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Flyers leave behind wedding rings, even artificial limb

A Passenger at heathrow airport catching London based Virgin Airlines left a prosthetic limb behind. Airport staff found the prosthetic limb in the washroom and it was successfully returned to the owner. For more information and details about this situation..

It is comprehensible that in their rush to disembark, passengers often leave behind their belongings such as mobile phones, iPods, reading glasses and books in the aircraft. But how does one explain leaving behind a prosthetic limb?

It begins as soon as the aircraft docks into its bay. A sense of urgency takes over the passenger cabin as overhead bins are opened, bags and belongings gathered. Passengers pour into the aisle. Some rush to join the queue to disembark and quite a few leave behind their belongings. Generally these are things with an inherent potential to get misplaced like reading glasses, headphones, CDs and like. But London-based airline Virgin Atlantic recently carried out a survey among its cabin crew members and ground staffers to find out what objects passengers often forget to take, and got a bizarre list that had more than the usual suspects.
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The most frequent items left behind by flyers were books, reading glasses, mobile phone, cameras, headphones, makeup kits, neck pillows, CDs and duty-free shopping. A few even forgot to take valuable items such as passports, iPods, iPads, kindles, laptops and even wedding rings.

In 2011, a passenger on board a London-Delhi flight left behind his artificial limb. But how did he walk out of the aircraft?

“He had an injury and must have removed his limb to relax. He disembarked in the wheel-chair and a while later our crew found the leg,” said the airline spokesperson. The strangeness of the list does not surprise the airline.

“Passengers leave all sorts of items on our flights ranging from the predictable to the quite unexpected.

We were surprised to find the artificial limb left behind by one of our Upper Class passengers and were happy to reunite them,” said Stephen King, general manager, Virgin Atlantic-India.

He added that many passengers start their vacation the moment they get on the aircraft and they relax into their holiday mood, they often forget personal belongings onboard.

The forgetfulness can extend to even the absolute essentials, like shoes. “Some passengers change into a comfortable pair of footwear once on board, and then forget to change back into their shoes,” said the spokesperson.

If one thought that large, conspicuous objects are not likely to left behind, the list disproves that. One passenger had left behind a baby stroller after the flight landed in London; another common item was wedding rings. The marital band is apparently a common item that is left behind. Evidently, quite a few passengers remove their rings on board Virgin’s flights.

“Virgin Atlantic tries to return the forgotten items to passengers. And, any item that is not claimed for more than six months, if not perishable, are donated for charitable causes,” the airline spokesperson said.