There has been a steady increase in lost items at the airport from 2011-12 till the last financial year. Only in 2012-13, were a lower number of lost articles reported.

Lost and found items in Bengaluru airport double in seven years
news Airport Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 10:56

Know someone who lost any of their belongings at the Bengaluru airport? It’s not surprising, given that more than 20,000 articles were reported lost by the authorities during the last financial year (2017-18).

Out of these items, 5,686 (27.85%) were handed over to the original owners. More than 70% of the articles (14,727 in number) were left unclaimed which included prohibited items seized by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) over the same period. About 7,153 items — mostly perishable goods — were disposed.

The busiest airport in south India and the third largest in the country, the Kempegowda International Airport experiences an average footfall of 85,000 passengers every day.

Data shared by the airport authorities reveal that the increase in the number of passengers resulted in a proportionate rise in number of lost items collected by the airport staff.

While in financial year 2017-18, the authorities received 20,413 articles, the number in 2016-17 was 14,591. The same number for 2011-12 was 9,280, which means that the number of lost items have more than doubled over seven years.

Incidentally, the number of lost items handed over to their rightful owners in 2011-12 was 31% compared to the figure of 27.85% in 2017-18.

While there has been a steady increase in lost items at the airport since 2011-12 till the last financial year, 2012-13 has been the only period which has seen a lower number of lost articles being reported. The recovery percentage meanwhile has stayed between 26% and 31%.

What do people usually lose at the airport?

It seems, anything and everything. This year among the 20,000 odd lost articles, electronic items accounted for 2,492 units, including 594 general items, 485 watches/pens, 367 mobile phones and accessories, 37 laptops, 29 tabs/iPads and seven cameras. Other items include bags, apparel, medical accessories, kitchen appliances, travel accessories, sunglasses, tools, and toys.

Commenting on this, Javed Malik, Chief Operating Officer (COO), BIAL, said, “The variety and quantum of articles the L&F Department receives never fails to leave us awestruck. With passenger movement on an upswing, we have seen a proportionate surge in lost articles at the BLR airport. To deal with these articles, BIAL has a system in place to ensure that the items are stored safely. This ensures that when the rightful owners reach out to us, we have the articles in good condition.”

He explains, “We have a dedicated team to handle lost and found articles – and want to assure passengers that anything that the L&F Department receives will be kept safely. To ensure owners are able to track their belongings, all details of the items found in the Airport are uploaded on the Airport’s website regularly in the 'lost and found' section, along with the procedure to claim their belongings. Owners, whose details are available, are contacted to hand over their belongings.”

The Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) – the operator of the Kempegowda International Airport said articles that remain unclaimed for a period of 90 days are either given to charity or auctioned to staff on the Airport campus.

BIAL also said that articles such as electronic gadgets and government-issued documents are retained for three months (90 days) from the date of receipt. After the three-month window, government documents are returned to the respective government departments. Indian passports are shipped to the Regional Passport Office while foreign passports are sent to the respective embassies after a 30 day-retention period.

Bank documents such as credit/debit cards, cheque books, and pass books are disposed after 72 hours. To claim lost articles at the airport, commuters can call 24x7 numbers: 080-6678 2257 (for residents of India) or +91 8066782257 (for international calls) or email lostandfound@bialairport.com.

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