My colleague Miguel, JetBlue tech expert and Airport Operations Supervisor in San Jose, California noted in his recent Tech Thursday column about how our customers sometimes leave behind souvenirs or more gadgets, like phones or handheld games, on our planes.
There are some items people may lose, that may not seem significant to many. But to the person who lost it, it can be devastating. Like a beloved teddy bear left onboard a flight to Orlando recently by a four-year-old named Dane.
I was in the Orlando airport recently waiting to board a flight to visit my sister in the Boston area, when I overheard a couple discussing an item their son had left on one of our planes several days before. When I inquired if I could help, I learned that they had already filed a lost and found report in our Orlando Baggage Services office and the crewmembers there had traced the path of the aircraft that day and had reached out to the lost and found departments of each BlueCity into which the aircraft had flown.
The lost item was a teddy bear that their son had since he was an infant and he was very attached to it.
It reminded me of a time many years ago when I was able to reunite a set of monogrammed Mickey Mouse ears left onboard our aircraft with the child who had so proudly wore them during his trip to Disney World.
I found the ears and sent them to the little boy and days later I received a note from his mother, along with a picture of a smiling child wearing the mouse ears. She told me how disappointed he was when they realized he had left the ears onboard the plane and she figured they were gone for good. He thought it was magic that they had been returned to him.
Unfortunately not every lost item has such a happy ending. Despite my efforts to alert my fellow crewmembers in Orlando, New York and Fort Lauderdale to be on the lookout for Dane’s teddy bear, we were unable to locate it. I did, however, receive many emails of support in response from crewmembers who offered suggestions and phone numbers for their airports’ general lost and found, and those who requested I keep them updated on the progress to find the lost bear.
I had resigned myself to the fact that the bear was gone when I learned of our Valentine’s Day contest we recently held for customers in which the winners received tickets and a beautiful human-size bear from Vermont Teddy Bear. I reached out to my colleagues in our New York headquarters and in true JetBlue fashion, they offered to send a bear (that’s probably bigger than him) to Dane to help lift his spirits.
We know that the bear we sent will not take the place of his beloved lost teddy, but we hope when Dane hugs his new bear at night, he feels that is it not too big, not too small, but just right.