Lost On Board: The Strangest Items Passengers Leave Behind

By: andrewbowman

July 22, 2011

You may remember we’ve written before about some of the strangest inflight requests and most unusual items passengers have tried to check in on our flights, but what have we forgotten? Or rather, what might you forget? Every year it’s estimated that more than 12,000 books, 10,500 pairs of reading glasses and around 5,000 phones get left on board Virgin Atlantic planes.

So, in the height of holiday season we’d like to issue a reminder to take care of your belongings and also share with you some of the more bizarre items that have been left behind. Aside from the above-mentioned, cameras and iPods are regularly found hiding in seatback pockets and overhead lockers, but a recent survey of ground staff turned up a few much larger and weirder possessions. Here are our five favourite oddities:

  • An artificial limb (found on a flight from New York)
  • An urn containing someone’s ashes (found on a flight to Johannesburg)
  • A movie script (found on a flight from Delhi)
  • A wheelchair belonging to Artie from Glee (found on a flight from LA)
  • Seven plastic orange pumpkins and witches broom sticks (found on a flight from Boston)

economy cabin on Virgin Atlantic


Virgin Atlantic Flight Services Manager, Laura Hutcheson commented:

“Passengers leave all sorts of items on planes ranging from the predictable to the quite unexpected. I was surprised to find an artificial limb left behind by one of our upper class passengers but was delighted that we were able to re-unite them.

“Many passengers start their holidays the moment they get on board and when they relax into their adventure they can often forget the basics of checking they don’t leave anything behind. Naturally we remind all passengers to ensure they have their belongings with them but would urge more people heed this advice.”

Have you ever left anything odd behind on one of our flights? Maybe you came across another passenger’s forgotten items…We’d love to hear your stories, so please share them with us in the comments below.

For the best fares on flights to all our destinations, log on to