By Scott McCartney
Along with the dirty diapers, rumpled newspapers and greasy food wrappers, airline passengers are leaving something else behind in those seat-back pockets: iPads.
This week’s Middle Seat (click here to read) reports that airlines are now warehousing hundreds of left-behind iPads, Kindles and other tablet computers and readers forgotten by travelers. Carriers try to reunite the devices with their owners but are often thwarted by password protection and Apple Inc.’s reluctance to track down owners based on serial numbers.
The story includes tips on what precautions to take and what to do if you leave behind your iPad. It’s smart to take multiple precautions. Sometimes things like the “Find My iPad’’ function don’t work, for example.
The story also touches on theft of iPads at airports, including by Transportation Security Administration workers. There have been several arrested, including one TSA screener recently arrested at DFW and charged with stealing iPads from checked baggage that TSA X-rayed.
Airlines go to some lengths to try to repatriate devices with owners. Surprisingly, some owners never contact airlines and the iPads and other valuable devices found don’t have any easily accessible contact information.
In the end, most airlines have a bunch of machines locked up, typically in baggage storage areas. Many will never get returned to their owners, and some iPads even end up getting donated to charity.
Article source: http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2012/04/26/iforgot-my-ipad-on-the-plane-and-it-never-came-back/