I lost one of my Apple AirPods on my United flight from Chicago to Los Angeles, but could not have been more impressed by the help I received in searching for it. It almost made the loss worthwhile.
My old Bose QC14 noise-cancelling headphones stopped working so I just used my AirPods during my last trip. That proved to be a big mistake. I fell asleep on my flight to LA with the wireless headphones in my ears. When I woke up, the right ear headphone was missing.
I wasn’t initially concerned. I took a quick look around my seat and on the floor but could not find it. Still, I figured I’d find it when we landed.
But after landing, I simply could not find it…even after pulling the cushions off my seat.
The two first class flight attendants noticed I was crawling around on the ground and one asked me what I lost. After mentioning I had lost one of my AirPods, one began helping me search. Then another. Then another.
It must have been comical for the passengers who were disembarking from Door 1L to see a passenger and three flight attendants stooped over or crawling around.
The 757-300 is one long aircraft and as passengers continued to disembark, the gate agent came onboard. He too joined the search posse.
I even went to the “Find My” app on my iPhone and enabled a “sound” on the AirPods. It makes a faint cricket noise, but we could not discern the chirping in the cabin.
But alas, we could not find it. Who knows how far back it went on the aircraft or if another passenger picked it up…
Here’s what struck me. I’ve flown United regularly for 15 years now and this sort of service would have been unheard of just a few years ago. Now of course there was always flight attendants who would go the extra mile…even in the darkest days of bankruptcy.
But the graciousness (apologizing as if it was their fault I fell asleep with my AirPods on) and desire to help displayed by the flight attendants and gate agents was truly heartwarming.
When I finally gave up the search, the gate agent also apologized, told me to file a claim with lost and found, and wished my a Merry Christmas.
If you happen to be on N57869 this week, a Boeing 757-300, keep an eye out for a lone AirPod for the right ear. I was seated in 4F. Meanwhile, I learned my lesson and won’t be putting those on any longer if I am in a relaxing mode on a plane…
Kudos to the flight attendants on UA1186 and the ground staff for helping me search. Even though the search provided futile, I greatly appreciated the extra effort.