no – I was required by federal law to get off the plane and stand beside it, where the strollers are brought to. I was tired, he said he’d bring it to me, I said OK.”

So, the attendant returned her jacket, and Hayden boarded her next plane to Seattle.

“A child was screaming next to me, and I thought, ‘At least I have my AirPods,’” she recalled. “So, I reached for my jacket – I’d left the two breast pockets buttoned up, one with her earphones, one with some Japanese Yen inside it.”

“The pockets were open, and my AirPods were gone,” she said.

So, Alisabeth used the inflight Wi-Fi to track her device using the ‘Find My’ application and tracked her AirPods – They were at the SFO. Then they started moving.

“I’m a diligent person, and I tracked the whole way from San Francisco to Seattle, taking screenshots the entire time. I live an hour from Seattle, and once I got home, I was still taking screenshots,” said Alisabeth.

“The AirPods by now were showing up at a place on the map called “United Cargo” – still within the airport, but the cargo side of the airline, so not where a passenger would be likely to be,” per CNN.

“Then they moved to Terminal 2. Then to Terminal 3. Then they were on Highway 101, heading south towards San Mateo. They ended up at what appeared to be a residential address in the Bay Area, and stayed put there for three days.”

The Washington-based woman said she needed her AirPods back because first off, they were expensive, and secondly, she used them to talk to her husband who would call her from his deployment on a bad line that she couldn’t hear him with her earphones.

“From the minute she realized they were gone, Hayden was trying to get them back. She messaged United and SFO from the plane, then tried the police in San Francisco, Hayward (where the tracker was showing), and SFO’s own airport police.”

And she made sure to leave no stone unturned to find her AirPods.

“I hit every avenue I could find, and used every possible form of communication, and got the same response: ‘I’m sorry that happened to you,’” said Hayden.

Meanwhile, Ms. Hayden also marked the AirPods as ‘lost’ on the app so that whoever had them would receive a message telling them the AirPods belonged to her and giving them her contact number.

“First they were like, ‘I’m sorry you lost your belongings on our flight.’ I was like, ‘I didn’t lose them, I was denied the ability to get my jacket by an employee… and now my $250 AirPods are missing.'”

Finally, a detective from the San Mateo police force who worked at the airport helped Alisabeth.

According to CNN, “He matched the address the earphones were pinging from to an address for an employee of the airport – a contractor working to load food onto aircraft.”

The woman reiterated, “I can’t make any assumptions, but what I know is that they were in the pocket when I got up, I wasn’t allowed back to my seat, and by the time the steward brought [the jacket] to me they weren’t there – and when I tracked them, they were at an employee’s house.”

In a statement released by United Airlines, the company claimed that the employee worked for the United vendor and the matter had been handed over to law enforcement.

“United Airlines holds our vendors to the highest standards, and we are working with local authorities in their investigation of this matter.”

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Source: CNN

2 comments
  1. There’s always a lost and found department somewhere. Is anybody honest anymore? Do anybody care? I really hope she get it back! That would be nice!

  2. So many steal without a second thought. Positive situation, I once dropped my wallet before ON the plane before I got off a SWA flight to Orlando for a 2 day conference. Devisted, I made it through the trip because my aunt worked for the hotel and had booked it, but I had no ID, no money, it was rough. But, believe it or not, when I flew back out of town 2 days later, my wallet was waiting for me at the same gate, coincidentally I was leaving from it. Maybe they checked my name to know I’d be returning from there, but I was amazed as so grateful. So I make it a point to try to find people when I find lost items… Just this year already, I’ve returned luggage dumped at the park and scattered from a stolen car, several people’s credit cards, BMW car keys…things I find walking my dog baroda places. It feels nice to help those people.

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