A year or so ago I left my Kindle e-reader in an airplane seat pocket when I deplaned. Those seat pockets contain just a few things – an in-flight magazine, a plastic card that describes safety features, and the timeless airsickness bag. So there’s plenty of room to lose an e-reader in there. Does that sound like an excuse? Well imagine my utter frustration and disappointment – my chagrin – when I did it AGAIN this past weekend. Same drill. I stowed my Kindle in the seat pocket along with some magazines before takeoff. I did all of my reading in-flight. And then in my haste to deplane, I took the magazines and left the Kindle.
There’s an interesting dance you do when you realize you’ve left something on an airplane. It typically begins when you’re unpacking your bags. You take out the clothes and bathroom stuff and then you get down to the little things. About that time you start to wonder when a particular item will surface. Laptop – check. iPod – check. Kindle – oh no, not again. You double-check (okay, you triple-check) your suitcase and your carry-on. You tear your car apart to make sure it didn’t slip between the seats on the way home. And then after you’ve bounced around the bedroom cursing at the walls, you resign yourself to the fact that your Kindle is now in the hands of Delta Airlines. Or one of its enterprising employees.
Delta has a promising process to claim “lost articles”. You go on-line and fill out an official-looking form. You describe the lost article to prove it’s yours. And then you wait. And wait. After three days I got an email reply. It started positively enough. “Dear Mr. Wilson: The search continues… “. But the paragraphs that followed are collectively referred to as “form letter”. It was painfully obvious Delta was not going to drop everything to unearth my Kindle.
My theory on the current whereabouts of my Kindle has two endings. In one, a Delta “cleaner” finds my Kindle and pockets it; or gifts it to his/her child; or stocks the nice little black market he/she has going on the side. In the other, Delta doesn’t have enough employees to clean the seat pockets after every trip so my Kindle just continues on to the next destination. To the person who got my seat after me, I say “you’re welcome”.
Here’s a great invention inspired by my Kindle-down experience. It’s a wireless “leash”: a band that goes around your wrist with a removable Velcro button that can be attached to small personal items (i.e. Kindles). When the wrist band and the Velcro button are far enough apart, the band beeps and you realize something is not right. Not bad, huh?
In my defense for having abandoned my Kindle twice, a laptop is too big for the seat pocket so at least a portion would be visible. iPods and mobile phones are too small to risk putting in the seat pocket and forgetting about. But a Kindle? The perfect size. Small enough and flat enough to disappear into seat pocket oblivion.
This story will have an ending, happy or not. Remember, according to Delta, “the search continues”…