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Woman leaves AirPods on a plane, tracks them to airport worker’s home

By Brooke Villanueva Published Mar 26, 2023 1:06 pm

A woman who left her AirPods on a plane tracked them to an airport worker’s home a few weeks later.

According to a report by CNN International, Alisabeth Hayden realized she left her jacket along with her earphones upon getting off the United Airlines plane from Tokyo on a layover at San Francisco International Airport. She asked if she could go back to her seat and get it, but was told only a flight attendant was allowed to do so. 

On her flight to Seattle, she found out her AirPods were not in her jacket pocket and immediately decided to use in-flight WiFi to track them. She first saw they were at a cargo terminal at SFO, then other terminals, and then at a home address in the Bay Area.

After reporting her earbuds as “lost” on the app, she decided to tap a detective from the San Mateo police force who works at the airport. The latter found that it was with an airport contractor who loads food onto aircraft. 

The man who had her earbuds said that he received them from a cleaner, who strongly denied the claim. 

Hayden was able to have it back 12 days later, although she said it now looks like it was stomped on and damaged on purpose. 

She asked for $271 (almost P15,000) and 5,000 air miles in compensation for the unpleasant experience.

"United Airlines holds our vendors to the highest standards and we are working with local authorities in their investigation of this matter,” an airline representative said in a statement provided to Insider

The media outlet added that the San Francisco Airport Police Department is likewise “dealing with the incident.”