Charities gain from travellers' losses
Wed, 16 May 2012 3:19p.m.
They may have their minds on sun-drenched beaches or be rushing to catch flights, but it seems travellers are a forgetful bunch if the lost property picked up at Auckland Airport is anything to go by.
A team from the Auckland City Mission heads out to the airport every Friday to collect bags and bags of what's been left behind in the terminals.
Clothing, umbrellas, bags, suitcases, blankets, food items, pushchairs, toiletries, walking sticks, pillows and cooking utensils are among the items the charity collects.
A spokesman for Auckland Airport says the mission can sometimes take away a vanload of up to 10 jumbo-sized rubbish bags full of booty.
City Mission spokesman James Holt says the donated clothing is given to homeless clients or to families when they come for help in emergencies.
Any excess goods are sold in its second-hand stores.
Auckland Airport says cellphones, cameras, laptops and "the odd iPad" have been found in the terminals and handed in to lost property.
These items are often claimed by their owners, the airport spokesman said.
All lost property, apart from food items, is stored by Auckland Airport for three months before it's given to the charity.
Meanwhile, Air New Zealand says it stores items left behind on planes and in its lounges for a month before they're given to charities or, in the case of more valuable items, sent to auction, where the money raised goes to charities.
A spokeswoman for the airline says it will try to contact passengers who have left property behind.
Earlier this month, the Daily Telegraph reported that Qantas in Australia has accumulated thousands of dollars worth of lost items, including false teeth, iPads, X-rays of a family cat and even a stuffed moose head.
A Qantas spokeswoman said about half the items found are reunited with their owner.
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16/05/2012 5:31:01 p.m.
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