Goodbye at the Lost and Found
Where did the smartphone go? Where has the headset gone? Could it be that the car key has vanished into thin air? Anyone who loses or forgets something on their way through Frankfurt Airport or in the cabin of a Lufthansa Group flight to Frankfurt has a good chance of finding it again at the airport’s lost property office in FRA. In September 2021, Sasse Group, as a service provider, began recording and assigning these lost property items. More than 83,000 items have been “netted” since then, 27,000 of them since the beginning of this year alone.
Team leaders, deputies and seven clerks are on hand daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to assist all travellers and visitors to the airport in Terminal 1 Hall A Level 0. Their most important assistance is the systematic allocation of found objects. In addition to suitcases and bags, they are mainly electronics, jewellery, money/purses and “miscellaneous” items. Their characteristic features such as shape, colour and brand make it easier to find them. The spectrum is large and ranges from A for abacus to company presentations or medical items to Z for cypress wood. Clothing, suitcases, bags and electronic items, however, make up the lion’s share.
The lost property office at Frankfurt Airport also receives “Dangerous Goods”, or DGR for short. These are taken from the luggage of departing passengers because they violate the luggage regulations, e.g. power banks, rechargeable batteries or petrol-powered devices such as chainsaws. These are kept for four weeks, during which time they can be collected from the lost property office on payment of four euros. If not, they are destroyed.
Anyone who has lost something can place their search requests on the airport’s website via an online form. The system then compares the registered properties and owner names with them. If at least 60 per cent match, a matching suggestion is made, which is checked manually. If the lost property entry and the loss request match, the owner receives a lost property confirmation. Identified owners have the option of collecting their lost property in person during opening hours, sending an authorised representative or using a shipping service provider, subject to payment of the processing and possible storage fees. To best assist these customers in recovering their property, a telephone hotline has been set up in addition to the chat communication tool. It is prepared for calls from owners all over the world.
And if no one comes forward? Then the items are forwarded to an auctioneer. He restores them to anonymous factory settings. Then new owners can enjoy them – if they take good care of them.