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What Do Airports Do with Lost Cell Phones?

When a cell phone is lost in an airport, there are several steps that are typically taken to try and reunite the phone with its owner.

1) Hand over to airport security

If a lost cell phone is found by airport staff or security personnel, it is often handed over to airport security. They will then attempt to contact the owner using the phone's contacts or other information on the device.

2) Storing in a lost and found

Many airports have a lost and found section where lost items, including cell phones, are kept. If a cell phone is handed over to airport security, it may be stored in the lost and found section until the owner can be found.

3) Contacting the airline

If a lost cell phone is found on an airplane, it is often handed over to the airline. The airline will then attempt to contact the owner and reunite them with their lost phone.

4) Returning to the owner

If the owner of the lost cell phone is found, airport security or the airline will arrange for the phone to be returned to them. This may be done by sending the phone by mail, or by arranging for the owner to pick it up in person.

If a lost cell phone is not claimed within a certain amount of time, it may be disposed of. This time frame varies between airports, but it is typically several months.

Losing a cell phone is stressful, time consuming, and costly. Consider using a Prox PRD® phone reminder device and get a reliable alert before you forget and leave your phone behind. PRDs alert at approximately 50 feet to 150 feet and give you time to return and retrieve your phone before it is lost or stolen.


If you lose your cell phone in an airport, it is important to report the loss to airport security or the airline as soon as possible. By taking these steps, there is a higher chance of reuniting with your lost phone.


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