The 10 most bizarre items found at Schiphol
Sombreros, Van Gogh posters, credit cards, laptops and countless coats... Welcome to the wonderful world of Lost & Found.
63,000 lost items
Each morning, the Lost & Found team hauls a cart through various locations, including security, information desks and KLM, to collect all the items that have been left behind. It’s hard to imagine, but as many as 63,000 items were recovered by our Lost & Found Service in 2017. That number amounts to 173 items every day!
What do people leave behind?
Items left behind by passengers in 2017 included 8,500 articles of clothing, 6,500 bank cards and other cards, 4,000 tablets, 3,000 wallets, 2,500 laptops, and even 600 canes and walking frames (miracles can happen at Schiphol). So what about the top 10 of most bizarre finds?
10. Apnoea device
Nice for you and your fellow passengers if you keep it with you, but not so nice if you leave it behind!
9. Rice cooker
If you’re a fussy eater and get hungry during your journey...
A total of 43 musical instruments were found at Schiphol in 2017, from violins to electric pianos and trombones.
7. Snow chains
Very useful with all that snow on the runways!
Someone must have bitten off more than they could chew.
5. Power sander
For all your carpentry and painting needs while travelling.
Hard to make up for lost time...
3. Plastic bag filled with boxes of dried beetles
Immediately checked at Customs: no native species found.
2. An entire crib
A box measuring 1.5 by 3 metres, including a tiny mattress.
Losing money is a terrible ordeal, because how do you prove that this $100 bill is yours? Fortunately, this man was able to give a very detailed description of how the money was packed.
What happens to all these items?
All items that we receive here are kept for a minimum of three months, which is the statutory period applicable to anything with a current value below €450. The more valuable items, such as gold jewellery, are kept for a year and one month. Around 30% of all items are ultimately matched up with their owner. That figure may not seem a lot, but you have to put it into perspective. Bank cards are almost never retrieved, for example, while the matching percentage for laptops, tablets and wallets is a whopping 80%.
A final tip
Have you lost something at Schiphol? If so, report it to one of our information desks or fill out our Lost and Found form on the website. To increase the likelihood that your item will be found, be sure that your belongings have easily identifiable features so you can describe them accurately and in detail. It is more difficult to confirm the owner of a tablet if the background is set to a default image as opposed to one of your own personal photos. We’ll only hand over an item if you can clearly show that the item belongs to you!