Q. My 13 year old left her iPod (no identification on it) in her seat pocket of a Southwest flight two weeks ago.  It was heading off to another destination by the time we realized it was gone and we were heading down to baggage claim. We filed a lost and found claim. What are the chances that the iPod (if it was turned in) will be matched up to the claim form?  Should my child just give up hope and chart it up to a lesson learned?  

A. Chances are not great that it will be returned. I advise people to never, ever put anything in the seat back pocket. It’s a big black hole, a sure way to lose or forget things (plus who knows what else is in there—yuck!) and just pretend it’s not even there.  I once put my passport in a seatback pocket and went to find it as the flight was landing, and it had disappeared. Miraculously, Virgin Atlantic found it after the plane had flown on to Orlando from London, and returned it to my London hotel in time for my trip back to the US. But that was sheer luck. I do recommend that people label all valuables (phones, games, laptops, eyeglasses, passports, whatever) with an email address. Any labeling device, such as a Brother P-touch or Dymo, will suffice.

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