Loading data...

$10,000 Envelope at the Las Vegas Airport Lost and Found

A Colorado man granted a Christmas wish through an unlikely act of honesty and persistence. He returned $10,000 in cash to its rightful owner after finding it in two Caesar’s Palace envelopes at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

Mitch Gilbert, 55, was traveling home to Colorado with his wife from Las Vegas where they had gone to run the Rock and Roll Marathon. As Gilbert was going through security, he saw two sealed envelopes from Caesar’s Palace left behind on a table.

“I’m just standing there figuring someone will turn around and I can hand them their envelope, but no one turned around,” Gilbert told ABC. “I’m in Las Vegas. If I hold up the envelope and say, ‘Who lost money?’, everyone will say, ‘I did!’”

Gilbert said he wanted to return the envelopes but wanted to make sure they went to their rightful owner. After a few minutes passed, he put the envelopes with his belongings and went through security.

He quietly told his wife what had happened and they waited by security to see if someone would come back looking for the money.

“We sat there for 30 minutes until our plane was ready to take off,” he said. “No one ever came back. I was sure they would come back.”

Gilbert put the unopened envelopes in his backpack and decided he would take them home and call the airport from home. Back home in Greenwood Village, Colo., Gilbert and his wife opened the envelopes.

“I opened them up and saw the $5,000 in each one. I literally fell over. I was like, oh my God,” he said.

“I called the airport lost and found the next day and they say, ‘We’re sorry. We can’t help third parties,’” Gilbert said. “And I said, ‘Well you have to help me. If you had lost it, you’d want to make sure you got it back.’”

Gilbert did not give up and kept calling back for at least 30 days until someone reported the money missing. Finally, after convincing airport officials to give his phone number to anyone who inquired about the cash, Gilbert received a phone call from Ignacio Marquez of El Paso, Texas.

“I said, ‘I have every penny right here,’” Gilbert said. “He thanked me like five times, saying, ‘You don’t know what you’ve done for my family. This is the greatest Christmas present.’”

A grateful Marquez insisted that Gilbert accept a $1,000 reward, which he did, but said it “felt funny keeping it.”

He and Marquez arranged for Gilbert to deposit the money into his bank account. At the bank, Gilbert told the story to the teller and other customers overheard. People started shaking his hand and giving him hugs. Someone from the bank called a local news station and Gilbert’s story quickly spread.

Gilbert has been “shocked” by the reaction he has been getting, saying it has been “absolutely insane.”

“I’m getting emails from people all over the country thanking me, blessing me for doing the right thing, for teaching a lesson to children,” Gilbert said.

“I did it for two reasons. First, every time I put myself in the guy’s shoes, I would get sick to my stomach and I knew that I would hope to God that somebody would find me or turn it in,” Gilbert said. “The second reason—and both are equally important—is that I wanted to set a good example for my kids. As a family thing, I wanted to do the right thing.”

Gilbert said he has had friends ask him if he took a “stupid pill” or got hit on the head with a “stupid stick” for not keeping the money.

“Most people admit to me that they never would have given it back, especially after one call to the airport,” Gilbert said. “But I’m in residential real estate. I see a lot of people go through hardships. I mean, I could use ten grand, but it wasn’t my money. That was the bottom line.”


If you have lost any items at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, there are various services in place to help you locate your lost property. The area where you believe you lost the item will help determine what authority to turn to for assistance.

If you left your property on the plane, in the terminal or at the curb with an airline tag, you need to contact baggage service for the airline you flew with to pursue your lost property. JetBlue lost and found is in their Baggage Service Office. If you lost any non-baggage items outside of baggage claim flying JetBlue, email to inform them of your missing property. Their Baggage Office is open 24/7, but you may pick up jewelry, electronic devices and other valuables only between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM.

If you left any items in the TSA Passenger Security Check Point, you can contact TSA Lost and Found at 718-917-3999 for assistance in locating and retrieving your property. Terminal 4 at JFK International Air Terminal is privately-operated. If you have lost an item in this non-airline terminal, you can call 718-751-4001 to speak to Terminal 4 Lost and Found.

Items lost in all other JFK International Airport lost and found non-terminal areas are handled by the Port Authority Police (PAP) Lost and Found Custodian. Lost items turned into the PAP Lost and Found are stored for up to 30 days at the JFK Police Desk, located in Building 269. The desk can release items 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number is 718-244-4225


LAX Lost and Found Ranks High in Missing Luggage


If you are heading to LAX for the holidays, watch out for the valuables in your luggage. TSA receives about 12,000 complaints each year of items lost or stolen from luggage nationwide.

No one knows if the thieves are TSA officers or baggage handlers, but we found that during the most recent eight-year period LAX has the most complaints in the nation.

“For me it was more like, ‘You guys went through my bag,’” said Felicia Winningham of Los Angeles.

Winningham was flying cross-country when TSA officers went through her checked bag for security reasons. When she got it back her vitamins and daughter’s DVDs were missing.

“How do you explain to a two-year old that your DVD isn’t in there? Your Elmo DVD isn’t in there?” she asked.

We discovered that from January 2002 through April 2010, LAX had 4,546 claims of items lost or stolen from luggage — the most of any airport in the nation. JFK was second with 3,946 claims followed by Newark Liberty Airport with 3,335 claims.

At LAX passengers reported missing 692 digital cameras, 475 pieces of fine jewelry and 442 laptops to the Lax lost and found.

Ryan Driscoll was a TSA officer for nine years. He is on administrative leave after being arrested for stealing jewelry out of luggage.

David Goldstein: “They say they caught you red handed taking stuff out of luggage?”

Ryan Driscoll: “They definitely didn’t catch me red handed, let’s put it that way.”

David Goldstein: “Did you take anything out of the luggage?”

Ryan Driscoll: “No. There’s nothing. You’ll have to talk with my lawyer dude.”

Sources said it happened inside Terminal 7 in the baggage screening room, where TSA personal are supposed to be keeping the skies safe by checking for weapons or explosives.

Police said Driscoll had his hand inside a piece of luggage and pulled out some jewelry. He was arrested when it was allegedly caught on tape.

David Goldstein: “You are there to protect all of us in the skies and you are accused of stealing stuff out of luggage?”

Ryan Driscoll: “I don’t know what it says. This is something I don’t want to deal with. I’ve been there nine years. Been a long time.”

TSA told us they have a zero-tolerance policy for theft in the workplace.

Airport officials said that LAX is the number one origin and destination airport in the nation and that is why more claims are filed here. They maintain that in the first four months of last year — the most recent stats — LAX came in third.

But police sources said that there is a serious problem with thefts from luggage at LAX. They have been investigating TSA employees and baggage handlers, working separately and together, going through luggage and stealing items in a matter of seconds.

“Thefts occur because we make it easy for people to steal,” said Philip Little, a security expert, who has done a study on LAX and other airports.

He said because luggage is constantly on the move — sometimes in secure areas – it is easy for employees to get away with thefts.

“It’s not the question of how many we catch, because occasionally one gets caught, it’s how many we don’t catch,” Little said.

He recommends never putting valuables in checked luggage. Carry them with you to keep them away from thieves at the airport.

Airline Lost Your Luggage? They Could Owe More Than You Think

Some airlines have told consumers that they’re not entitled to compensation for lost luggage, or if they are, it’s a pittance–such as $25, as one airline claimed. But the federal government says that you’re really entitled to as much as $3,300, something that some airlines seem to be keeping quiet about.

Consumer Ally partner John Mattes, the “Investigative Guy,” went undercover to do this report that shows airlines ignoring the law or misinforming consumers about their rights.

Earlier this fall, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $100,000 fine against Delta Airlines for handing out a pamphlet that told its customers that they would be limited to $25 a day in incidentals if their bags didn’t turn up.

If you have a problem with an airline, you file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division.

Help! I Lost my Passport at the airport!

“I lost my passport!” is a real heart stopper, however we are here to help find your passport as fast as possible, so you can catch that flight like this traveler:

“My flight was leaving in 2 hours The man who found it at airport cafe was able to reconnect with me thanks to the claim I filed. .” — Erin Dubovan

Why is our AirportLostandFound.com the best way to find a lost passport at the airport?

Because our database is universal to every country, city, airport and language.

When your passport or any other lost property is found, the finder can quickly find your contact information online. This allows instant communication between the finder of the lost property and the owner.

This is considerably more effective than the “Airport Lost and Found Office” since the database can be accessed by anyone at anytime, anywhere in the world. We have the largest and most up-to-date database of airport and airline lost and found property.

Visit our Testimonials to see the 100’s of items that are found as a result of AirportLostandFound.com Or read our FAQ’s if you have questions.

Even if you are just trying to find lost luggage, iphones, wallets, or any other personal valuables, begin the Airport Lost and Found claim process now for your greatest chance at success.

Airlines losing 3000 bags – every hour of every day

In 2009, the worlds airlines lost a whopping 25 million pieces of passenger luggage. That comes down to just under 3000 bags every hour of every day, all year long. These shocking statistics were published by SITA – one of the operators of airline and airport computer systems, using data from the World Traver luggage database.

SITA breaks down the reasons behind bags not arriving at their destination:

  • During aircraft transfers – 52%
  • Failed to load – 16%
  • Ticketing error / bag switch / security / other – 13%
  • Airport / customs / weather / space-weight restriction – 6%
  • Loading / offloading error – 7%
  • Arrival station mishandling – 3%
  • Tagging error – 3%

There is some good news though – 96.6% of all bags do manage to reach their owner – eventually. This still leaves over 800,000 bags that end up going unclaimed. Bags that never arrive are often simply abandoned by their owners, or fall victim to theft at the airport. After six months, all unclaimed bags are donated, sold or destroyed.

The real good news is that airlines have managed to lose fewer bags. Compared to 2008, airlines managed to decrease lost bag numbers by 23.8%. Of course, part of this is due to decreasing passenger numbers, but the worldwide decline in air travel was just 2.9%.

Bottom line is that airlines are investing heavily in luggage management, and even though they may never reach a perfect score, the current trend is very positive one – and one that will benefit everyone that checks bags. Of course, as luggage fees have started increasing, it is also refreshing to see that airlines are actually doing something with all that new money.

Don’t forget to follow our tips on keeping your luggage safe at the airport!

Five ways to keep your luggage safe through the airport

One of the biggest concerns expressed by first time flyers is in regards to luggage safety. Where does my luggage go after I check it at the counter? Who will handle it? Who will look through it? Will it even be on my flight?

All of these are valid questions, and with the wealth of baggage-handling nightmare stories out on the web it’s completely reasonable to have concern. That said, there are a few things that you can do to help make sure that your belongings make the journey safe and sound. Here are five ways to get started.

Using a luggage lock can add an extra layer of security, but it wont prevent the TSA from looking inside. They’re specifically allowed to remove the locks from any bag that they want to search, so unless you have a TSA approved device it’s going to get cut off. Why get a lock if the TSA can simply remove it at free will? Because it prevents access to other people (baggage handlers, ticket agents, etc) in the chain of operation. It’s also a deterrent to anyone who sees your bag on the arrivals carousel at your destination airport.

Speaking of the arrivals carousel, there’s no riskier place for your luggage to sit, so make sure you get to the beltway as soon as you can after your flight arrives — any random straggler can pick up your bags and wander off if they’re not picked up immediately.

To that end, make sure that your bags have distinctive features with which you can track them. We’re not saying that you have to get a hot pink leopard print roll-aboard, but a colored sash or a unique baggage tag will help you identify your bag on the carousel, in a thief’s hands or to a wayward airline agent.

Another piece of data that will help keep track of your luggage is the baggage receipt. When the ticket agent at the departure airport prints out the sticker that will be attached to your bag, he or she will also print out a receipt that will often be attached to your boarding pass (or its jacket.) Hold onto this — airline representatives can use it to track your bag.While you’re in the process of filing away your receipt at the ticket counter, by the way, make sure to look over the shoulder of the ticket agent to check the destination of your bag. It should be printed in large characters next to the bar code. Hint: if it says SJO and your actual destination is SJU, ask the agent to double check the route.

Naturally, many of these tips are rendered null if you opt to carry on your bags. In addition to saving a load of extra fees, your bags will travel by your side for the entire duration of your trip, drastically reducing any risk involved and saving a little bit of time to boot.

Either way, it’s important to remember that baggage loss or theft happens to a minuscule volume of air travelers, less than 8 in 1000 on average. Keep those statistics in mind and use the above security tips, and at the very least, your mind will be more at ease.