American Airlines and the Case of the Missing iPod

It is Tuesday afternoon and my family is on the final leg of a very long summer adventure. We are hours from home and the spirits of the Middle have been lifted again.

Early yesterday morning, after waking up at 4 am to catch an early flight, our traveling carnival group of seven boarded an American Airlines flight from Honolulu to LAX. As seems to happen more often these days, our group was seated in different rows. The Oldest & the Middle (who seem to have found a new appreciation for each other as traveling companions, if not as brothers) begged to sit together. As we landed in LA I reminded them to check for their belongings.
It wasn’t until and hour later, as our connecting flight to Las Vegas was getting ready to board, that the Middle realized he’d left his iPod in the seat back pocket. He began crying right away. It’s important to note that this iPod wasn’t a gift. The Middle saved his Christmas and birthday money until he could afford to buy it himself. He’s had it for a year, so he was 9 when he made this very special purchase. What upset him the most though, was that his vacation pictures were on his iPod.

I ran back to the gate we had arrived on and went to the agent desk. After standing there (and being blatantly ignored by a female agent) for six minutes, I asked another agent who was by the door, if the plane was the same one. I explained what had happened and told him which seat my son had been in. He let it be known that he didn’t want to help and that he had no interest. He essentially told me that it was our tough luck. The plane had been loaded and was set to return to Hawaii. After I begged he said he would check “in a minute”. He walked down the ramp, returned & told me it wasn’t there and “must have been cleaned out when they cleaned the plane”.
Late last night, still mulling over the lost iPod and with a nagging suspicion that the seat back hasn’t really been checked, I took a chance and turned to Twitter. American Airlines responded right away and requested the flight, seat and item information. An hour ago I was notified that the iPod has been found in Hawaii and arrangements have been made for its return (not to be bitter but, had the agent really checked for it this could have been wrapped up in LA and without a shipping charge).
Anyway, I am very grateful to both Twitter and American Airlines for making it possible to locate The Middle’s iPod so quickly. The boy has learned his lesson and will always check the seat back pocket on future flights. And he will have to forever live with the knowledge that his iPod has been to Hawaii more times than he has.

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