Did Lufthansa “steal” her laptop computer?

lufthansaStacey Tappan claims Lufthansa stole her laptop computer, and she wants me to help her get it back.

Before I get to her story, let me acknowledge that terms like “stealing” and “theft” can mean different things to people. We’ve seen that in several recent stories, and sometimes, we have to agree to disagree.

But Tappan stretches the definition of stealing, even for me.

On a recent flight from Frankfurt to Boston, someone grabbed her computer, and she’s holding the airline responsible.

She explains:

I had a seat in the middle of the center aisle of Row 29. I put my laptop, in a neoprene case, under the seat in front of me so I could watch a show on it during the flight, and put my knitting project bag on top of it, then put my carry-on in the overhead.

I got out a book of puzzles and did one while I watched a movie on my seatback screen. I sat in my seat like this all through boarding.

About four hours into the flight, I reached for my laptop, but it wasn’t there. I asked the folks in the row in front of me if it had slid there, and someone sitting on the left-hand side of the plane in Row 28 said a couple with a baby had found it and gave it to a flight attendant.

So the laptop had slid down to the next seat and had been picked up by the next passenger, but it was safe.

“I didn’t see or hear any of this happen,” she says. “No one asked me or anyone in my row about a missing laptop, and there were no announcements.”

By the way, if you want more details, she’s written about the experience on her blog.

When she asked about the laptop, a flight attendant told her that it had been offloaded in Frankfurt before departure. The crew had thought that it was forgotten by a passenger on the previous flight.

The purser assured me that I just had to contact a Lufthansa agent once I got to Boston and my laptop would be sent to me.

I spoke to both her and the flight attendant as well as the couple. None of them had tried to see if the laptop belonged to someone. I got a written statement about what happened from the purser.

The next day she heard back from Lufthansa. A representative told her the airline could not mail it back to her or bring it on one of its aircraft.

I would have to arrange for someone in Frankfurt to pick it up and get it to me.

This is completely ridiculous. Not only have I lost my laptop due to Lufthansa’s mistake of not checking before they removed it, but I am supposed to bear all the cost and responsibility of getting it back.

Now folks, I’m not sure if this rises to the level of stealing but it is certainly problematic. At least the crew could have made an announcement, asking if anyone was missing a laptop. It isn’t immediately clear that Tappan would have responded, though – after all, she didn’t notice her computer was missing until four hours into the flight.

I asked Lufthansa to see if it could reunite the passenger with her PC. It responded directly to her, repeating that she could pick up the computer in Frankfurt. “Kindly understand that Lufthansa is not able to reimburse you the shipping cost of your laptop since our flight crew and ground staff followed proper protocol,” it added.

Ultimately, Tappan asked a friend to pick up to laptop and she paid $93 to get her electronic device.

That doesn’t sit well with her. “Lufthansa is responsible for the mistake! If my friends do pick it up, Lufthansa should definitely cover the shipping costs, but they should be going out of their way to take care of this,” she says.

I’m not sure if Lufthansa stole her computer, but it could have done a better job reuniting it. I can understand her anger, and I wish I could have helped mediate a better resolution.

Should Lufthansa have shipped the laptop back to the States at its expense?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • TonyA_says

    So she does not want to pay for shipping charges and calls the airline a thief. Yet another AWESOME (ugly) american tourist.

    Correct link to the soprano’s blog http://off-coloratura.livejournal.com/174560.html

    I’ve written to Lufthansa’s customer service, lost property departments, the authorities at Lufthansa and United, the FAA, the DOT, and the German aviation authority, and have not heard back yet from them. Please spread the word on LJ, Twitter, and Facebook. Link this post everywhere you can. Get public about your disgust with an airline that takes people’s property and refuses to take action to fix its mistakes. Let’s make it impossible for Lufthansa to ignore this.
    If writing to the authorities or social media pressure won’t make them respond, I am calling the police.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Fixed the link. The curly-quotes from MS Word had confused WordPress. It’s always something …

  • Adam1222

    She stole Lufthansa’s reputation by accusing them of stealing when nothing of the sort happened. She was in credibly lucky to get the computer back. She should be ashamed of herself.

  • BillCCC

    Nobody stole her laptop but I do think that the airline should ship it her. Another lesson to be learned, do not let anything valuable out of your sight.

  • Steve Rabin

    Did she have her name on the case or the laptop? Aren’t passengers responsible for their own carry-ons? This one sounds like a case of “it’s anyone else’s fault but mine”. My opinion: if she wants her laptop back, pay the $93. This one isn’t Lufthansa’s fault.

  • EdB

    Maybe next time she flies, she might invest in a thicker computer bag, one that is not skinny enough to slip under the guard in the seat in front of her. I’m guessing when she put her knitting on top of the laptop, she pushed the computer out.

  • john4868

    I’m with @TonyA_says:disqus on this one (wow we actually agree). Control of her personal items is her responsibility. I also have issues with her story. How does her laptop move forward a row and to the side of a jumbo jet while its sitting at the gate?

  • http://flyicarusfly.com/ Fly, Icarus, Fly

    Did I miss the part where she was grateful they found it, kept it safe and where the OP offered to pay for the shipping and insurance? I’m SURE that must have been in the article somewhere…

  • technomage1

    Doesn’t Lufthansa fly around the world? How hard would it be to put it on a flight to Boston or drop it in the mail? While she is responsible for her belongings, its a bit disappointing that they didn’t try at all to get her the laptop.

    They certainly didn’t steal it, but they didn’t make any effort to get it back to her, either.

  • MarkKelling

    No one stole her laptop.

    If Lufthansa had said they did not have the laptop or required it to be picked up within a short number of days, or if the flight crew had not turned it in as a lost item, then you could say they stole it. But none of this happened.

    When I am boarding a plane and I find something in or around my seat, I am not going to think it belongs to someone in the next row and will do exactly what the finders of this laptop did – let a flight attendant know about it and let them decide what to do. If the OP was already so wrapped up in watching her movie and doing puzzles that she didn’t notice the laptop being picked up, she probably would not have heard or paid attention to an announcement if the FAs had made one either.

    I do feel Lufthansa should have offered to ship the laptop to her at her expense instead of requiring someone to pick it up in Frankfurt.

  • sirwired

    I think this could be an example of the “honey and vinegar” cliche. Accusing the airline of “stealing” your laptop isn’t going to inspire anyone to go out of their way to help you. I can see why they aren’t that helpful by default; the paperwork to ship something expensive into the country (especially since they can’t vouch for if this is an attempt around import duties) are considerable. It’s not like sending a letter…

    And it was a reasonable conclusion to think it had been left on the plane… a laptop usually isn’t unsecured on the floor, so one moving a couple rows during a flight would indeed be quite unusual.

  • http://www.jeffkolkerart.com Jeff Kolker

    Personally, I would be so relieved it was actually somewhere safe I would gladly pay the shipping to get it back. My entire life is on my laptop, and after a trip, photos and videos of the entire vacation. More than worth the $93. My only problem would have been getting back to Europe to pick up the device. Surely they could have sent it some form of COD or postage paid by recipient to get it back to her. That would have been perfect if it had been me.

  • commentfromme

    Wow what a whining ungrateful baby

  • ExplorationTravMag

    I have to say, putting a laptop in a neoprene cover on a carpeted floor certainly wasn’t the best idea, was it? I could see this coming from a mile away that it would slide from its spot and leave her control. I will usually put my laptop in the overhead until we can leave our seats, and THEN I’ll take it out. Too much can happen during take off and landing to trust it will stay in one place.

    And, Fly, Icarus, Fly has, perhaps, the most valid point in all of it – she should have been thrilled to have her laptop back, safe and sound. Doesn’t sound to me as though Lufthansa stole anything at all. I would guess they wanted a human being to show up so they could make sure the laptop wasn’t being put into the wrong hands and causing more problems.

  • zpaul

    I agree with many of the posts here about her being ultimately responsible for her own property, but I also think that unless there were significant hurdles because of customs and such for transporting an electronic device internationally without its owner (which I don’t think there are – it was able to be shipped, after all), Lufthansa could have found a small bit of space to send the laptop back over the pond. We’re not talking about something that takes up that much space or that weighs that much. I don’t want to reward her rather ugly behaviour, but I think Lufthansa could have more customer-friendly policies, as well.

  • ChBot

    Move forward : quite easy when you put it on the floor and keep adding things on top of it, probably pushing it forward !!!
    To the side : I guess it is an intelligent laptop and it used its legs !!!

  • emanon256

    I voted yes. I do think the OP, the finders, and Lufthansa all bear some responsibility. But Lufthansa bears most of the responsibility, and I believe they should have shipped it, even if it was at the OPs expense. Also, what if the OP didn’t have friends in FRA, they would really expect her to fly back there to get it? That is just ridiculous.

    The part where I think the OP bears responsibility is for putting a laptop direly on the floor, as they are often thinner than the bar. She should have made sure it would fit in its space, or put it in her knitting bag so it wouldn’t move around. Also, was she not paying enough attention to her surroundings that she didn’t see someone picking it up and handing it off? While the OPs inaction lead to the problem, it does not excuse Lufthansa in any way. The person who found should really have asked first, before calling a flight attendant, they are just rude for not doing that. I also think Lufthansa should have thought to ask. Since some people are already on board, they should not assume it was from a previous flight.

    It’s unfortunate that it ended up being removed, and had Lufthansa immediately offered to ship it back and apologized, I would have been fine. Even if they had offered to ship it, but told the OP to pay for it, I would have been fine. But the fact that they refused to ship it, even at her expense, and expect her to come pick it up is really is upsetting to me.

    Edit: I do disagree with calling it stealing, that is a little melodramatic for my taste.

    Edit 2: I have actually been on several flights where a laptop magically appeared around my feet. Usually the person behind me put it directly on the floor, and then slid some back in pushing the laptop under the bag bar. I always pick it up and ask the person behind me if its theirs. And usually its not even in a case. How stupid are people to put a laptop directly on the floor?

  • ChBot

    I can understand Lufthansa not wishing to take care of handling the laptop to ship it back : there would be hell for them if it was to be broken during shipping as she would hold them responsible for it !…

  • emanon256

    Wow! I didn’t see that. She is pretty over the top. Really, the police, Untied, FAA, DOT? I am upset Lufthansa made her pick it up, I can see how annoying that is. Why not ship it to her at her expense?

  • emanon256

    I think it was the person on the side who told her about it, I don’t think it moved to the side. It sounds from her blog like it was the people in front of her who turned it in, only she wasn’t paying attention.

  • $16635417

    Just a guess….but there are probably customs issues as well as liability should they send it back to her and it became damaged in transit.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    It’s a minor miracle she’s getting it back, so she should be grateful for her good fortune. But what a strange story. She boards, stows everything away and somehow her laptop that was under other items gets slid way off someplace and turned into the flight attendant without her noticing? And if it had just slid down to the next seat like the story says, who would turn in a laptop without asking everybody in that area if it was theirs? Plus, the attendant simply assumes it was a leftover from the last flight even though new passengers are on the plane with stuff stowed everywhere? Logic suggests that not only did the OP miss her laptop being slid away literally from under her feet but also some efforts to return it to her.

  • emanon256

    Oh, good point. I didn’t think of that.

  • ChBot

    Here is a quote from her blog :
    ” I got two responses: one from United’s main customer service person’s
    secretary, saying, “Sorry, we can’t make Lufthansa break their rules but
    here’s a $150 travel voucher from United!” And one from Lufthansa
    customer service saying “Frankfurt told us you picked up your laptop, so
    everything’s fine now!”
    HULK SMASH CUSTOMER SERVICE. Back to the letter-writing slog. ”

    Come on : she got $150 (ok, phony money, but still perfectly valid for her if she travels quite a lot, which is more than 150% of shipping costs !) and she still is trying to get compensated by Lufthansa !!!…

    All for her own mistake of putting her computer on the floor in the first place and not noticing what happens around her during boarding !!!

    Chris, I wish you would have opted to follow your own rules of not mediating lost luggage cases !!!

  • ChBot

    According to her blog, it was flown back to the States by a friend and shipped UPS from within the US ! So we can’t really assume about the lack of hurdles to ship it back internationally !

  • mytimetotravel

    Why on earth would you put an iPad on the floor? There’s a seatback pouch right in front of you. My carry-on is small enough to fit under the seat in front of me, and if my iPad isn’t there it’s in the seat back. I think she was very lucky that it was recovered, unhurt (someone could have trodden on it!), and I have no problem with her having to pay to get it back. It might have been NICE if the airline had flown it to the US (and I bet then she’d have wanted it delivered), but I don’t think they’re obliged to.

  • TonyA_says

    You really need to read the rest of her comments to get a good idea of the kind of person we are dealing with:

    I know in my heart you are right that they don’t care, and I’m definitely doing whatever it takes to get it back ASAP; I need it too badly.

    But even if I pay the costs myself and Lufthansa keeps ignoring me, I’m not going to roll over and eat it without first raising a big old stinky stink and giving them as much trouble as possible. I can sue them in small claims court for my expenses, file a police report, and make sure as many people as I can reach hear about the incident and A) are inspired to be more careful with their possessions and B) think twice about flying Lufthansa.

    I do have homeowner’s insurance, but I’m not sure if the deductible is low enough. Will check on that.

    She sure sounds like those FTers who bought a mistake fare from RGN who wanted to sue, sue, sue. And then this

    My laptop was picked up at the airport last Thursday by a singer friend,
    whose wife flew home with it to the States Friday. It was mailed to me today which means I’ll have been without it for two weeks by the time I get it back. The postage was $93.58 (UPS, packaged and insured), which my next mission will be to get Lufthansa to return to me.

    I got two responses: one from United’s main customer service person’s secretary, saying, “Sorry, we can’t make Lufthansa break their rules but here’s a $150 travel voucher from United!” And one from Lufthansa customer service saying “Frankfurt told us you picked up your laptop, so everything’s fine now!”

    HULK SMASH CUSTOMER SERVICE. Back to the letter-writing slog.

    So a friend picked it up in Frankfurt airport and then shipped it to her. The postage was $93.58. She is trying to get LH to reimburse her for that postage. I think it is quite clear from LH website that one has to pick up lost items in the airport. LH won’t ship it to you to the USA even if you pay them.

    Finally, did she ever tell Elliott she got a $150 certificate from UA? Excuse me but, this is one real, special gal.

  • Bill___A

    Unfortunate and foolish on the part of the passenger. However, the reaction of the crew upon finding the laptop was inappropriate and their refusal to ship it was even more difficult to understand.
    A colleague left a camera at Hertz in London. He called and they allowed a courier to pick it up and ship it to him at his expense. Had she not had a friend to pick it up, she would have faced quite an expenditure of time and money to get back her laptop which is unreasonable. I would like to see Lufthansa’s lost and found policies published.
    I might note that Lufthansa is also not honouring all Star Alliance benefits either. I had visited relatives in Germany and was given some items to take home. I was TWO pounds over the 50 lb limit. As a Star Alliance Gold, I was to be allowed up to 70 lbs. However, the Lufthansa check in person stated that was “only for Lufthansa miles and more elites”. I know Chris has his issue with elites, but in this case, they were not following the rules. I wonder how many others encounter difficulties with this supposedly good but not really that good airline….

  • J. Random Driveby

    Let me point something out.

    Airlines routinely ship airplane parts around the planet, when they have to repair a broken airplane. That includes electronics, computers, sensors, you name it, and they have to arrive intact and undamaged, or the airplane continues to be a very large paperweight.

    Airlines KNOW how to pack and ship high-value objects so that they WON’T be damaged in transit.

    This was Lufthansa pulling the standard German “Rules are rules” routine.

  • TonyA_says

    They will be open to lots of legal liability if they just ship out items to overseas addresses. All the ipad, iphones and ipods might end up being shipped to Nigeria :-)

  • http://thestockhome.com/ Josh S

    Seriously. The OP failed to adequately secure her belongings, and isn’t willing to foot the bill to recover them after they get lost?

    Not the airline’s problem. Sure, the Flight Attendant could have (and probably should have) asked around or made an announcement. But that doesn’t mean they’re on the hook for the whole cost.

    When my wife left her purse behind on vacation (a 6 hour drive away), we called the owner of the hotel and offered to pay for him to ship it back. He was kind enough to box it up and deliver it to a FedEx, and overnighted it to us. Sure, it cost a bunch to do it, but just knowing that the nice guy was taking care of our mistake was worth it. Not to mention saving the hassle of replacing drivers license, credit cards, cell phone, etc etc etc etc etc.

    Now, I don’t get why Lufthansa wasn’t willing to ship it to her, at her own expense, and required an in-person pickup. But apart from that, I have little sympathy here.

  • emanon256

    WOW! She is nuts! And so is Untied.

  • TonyA_says

    You are right. LH is a (cargo) carrier so it would definitely be on the hook for shipping any item.

  • TonyA_says

    LH does not honor or participate in IATA Fares either. Therefore, they were not affected in the Rangoon Mistake Fare disaster. The Germans know how to stay away from trouble. It’s their way or the highway.

  • TonyA_says

    If she did not friends, she may be able to arrange a PICKUP from a courier company like DHL, TNT, UPS or FDX.

  • Bill___A

    Probably a good decision on their part. However, since the incident with them, I have thus far chosen the “highway”. I flew over 50,000 miles last year, none of it with Lufthansa.

  • TonyA_says

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she kicked it forward shortly after she sat down.


  • emanon256

    If that’s the case than that would be a good option or her. I wasn’t aware they would pick up an un-packaged item.

  • TonyA_says

    Beside who would be the consignee? Does LH cargo ship parcels for home delivery? There’s a whole lot of issues for international door-to-door shipping. That’s why LH policy is you arrange for PICKUP for lost items at airport.

  • TonyA_says

    They can bring a box and let the LH or airport folks seal it.

  • TonyA_says

    I think the people in row 28 (in front of her) told the FA that the computer must have been left by passengers who already disembarked. That’s the reason why the purser left the computer with the gate and never asked anyone else if it was theirs. The LH FAs must have been thinking the owner would claim it by going back to the gate after they realized it was missing.

  • TonyA_says

    The most interesting part is OTHERS saw the people in front (with the baby) gave the computer to the FA. The question is, if others saw it, why didn’t she. Maybe she was NOT PAYING ATTENTION right before the time before the close the doors and push back. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku are addicting :-)

  • TonyA_says

    I hope the laptop did not have ‘Anthony Weiner’ type pics.
    That could be the end of anyone’s career.

  • Joe_D_Messina

    In the letter the OP calls it a laptop, so it was possibly too large for the seatback pocket.

    The part I’m not getting is how a computer gets turned in on a boarded plane and is removed without any effort to find out if it belonged to somebody on the plane. That just doesn’t sound right. If the FA didn’t ask around they should have, but maybe they did and the OP just wasn’t paying attention. This laptop got moved, was discovered, and turned in within apparently a few feet of the OP. How’d she miss all that?

  • Nigel Appleby

    I thank Lufthansa could have brought the laptop to Boston on another flight and required an in person pick up from there.

  • DavidYoung2

    The OP is an ungrateful wingnut. They found your computer – congratulations! YOU lost it, not them. Why should they mail it back to you? Unless somebody shows up in person, the airline is just dropping a laptop into the mail to some unknown person who called up.

    Think about it – anybody could call up and say the “left their iPad in the boarding area” and ask to have it mailed to them. The airline is smart – somebody has to show up, in person, and present ID and identify the product. Then they hand it over. But not to some anonymous voice on the phone.

  • $16635417

    Lose laptop…blame others. No need to take responsibility for my actions.

  • DavidYoung2

    They probably want somebody to show up in person and present photo ID. Otherwise, they’re sending a laptop to some voice on the phone.

  • $16635417

    It happens. I once stowed my carryon in the overhead a row in front of me as the bin above me was full. When we landed it wasn’t there! It turns out that before take off, Mr. & Mrs. First Time Traveler ahead of me were having a hissy fit because they had no place to stow their bag and insisted the overhead was theirs. The Flight Attendant moved my bag to a bin in the First Class overhead, but before doing so asked around as to who’s bag it was and even called me by name (from reading my ID tag). I was so absorbed in what I was reading, that I never even heard her. (My seatmates confirmed that as well.) I felt like a fool and missed the show! The description of the hissy fit sounded like it would have been fun to witness!

  • emanon256

    The OP said someone from Lufthansa called her from the contact information on her computer. So she is not an anonymous voice on the phone. Just saying. I still think she should pay for it to get returned, but at least they could do is ship it to her at her expense.

  • emanon256

    I left an electric razor at a hotel in Germany once. Totally my fault. And ti wasn’t the first time I left it at a hotel. I called them with the intent to offer to pay to have it shipped back (Its an expensive razor) and they insisted that they ship it back at their expense. I kept insisting to pay, and they would not have it. They shipped it back to me at their expense and even insured it, and I never had an issue with customs. I think it all comes down to customer service, since Lufthansa called her from the ID info on her laptop, they know they had the right person.

  • Guest

    I woudl hole LH would at least agree to that.

  • bodega3

    Fly, Icarus, Fly….right on!
    According to her blog, she is in therapy, so now she has more to talk about! Maybe the doctor will help her see that she has some responsibility in what happened.

  • crash025

    Given that logic, they should never trust the customer to use a legitimate credit card to make a $3k+ purchase for an economy class ticket. Every transaction must include a physical appointment, and 2 other forms of id before the credit transaction is approved.

  • crash025

    Its amusing to see how much LH can screw over people and still have people defending them. After I was screwed over I said the same thing.

  • john4868

    @emanon256:disqus There are a whole number of issues that come about with computers that don’t with a razor like….

    1. Data stored on the HD. The shipper is held responsible for it. I’m not sure the LH wanted to be held liable for anything she did or didn’t have stored (take your pick on the things that Customs is looking for).
    2. Technology limitations… Computers are classified a duel use items so sending a computer out from the US drives a ton of paperwork. Not sure what the paperwork from Germany might look like for an individual shipment.
    3. Duties… Even Items being returned home may be liable for the payment of duty if it exceeds a certain amount.

  • John Keahey

    Ye, the customer is initially responsible and ungrateful, the airline flight attendant should have made an announcement, and it’s great that the airline took good care of it and she got it back. $93 – peanuts, considering what could have happened. The glass is half full, lady.

  • emanon256

    My company has shipped employees laptops and other equipment all of the world without any problems, duties, or paperwork. I have shipped several laptops myself, and its as simple as going to the printing a label on-line and going to a drop off site, or going to shipping center. I am not sure how the shipper would be responsible for data loss when shipping a forgotten personal item, and if LH is concerned, they could have her sign a disclaimer.

    Also, as far as I know, the Dual Use classification only involves export, as in a manufacturer or company exporting for comemrcial purposes. Shipping lost personal item would not appear to be subject to this.

    Also there are generally no duties on a personal item in my experience, if she was buying the laptop, yes duties would be due. But just like item number 2. That only applies for comemrcial sales or export. Shipping a personal item is not a sale or an export. People often ship their luggage, my old company often shipped equipment and laptops. As long as its not part of a sale or import/export of sold or re-sale goods, its very easy to ship.

  • sirwired

    There’s a couple of reasons they aren’t shipping it back at her expense:

    1) She hasn’t offered to pay; she’s been too busy being angry.

    2) Formally shipping the laptop (as opposed to a nice employee taking pity on her; unlikely due to her attitude) involves filling out all sorts of burdensome international shipping paperwork. There’s a high risk of it being held up in customs (as a possible duty-skirting import), which she’d almost certainly be blaming Lufthansa for also.

  • sirwired

    I don’t think there is such a thing as International COD. And even if there were, the chances that it’ll get held up by US customs as a duty-skirting import are high enough that I don’t think Lufthansa wants to bother, especially for such an annoying customer.

  • jmtabb

    In addition to all of this, who takes the liability when the laptop is stolen when being shipped? International Shipments include a written list of the contents of the package ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE PACKAGE for customs purposes. That makes high value products like a laptop very easy targets for theft.

  • bodega3

    We had a used cell phone mailed from Switzerland to Sweden and it got hung up in customs for weeks on both ends. You just never know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/judyserie.nagy Judy Serie Nagy

    So let’s see here, she put her laptop under the seat in front of her in a sleeve, not in a closed bag. It slid somewhere and disappeared. She didn’t notice the commotion when it was discovered and handed over to the crew? How far did it slide while the airplane was parked at the gate!!?? And she thinks this is the AIRLINE’s fault??? Sure, the crew could have made an announcement before they off-loaded the thing, but people flying with valuable goodies need to protect them, not expect someone else to. If I did something so dumb, I would be thrilled that they shipped it back to me and happy to pay the charges.

  • Alan Gore

    She should have reported the loss in flight, as soon as she missed the laptop. Waiting until after the flight is ober is asking for itto disappear.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Wow, some people are really entitled. This woman should be pleased that complete strangers turned in her laptop, and it was kept safe. Oh NOES she may have to pay to ship it? Really?
    Can we have a case that isn’t completely ridiculous, please?
    Or is this case here just a feeble attempt to get people to read her terrible LIVEJOURNAL blog.

    Really, no one in the professional world uses Livejournal. It’s like the MySpace of blog sites—full of bratty kids, psuedo-intellectual college students, and insane fandom people.

    (Source: Did a study on users on various social networking sites last year for a client. LJ is the bottom of the barrel)

  • Raven_Altosk

    People who are professionals DO NOT use LJ (LiveJournal). That alone tells me volumes about this OP.

  • Raven_Altosk

    She’s on Livejournal. That says enough. Spoiled brat college kid, is my guess.

  • Carchar

    I don’t pay attention to everything. I would have expected some common sense from the people in front of her, though. On a flat surface, even if she kicked it, her laptop wouldn’t have gone all the way forward. It probably was still somewhat under that seat and the person who found it should have asked the person behind her if she were the owner.

    No, I’m not going to read the op’s blog nor blame LF. I’m just saying, I can understand how she may have been distracted and not noticed the laptop’s disappearance until she needed it.(I’ve seen many people zone out or downright doze off during the boarding process, once hitting their seat.) I just can’t understand not making an attempt to find the owner in the vicinity before handing it over to the FA.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Please, enough with the ad hominem attacks.

  • KaraJones

    LOL! Maybe she should have taped one of those pix on the laptop case – no one would go near it!

    More seriously, though, I have my name and phone number taped securely on the outside of my laptop case and my smartphone – along with a “Reward if returned” note. I wonder if the FA had seen the name, they might have made an announcement.

  • KaraJones

    Maybe she could knit herself a new computer bag.

  • KaraJones

    They didn’t steal her property, but they did sort of hold her property hostage. What if she didn’t know anyone in Frankfurt? That was just a lucky break for her. Since they knew who it belonged to based on the ID info in her laptop, and since they were the ones who removed it from the plane without making an announcement, they should have offered to return it – either at their expense or hers.

  • $16635417

    Had the same issue sending someone a cell phone. The duty was more than the cost of the phone.

  • disqus_A6K3VBf8Zn

    I vote ‘no’ for one reason. Airlines do not know what people bring on board unless they are notified or the items are checked. If the passenger was so concerned, why check it or at least take out some ‘loss’ insurance.

  • emanon256

    I would hope LH would at least agree to that.

  • Sava

    Its just like a lost baggage & Lufthansa showed have sent it priority delivery

  • technomage1

    I agree that she should have had to pick it up at an airport. But why Frankfurt? Why not Boston?

  • y_p_w

    That’s only where the airline has lost the bag and must take a certain level of responsibility. However, this was a case where the customer simply misplaced her own property.

  • emanon256

    Then how do companies like Fed Ex deliver over 3 million packaged shipped internationally every day? According to there marketing material, she ship over 3 Million packages a day across boarders, and over 250 Million a day around the world (I assume without crossing boarders). Shipping is not as scary and complicated as every one is making it sound.

  • webhill

    I am a professional (VMD) and I use LiveJournal. I am not the only professional of my acquaintance on LJ either. FYI.

  • jmtabb

    Actually, I work in the logistics industry, and I’m quite familiar with how “scary and complicated” international shipping can be. A single container of the goods I ship internationally is accompanied by an average of 12 pages of paperwork – and it’s not an item with export controls like electronics can have. I manage an average of 100 containers per month, with shipments to and from North and South America, Asia, Europe and Africa.

    A huge number of packages that Fedex ships internationally are documents – even in this digital age there are all sorts of things that have to be done with originally signed papers.

    Internationally, even Fedex requires customs declarations (and additional required paperwork depending on the items shipped). The customs declarations are printed right on the airway bill – which is visibly pasted on the front of the package.

    How comfortable would you be sending out a package with the contents: “1 laptop computer” written on it for every truck driver, sorter, airline worker etc. to see? And when it gets stolen, how do you prove that it happened when the laptop was in the control of Fedex or Lufthansa?? That’s why Lufthansa won’t ship it home. There’s no way to prove where their responsibility ends. And I don’t blame them one bit for making this their policy.

  • TonyA_says

    The difference is you are a nice guy. If Lufthansa read all that vile talk in her blog, why will they go above and beyond? Of course Lufthansa could do better but I think lost cabin baggage service is OUTSOURCED. Me thinks, if this was a Japanese carrier, it would be handled a lot, lot better.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Majority statement, sweetness. The OP’s posts there about this incident (not just the one Chris linked) are…well…indicative of someone with either a serious entitlement complex or mental issues. Possibly both. If you’re here to defend that behavior…then I question your “VMD”.

  • http://flyicarusfly.com/ Fly, Icarus, Fly

    Personally, I think the airline doesn’t want to get involved further in that if they ship it / relay it on a flight, that means they are taking added responsibility for it. If it gets lost in transit, it’s on them. I wonder if she had said, “I’m happy to pay for shipping + insurance”, if they would’ve just popped it in a FedEx box and mailed it. That would’ve been the easy way.

  • Grant Ritchie

    Lufthansa’s lost-and-found policy for personal items is impressively vague…

    “If you have left an item on board a Lufthansa aircraft or at the airport, please report this immediately to the local Lufthansa baggage tracing desk or a local Lufthansa representative. Based on your detailed description, we will try to locate this item as quickly as possible by means of an intensive search. Should we be successful, we will contact you to arrange the return of the item.”

    Now, I would assume that that meant LH would ship my item to me (or at least allow me to pay to have it shipped). The beauty of that wonderfully obtuse piece of writing is that contacting me and saying “Hey, we found your item and will hold it for pick-up half a world away,” COULD be read as fulfilling their part of the bargain. LH… I salute your legal department!

  • Bill___A

    I’ve commented before on this situation. I don’t condone how the airline behaved. However, as an airline passenger, you have to pay attention to the world around you and also have some common sense. It is difficult to imagine the laptop “slipping” around unless it was improperly stowed. After all, it was offloaded before the plane even went anywhere.
    Although I would be frustrated beyond words at Lufthansa if they wanted me to fly to Frankfurt to pick up my laptop, the chances of me losing one in this manner are slim to none.
    When you travel, you need to keep your head about you, use common sense, and not do incredibly foolish things.
    That goes for the airlines as well as the passengers.

  • Bill___A

    I have not defended them and in fact have never flown then since. If I ever do fly them again, I will ensure I have a 74 lb bag or two and a printout of Star Alliance benefits. Not sure what I will put in the suitcases to make them that heavy…but it will be something worthless.

  • crash025

    I understand. LH has a huge fanboy population. My situation happened nearly 2 years ago now. I consider taking the train if I can’t get a connection to the city I need to go to over a connection with LH.

  • crash025

    Given my experience, that wouldn’t satisfy them unless they had a policy that grants FedEx to ship it with those criterias. I don’t think they’d steal it, they’d just let it sit in lost in found in FRA until the person came to claim it. Honestly I’m surprised they allowed someone other than the original owner get it and claim it.

  • pauletteb

    When the OP finally noticed that her laptop was missing and was told by the people in front of her that it had been given to an FA, why didn’t she make the effort to tell an FA that the laptop was hers? Had she done that, the laptop would never have been offloaded. The OP’s failure to act in a timely manner isn’t the airline’s fault.

  • pauletteb

    The “HULK SMASH CUSTOMER SERVICE” tells me everything I need to know about the OP . . . and none of it’s good.

  • pauletteb

    Kara, you made my day. Too funny!