Lost & Found Tips and Guidelines
Travelers Aid Dallas/Fort Worth operates the lost and found for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Travelers Aid receives items left in all security checkpoints at DFW International Airport, and items left on the airport shuttles, Skylink and the general airport grounds.
Each year, we receive various items lost by passengers and employees at the airport. To help items stay with their owners, and to help reunite lost items with their owners, the following information is offered:
If something is lost, who do I contact?
There are multiple lost and found operations at the airport, so knowing where you think an item was lost is very important. There are three primary lost and found operations at DFW:
- Travelers Aid Lost and Found – located at Terminal E by the E4 Baggage Claim area. Phone: 972-973-4420. Hours: Mon. – Fri. 8am – 6pm and Sat. and Sun. 9am – 5pm
- American Airlines Lost and Found – located in Terminal C, inside security across
from gate C2. Phone: 972-425-2465 or visit their website at aa.com/lostandfound
Hours: 7am – 7pm seven days a week
- Each airline also has a small internal lost and found – usually located in their baggage office or behind their ticket counters
The following guidelines will help you search for your lost item:
- If it was left on an aircraft, you should contact that airlines’ LOCAL (DFW) lost and found office. Travelers Aid can assist guests needing airline lost and found telephone numbers other than AA. Items left on a plane DO NOT come to the Travelers Aid Lost and Found office
- If it was lost at a security screening checkpoint and recovered by TSA, it will be picked up by Travelers Aid Lost and Found, located at Terminal E by the E4 Baggage Claim area
- If it was lost on an Airport shuttle (Terminal Link, Express Parking, Remote Parking, Rental Car Shuttle, Skylink): Travelers Aid – Terminal E office
- If it was lost at a ticket counter, in a baggage claim area, or in a boarding/gate area, the most likely source to check is that airlines’ internal DFW local lost and found
- For items lost on the general airport grounds in Terminals A, B, C, D & E, check with Travelers Aid Lost and Found office
- If an item is recovered by the airport police it is generally taken to the Travelers Aid Lost and Found office
- For after hours information, please contact the DFW Airport Operations Center at 972-973-3112
Other general lost and found tips:
- The owner of an item should call to try to locate it. Do not have secretaries, friends, other family members etc. call. A detailed description will be necessary and depending on the item only the owner may be able to identify it. Depending on the item, a lost and found office may not even discuss whether or not they have the item with someone who is not the owner for security and liability reasons.
- Most lost and found offices – including ours – will not release an item to someone that is not the owner(including spouses, secretaries, etc.) without a written/faxed release from the owner authorizing the release.
- If you take a laptop or other electronic item through a security checkpoint and remove it from your bag, IT IS YOUR SOLE RESPONSIBILITY to retrieve it and put it back in your bag once you have cleared security. IT IS NOT TSA’S RESPONSIBILITY TO REPLACE LAPTOPS IN BAGS OR TO REMIND YOU TO DO SO.
- Download and activate GPS apps on your smart phones, Iphones, Ipads etc. to help locate them if you do lose them.
- Take an extra zip top bag with you, and before you go into the security checkpoint area, put your keys, change, watch, cell phone etc. in that zip top bag and put it in your carry on. That way, you have all of your “pocket” items together.
- Main things left behind at a security checkpoint: keys, belts, glasses/sunglasses, wallets, cell phones and laptops/iPads. Please stay aware of your items and plan accordingly. AGAIN, IT IS YOUR SOLE RESPONSIBILITY to retrieve your items before you leave a security checkpoint. IT IS NOT TSA’S RESPONSIBILITY to return your items or remind you to pick them up.
- Neither TSA nor any lost and found office will pay to ship items you leave at a security checkpoint to you. Shipping expenses to return your items will be your exclusive responsibility.
- Checked baggage that does not arrive is an exclusive airline responsibility. You will need to contact and file a claim with your airline’s baggage office. Keep your baggage claim tag in a safe place as you will need it when you file your claim.
- When you check your bag, look at your claim tag to be sure it is checked to the correct destination BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE TICKET COUNTER.
- Put your name ON EVERYTHING!!! This includes checked baggage, carry on items, laptops, cameras, iPads/iPods, cell phones, etc. Please also put your name and contact information inside your baggage, laptop/camera bags, briefcases etc.
- Put an “emergency contact” number in your cell phone, and be sure your cell phone number is listed under the phone settings. If possible put an email address in the settings of your phone.
- Where possible, put your name in your clothing – particularly outer wear and accessories – we receive a significant amount of caps, hats, belts and coats.
- Pencil your address and telephone number in your passport and update each time you travel; page 4 on new passports or page 7 on older passports.
- Remain aware of your items at all times – perform a quick mental inventory when you leave the ticket counter, go through security, go to the restroom, leave the gate area or baggage claim. Be sure you arrive at your destination with everything you began your trip with. Ultimately it is your responsibility to keep track of your items – not TSA’s, or the airline’s, or the airport’s.
- If you discover you have lost an item while you are in the airport, immediately retrace your steps to see if you can find it.
- Lost and found offices will not let you go in their office and search through the items turned in. You will be required to provide a sufficiently detailed description to establish ownership.
- Lost and found offices normally will not let someone else pick up your lost item unless you have provided them with a written/faxed authorization to release it to another person.
- Airlines will not normally “ship” a lost item to you or “put it on the next flight”.
- Airport police will not normally pull and check security tapes to find out who may have picked up a lost item unless you can establish a substantial case that it was stolen. Keep in mind that checking tapes to see if another passenger took an item will do no good as you will not be able to identify that person nor track where they went.
- If you do lose an item, contact the appropriate lost and found as soon as possible, but keep in mind that depending on who found the item, it may take several days for the item to work its way to lost and found.
- Finally, please keep in mind that just because something is lost, does not automatically mean it will be found. That depends on who finds it and what they decide to do with it. Some items are never found and recovered.