In early April I was going through the security in the Qantas terminal at Sydney domestic airport. The buzzer continued to go off as I removed my belt, shoes, wallet, and other items. You know the drill. Each item removed was placed in a separate bin and scanned. Well…you guessed it. I left an item behind. After sitting in the Qantas lounge for more than 15 minutes, I reached down and felt a lack of a belt. Thinking I had left my belt at home (I also lacked a couple of cups of coffee at this hour of the morning), I went to Oxford – a men’s store in the airport and purchased a new belt.
When I returned home from the overnight I trip I realised my double error – the belt was not forgotten at home, but at the security line at the airport and I did not need to purchase a new belt as a result!
On my next trip through the security, I asked one of the staff where the lost and found was located. He informed me the Qantas lost and found was downstairs. I decided I would check with them when next in the airport.
When I visited the Qantas lost three weeks later, I found it is an amazing organisation. Sorted by month, the lost and found is further sorted by type of item and each item is tagged with the date and other details. When I stated I had lost my belt in early April, the gentleman produced a bin marked men’s belts with more than 50 belts from April 2017.
Enter Qantas Charitable Giving
I asked the Qantas staffer what happens with the eyeglasses, laptops, luggage, clothing, and other items carefully inventoried and stored for claiming. Apparently, Qantas provides the items to Mission Australia after it is stored for more than a month. Additionally, I was informed the eyeglasses go to a charity focused on assisting people with eyesight issues overseas. This was music to my ears. I was pleased to learn the items are put to good use once unclaimed after a set length of time. Giving these items to non-profit organisations, rather than disposing of them, makes a lot of sense.
Perhaps this is common practice in the airline industry. I do not know. But, kudos to Qantas for their organisation skills and for ensuring lost items are given a new home.