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Don’t Lose Your Laptop In The Airport (and if you do get it back again)

Web: www.fishfotoworldwide.com — E-Mail: fish@flyingwithfish.com

13/08/2008 – Don’t Lose Your Laptop In The Airport (and if you do get it back again)

Every week an average of more than 10,000 laptops are lost at airports in the United States. Approximately 40% of these laptops are left at the security checkpoints with another 23% being left at the boarding gate.

Surprisingly most laptops found at have no owner identification easily found on them. The lack of easily locatable owner information results in most laptops not being returned to their owners.

I know, you’re reading this thinking “I’d never leave my laptop behind,” but accidents happen, especially when you’re late and in a hurry. I have witnessed multiple people over the past few years pick up their laptop from the X-Ray bin, set it down next to their bag, repack their bag and walk away without placing the laptop into the bag. On quite a few occasions I have watched business travelers in an airport lounge get up and walk out while leaving their laptop on the table they were sitting at (more often than not they come running back in a few minutes later to claim their laptop).

What can you do to make your contact information easily found on your laptop?

The easiest solution is to make a simple label with your name, phone number and e-mail address (if you can access your e-mail without your laptop).

My 15″ Apple PowerBook has two labels side-by-side on the keyboard. These labels have my name, web address, e-mail and phone numbers for me on three continents. My 13″ Apple MacBook has a label on the top left of the screen casing, this label has my name and phone numbers in both the US & UK (I am switching it over to the two side-by-side labels before my next international trip).

Should you become separated from your laptop make sure anyone who finds it can easily contact you and return it to you.

Below are two photos so each of my travel laptops depicting where my labels are placed and information available to get the laptop returned to me.

Happy Flying!

–Click Images To Enlarge Them–
a silver laptop with a black screen
a close up of a keyboard
a laptop with a screen on
a computer screen with a picture on it


  1. Rick,

    I use the standard Brother P-Touch TZ laminate labels on my computers and all my equipment.

    These are the 12mm-1/2″ white laminate labels.


  2. Might want to label a removable drive similarly – a thief might quickly remove the visible labels but not catch a hidden one. Could result in recovery at a later date.

    A quick label method is just paper under a strip of clear packing tape, I even laminate business cards with that (not mine, just cards I need to keep).

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