Here's Exactly What to Do If You Forget Your Laptop at Airport Security

Travel + Leisure 12/17/2019

AAA World Article

Though delightful in the end we all know that traveling can be a stressful experience. Especially if you have to go to the airport.

From getting there on time (but not too early) to ensuring you’ve packed everything you need, and finally waiting in line at security, it’s easy to get distracted. And sometimes when people get distracted they leave things in the security bins on their way through like keys, wallets, and sometimes even big things like their laptops.

“When a laptop is left behind, it’s recorded in the lost and found log at the airport and stored in a secure location,” the TSA said. “The most common way laptops are forgotten is when travelers stack a bin on top of the bin their laptop is in. Out of sight out of mind.”

Beyond pointing out that people tend to lose things, the TSA also noted a few ways you can get your stuff, including computers, back. Here are three ways to find your lost electronics if you forgot something at airport security.

Call the Lost and Found Number for the Airport
According to the TSA, there are people at every airport ready and willing to help you find your lost computer or other items in a jiffy. As it noted on its Instagram page, “If you leave a laptop (or anything else) behind, you can access a list of lost and found phone numbers for each airport at, or you can reach out to our AskTSA team via Twitter or Facebook Messenger.”

Leave a Number on the Bottom of Your Computer
Just like you have a luggage tag for your bags it may be a good idea to consider an ID tag for your computer too.

“If you haven’t already, tape a business card or a piece of paper with your name and contact info to the bottom of your laptop,” the TSA said. “This will allow us to attempt to contact you via a page or phone call before you board your flight. It will also allow us to contact you if you’ve already left.”

Track Your Computer Using Your Phone
For Apple owners, finding a lost laptop can be fairly easy. All they need to do is ensure Find My Mac is installed on their computer before they leave (if you’re reading this go do it now so you never have to think about it again). To do so, simply head to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences. Next, click the iCloud pane, log in, and on the list on the right hand side, scroll down until you see Find My Mac. Click it to turn on and you’re all set. If it’s lost you can then use the iCloud Find My Mac utility on your phone or a different computer to find it.

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