Winter is over (we hope). Time to clean up, clean out and replace all the stuff we lost along the way.
But before you do, you may want to check with the Lost & Found department of Pittsburgh International Airport.
More than 800 winter items have been left behind at PIT these past few months. They show up in restrooms, the train, the security checkpoint and other places around the terminal.
The items themselves range from clothing to chocolate.
Pittsburgh’s beloved specialty candy store, Sarris Candy, has been a great treat for passengers since it opened last summer, so it’s hard to believe that anyone would leave their candy behind, but Lost & Found gathered unopened holiday-themed chocolates, along with other items, including a snow globe, a winter scene bird calendar, a bag of holiday cards and a glass Christmas tree.
More than 300,000 travelers filled the terminals with plans to visit loved ones for the holidays, head west for ski trips, and compete in hockey tournaments – a difficult proposition when you’re a high school student arriving at your destination without your hockey stick.
Or, like Luna Yang, showing up at a winter resort with only one ski boot.
In February, the 23-year-old Yang, of Squirrel Hill, traveled with her boyfriend from Pittsburgh to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a ski trip they take monthly during the wintertime. Her checked-in luggage with all her ski gear became overweight, so Yang pulled out one ski boot and attached it to her carry-on luggage.
Somewhere along the way, the boot vanished.
“Some people joked, ‘Are you going to ski with just one boot?’ she said. “I planned to ski for four days and had to buy a new pair of boots. My boyfriend was a little irritated with me as I seem to lose a lot of my belongings.”
Yang was pleasantly surprised to find out that her ski boot was turned into the Lost & Found and was able to retrieve it when she returned to Pittsburgh.
Aside from some unusual items, travelers seem to lose a lot of winter clothing. Missing a glove? There were 71 lonely ones turned into lost and found. They joined the 222 winter coats mistakenly abandoned in the terminal.
One of those coats was reclaimed by Meghan Raymond of Washington, D.C. She was traveling home from Pittsburgh after a business trip and forgot her North Face coat on the x-ray belt at the TSA Security checkpoint. She didn’t realize she had left her coat until she was already on the plane as it backed away from the gate.
“I was rushing to my gate to make an earlier flight, picked up my bags but forgot about my coat, which came through the machine last,” she recalled.
But Lost & Found had her back, she said. And her coat.
“The process was super-easy and efficient,” Raymond said. “Just one quick call during which I described the coat, where I left it, and provided information for shipping. The next day my coat was on its way home to me. I was so surprised that the airport could even ship it to me.
“I’d never heard of an airport providing that service and almost didn’t bother trying to find it at all.”
Winter clothing not claimed within 30 days is donated to Circles of Greater Pittsburgh, a nonprofit whose mission is to help the materially poor become self-sufficient, while other items are set aside for an annual public auction, typically in October, held by the Allegheny County Airport, with proceeds going towards ACAA’s Charitable Foundation.
If you have left an item at Pittsburgh International Airport visit http://www.flypittsburgh.com/programs-services/services/lost-found