New online search function speeds up processes in the Lost & Found Office at Frankfurt Airport
Fiddlesticks! The family has just settled into their seats in the plane and are full of excitement about their holiday. When suddenly the youngest child cries, “my teddy bear is gone!” Now what? It’s a shame that she’ll have to do without her favorite cuddly animal during the trip. But it would at least be great to know that it will be in safe hands in Frankfurt Airport’s lost & found office until they return―it would be a huge relief, in fact.
But how can they find out? Fortunately, it has just become considerably easier for the owners of missing objects to report their losses to the lost & found office online―any time of the day or night. With luck, the lost item will already be in the database. A new system now automatically compares search requests and returned items, identifies matches, and notifies owners as soon as their missing property turns up.
In the search portal on the airport website, it is possible to specify attributes such as the item’s brand, color, size, unique inscriptions etc. and when and where it was lost. A photograph of it can even be uploaded. “The new system greatly facilitates our work,” says Rike Krüger of the lost & found office at Frankfurt Airport. Passengers can easily select search parameters themselves. In the past, it was necessary for airport employees to laboriously copy this information from emails or faxes or call owners to ask for details. Especially on busy days, this can take awhile. “Travelers now enjoy an improved service. They can actively support the search process themselves and no longer have to constantly worry during their trip, hoping against hope that we will have found their property by the time they return,” adds Krüger. “We can now let them know right away as soon as their lost smartphone, backpack, umbrella, saxophone or whatever appears in our system.” The image analysis function will also be improved even further very soon; the software will then be able to automatically identify and correlate more attributes of missing objects. This will make it faster and more convenient both to submit search requests and to identify found items.
Once it’s clear that the lost & found office has a missing object, its owner has various options for recovering their property. They can of course personally retrieve it from the lost & found office right after returning, or else authorize someone else to do it for them. For a small fee and the cost of postage, the staff of the lost & found office will also send items to anywhere in the world.
Good to know
The Lost & Found Office at Frankfurt Airport is a service of Fraport, the airport’s operator. Its 10 employees deal with up to 70 returned items and 50 search requests a day. Currently about 10,000 objects are stored in the lost & found office in Terminal 1 located at the entrance to the Airport city Mall on Level 0. They range from items such as jewelry and electrical appliances, across clothing and accessories, toys and travel bags, all the way to curiosities such chainsaws, wheelchairs and microwave ovens. They are kept for three months and then auctioned off if they haven’t been claimed by that time. The proceeds are kept for three years, just in case owners make themselves known by then. The lost & found office is open to the public every day between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.