Have you recently lost or misplaced an item while traveling on Alaska Airlines? Well then you are in luck, our comprehensive guide to help you locate your item is exactly what you need. It can be very stressful to lose an item during your travels and unless the right steps are taken and taken quickly, the chances of recovering your item diminish considerably.
The important thing is to remain calm and take the necessary steps outlined in our comprehensive guide below to ensure that you have the best possible chance of being united with your lost item.
Alaska Airlines’ lost and found policy
People lose items while traveling on Alaska Airlines frequently so they have proper protocols and staff in place to look into helping their passengers recover their belongings.
The immediate step
Did you leave your belonging in the aircraft cabin itself? If you have and you are still in the aircraft, do not leave the aircraft. Due to increased security protocols in place these days, once you leave the aircraft you cannot go back in. Patiently make your way back to your seat and search it as thoroughly as possible.
If you’re reading this article, however, chances are you have already left the aircraft.
In the event that you have left the aircraft but are still near the arrival gate, immediately make your way back to the gate area and get hold of an Alaska Airline official. Usually, these people have access to the aircraft or know someone who does have access.
Give this person all the information on what your item looks like and give them your seat number. If they send someone back immediately and find your item you might be able to get it back right then and there.
In other situations, if they find it later the staff will follow the lost and found protocols and may forward the item to the airline or airport’s lost and found counter.
The reason why I am constantly urging you to do things immediately is that there is a short window of opportunity before it becomes more and more unlikely that you will find your lost belongings. Anyone from the crew, cleaners to the other passengers may pocket your item.
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You have left the aircraft but not the airport
If you are still in the airport premises but can’t make your way back to the aircraft arrival gate then your most prudent line of action is to immediately find an Alaska Airline counter and get hold of the staff there. The Alaska staff is trained to help you with starting the lost and found recovery process.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You may want to get hold of the general airport staff instead of the Alaska Airline staff but it will be most likely counterproductive. In most cases, they will simply go through their own protocols and have you end up with the Alaska Airlines staff because that is the aircraft you arrived on. Needless to say that the only thing this will have achieved is to have wasted precious time.
You may be asking why time is of so much importance here. Well, since the Covid-19 pandemic, aircraft are thoroughly sanitized by larger cleaning staff. The longer it takes for officials to be alerted about your missing item the more people go through your seat.
Now, these people are usually very professional and if they find any unusual items on or around a seat they report it immediately. Having said that, in real life, not everyone is as honest.
Related: Airlines & Airports Lost & Found Tips (Ultimate Guide)
Alaska Airlines baggage services counters
The next plan of action is to locate the Alaska Baggage Services counter. You can find them easily by going to any information desk usually spread throughout airports.
While Alaska Airlines baggage services counters primarily deal with things like lost luggage, the staff at these counters may help you even when you have lost something on a plane.
Usually, they will ask you to fill out either this form or a printed version of it. This is also the form you can fill out if you have already left at the airport.
You must enter as much detail as possible in this form regarding both your travel and the item itself.
On your travel details mention your flight number, arrival/departure time, boarding airport final destination (if you are in transit), seat number, etc.
It is also important to give as much information as you have on hand like: make, model, color, serial number, etc. Any distinguishing marks such as scratches or customization marks on the body can quickly help confirm to the authorities that the item indeed belongs to you.
Note: If the staff has not been able to find your item while you are at the airport, make sure you are very clear on the next steps before you leave the airport. Ask the staff about the next procedural steps, local contact details (phone, email, etc), when you should follow up, policies on lost and found, etc.
You can visit this page to find the phone number(s) of every Alaska Airlines local agent for all US airports and if you are unable to reach them for any reason you can call the system-wide baggage support office for general assistance at 1-877-815-8253. The working hours are daily between 6:00 am – 10:00 pm (PT).
Items left at the TSA Security Checkpoint
In the event that you feel you have misplaced your items in the above-mentioned areas instead of the aircraft then you have to make your way to the TSA security staff as these specific areas come under the jurisdiction of the TSA.
TSA has its own Lost and Found department at all US airports and you can find the contact details for the relevant one here.
TSA has officially partnered with Rejjee to help you find lost items misplaced in TSA’s jurisdiction. The service is absolutely free and easy to use and you can file an online report to start the process.
Related: What Happens if Your Item Is Not Allowed Through TSA Security? Can You Get It Back?
For items lost in and about the airport facility
In the event that you have not misplaced the item on a flight or any of the TSA designated areas mentioned above then your lost item will probably find its way to the airport’s Lost and Found Counter… yes each airport authority also has its own lost and found department it may be associated with the airport police department.
The general staff at the airport will be able to assist you to find this counter. In any case, even if you have registered a complaint with the airline or the TSA, it is a good idea to make your way to the airport Lost and Found and search for your item here as well. In some cases, lost items in other areas have been known to turn up here.
If you are registering for a complaint here, again make sure you give as much detail as possible for these people to help locate your item. Remember that these people have their own dedicated contact numbers and emails so make sure you get a local person’s number and non-generic email before you leave the airport.
Responses on generic emails are usually slower versus those from a specific person who is aware of your case.
There is also a chance that you might have left your belongings at a local business at the airport such as a rental service or a restaurant. In this case, your best bet is to contact them directly as they will hold on to the item for a while in the event the owner shows up before they pass it on to the airport authorities.
What if you have left the airport?
Luckily, even if you have left the airport Alaska Airlines has the lost item form available online here. Filling it out and submitting it will automatically initiate the search procedure. But remember that you must do this within 14 days of having lost the item otherwise it is very unlikely that you will be seeing your belongings again.
Also if you happen to discover more details about your lost item like a serial number, after you have left the airport you can use this form to update the relevant information.
Traveling first or business class?
Traveling on first or business class has its own perks and one of them is the extra attention you get from the airline staff.
Because airlines make extra effort to please passengers using their premium services or those passengers who are part of their frequent flyers clubs, it is a good idea to mention if you are using any of them.
There are also independent third-party Lost and Found services out there like Crowdfind but I normally don’t recommend you go to them… unless of course, they are officially working with your airline. If, however, your item is really valuable or very important to you these options are available.
How long will Alaska Airlines keep looking for your item?
Alaska will look for your item for a period of 30 days from the filing of the report. After that, they will send you an email informing you that the search was unsuccessful.
The odds of finding a lost item at airports are generally better than in other places due to the extra security in place these days. Also, if you act quickly and follow the right steps that we have outlined in the guide above your chances of finding your lost item increase greatly.
I wish you the best of luck in recovering whatever it is that you have lost.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.