Our Experience

Lost On Board: The Strangest Items Passengers Leave Behind

by andrew July 2011 - last edited February 2013 by Community Manager

You may remember we've written before about some of the strangest inflight requests and most unusual items passengers have tried to check in on our flights, but what have we forgotten? Or rather, what might you forget? Every year it’s estimated that more than 12,000 books, 10,500 pairs of reading glasses and around 5,000 phones get left on board Virgin Atlantic planes.

So, in the height of holiday season we'd like to issue a reminder to take care of your belongings and also share with you some of the more bizarre items that have been left behind. Aside from the above-mentioned, cameras and iPods are regularly found hiding in seatback pockets and overhead lockers, but a recent survey of ground staff turned up a few much larger and weirder possessions. Here are our five favourite oddities:

  • An artificial limb (found on a flight from New York)
  • An urn containing someone’s ashes (found on a flight to Johannesburg)
  • A movie script (found on a flight from Delhi)
  • A wheelchair belonging to Artie from Glee (found on a flight from LA)
  • Seven plastic orange pumpkins and witches broom sticks (found on a flight from Boston)

economy cabin on Virgin Atlantic


Virgin Atlantic Flight Services Manager, Laura Hutcheson commented:

"Passengers leave all sorts of items on planes ranging from the predictable to the quite unexpected. I was surprised to find an artificial limb left behind by one of our upper class passengers but was delighted that we were able to re-unite them.

"Many passengers start their holidays the moment they get on board and when they relax into their adventure they can often forget the basics of checking they don’t leave anything behind. Naturally we remind all passengers to ensure they have their belongings with them but would urge more people heed this advice."

Have you ever left anything odd behind on one of our flights? Maybe you came across another passenger's forgotten items...We’d love to hear your stories, so please share them with us in the comments below.

For the best fares on flights to all our destinations, log on to www.virgin-atlantic.com.

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vene2ia July 2011
Very interesting and made me smile. However, I am also impressed by the interior of this plane...looks much much better to the one I have flown to St Lucia recently...I would say our was quite opposite (apart from the colours of the seats).
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HazelWright July 2011
I left 2 bottles of gin on a flight to Miami this year and was amazed that I got a call from Virgin telling me that they had the bottles. They kept them and handed them over when I checked in to go home. Couldn't believe that they did this - absolutely brilliant service - 10/10 Virgin
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lizN February 2015

hi - hope someone can help . Brown Teddy left on board VS46 to day - 11 years of loving and its left a devastated boy who despite beign awake now for 24 hours wont slepp with out him . have mailed and calle heathrow lost propertyy but it will be 3 days before we hear if he has turned up - so PLEASE if any one sees a loved brown teddy bear please let us know ....thanks so

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Virgin-Atlantic March 2015

Hi Liz, so sorry to hear your son lost his teddy. Did you have any luck with your search? Do let us know if you're still looking and we'll see what we can do to help.

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About the author: andrew

Andrew Bowman

Andrew is an occasional contributor to the Virgin Atlantic blog. He lived in the Japanese countryside for two years until he could no longer resist the pull of London's galleries, pubs and clubs. He likes to pretend he can speak Japanese and also sometimes writes about music.