The weird things left behind at East Midlands Airport


What do a suitcase full of biscuits, sets of false teeth, a steering wheel, bags of golf clubs, a bike and a loved one’s ashes have in common? They are all items that people have lost or left at East Midlands Airport (EMA).


In 2023, almost 4,000 lost items were handed in to the lost property office – 600 were in August alone. This can happen because people may be excited about going on holiday, in a hurry or unsure of check-in and security procedures at the airport and anxious about flying.

Everything from phones, tablets, earphones and hair straighteners to keys, passports, wallets containing cash and credit cards, clothing and baggage can end up left or lost at the airport. If items are lost in baggage reclaim or on board an aircraft, this is dealt with by the baggage handling company and the airline. Anywhere else on the airport site including car parks, check-in hall and departure lounge ends up at EMA’s Lost Property office, logged on a computer system and locked securely away.

This can often include items of sentimental value such as children’s toys and even a pendant containing a small amount of a loved one’s ashes. Sometimes they can be weird – such as a suitcase packed with only ginger nuts and digestive biscuits, a bag full solely of salami, as well as walking sticks and false teeth. Other surprising items include drills, a guitar, a snooker cue, snow globes and even a steering wheel and a bike.

While almost 4,000 items were dealt with last year, only around 1,000 were actually reported by EMA customers as lost. Items of low value such as jumpers are held for 30 days, while those of higher value like electrical goods are held for 90 days. Ultimately if they remain unclaimed they are donated to local charities, with any unclaimed cash also donated to charities.

“When people come to the airport, we understand some may be anxious or not concentrating and this can often mean they mislay, forget or leave behind a surprising and wide range of items,” says EMA’s director for customer services and planning Mike Grimes.

“My advice would be to be prepared, take care and when going through security, place different things like coats and electrical items in separate trays. There’s plenty of information available at the airport and on our website about security procedures and what can and can’t be taken through. We also offer Try Before You Fly sessions for first-time or nervous flyers which hopefully will help to reduce the chances of losing items while travelling through EMA.”

The Try Before You Fly service runs a number of free events each year to help people familiarise themselves with the airport. Further information is available here or by emailing customerservice@eastmidlandsairport.com, quoting 'Try Before You Fly.'

If anyone loses anything at the airport, they can fill in a form here: https://www.eastmidlandsairport.com/help/passenger-guides/lost-property/.