The Story of the Lost 500PF

Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
2,100
Location
Jupiter, FL
Real Name
Andy
Somewhere between my car and the airport security screening checkpoint today, a small bag containing my 500PF detached itself from the hook on my rolling bag. Since it was much lighter than the other bag that was piggybacked on the wheeled suitcase, and the entire rig was well-balanced, I did not feel it detach.

I quickly retraced my steps back to the car, which included an escalator, a moving walkway across a pedestrian bridge, a trek across the parking deck and an elevator ride. Nothing.

Racing back to the terminal with elevated heart rate and beads of perspiration forming, I considered with great regret my decision not to insure my gear. I inquired with various people along the way, but no one had seen a thing. I simultaneously considered whether the loss of salary that I would incur if I didn’t report to my work assignment would be worth it compared to the value of the 500PF. A quick trip up the escalator to see if anyone had turned it in to security was my next attempt. Nothing.

Nearly flattening a dozen passengers on the way down the two sets of escalators to baggage claim, I burst into an airline baggage service counter and breathlessly asked if anyone had turned in a lost bag in the last ten minutes or so. The agent said that a lady tried to give him a small bag, but the airline cannot accept a lost item. Apparently the losing of baggage is a one-way process. However, the agent furnished a description of the person who tried to give him the bag, and pointed me in the direction she had departed. Sensing the gravity of the matter, he tried to follow to assist my search for her, but really never had any hope of keeping up with me. I was very nearly sprinting at this point.

Three baggage claim areas away, I spotted a woman fitting his description holding my bag up high above the crowds for all to see. Fully prepared to participate in a bidding war to purchase it in the impromptu auction (funny how the imagination wanders at times like this), I instead waved my arms and said, “Thank you, that’s my bag!” Without hesitation she handed it to me. A quick peek revealed that the lens was still inside. She smiled and started to walk away, but I stopped her and asked if I could give her something. She didn’t immediately say no, so before she could, I pressed a twenty dollar bill in her hand and resisted the urge to give her a big hug.

Whew!
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Administrator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
22,879
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
So glad you found your bag!!!!!

And now - about that camera insurance..... LOL! The first couple of trips to Africa, I actually put my 500/f4 and other lenses in a Pelican case and checked it!!!!! The last few years I've been successful taking ALL my gear on the plane in 2 hand carry items. I've spent more on camera and jewlery insurance than I have ever gotten in claims. But for me, peace of mind does have a price.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
12,137
Location
Central Georgia, USA
There are good people in the world. You should have immediately bought a lottery ticket. Something about about airports and caners do not go together. In Amsterdam airport my bag slipped off my shoulder, 18/200 was on bottom facing down. That ended the barrel crawl it was known for. In Sydney with cameras strapped to luggage trolley, it flipped over backwards, camera bag landed on its back, again the 18/200 landed hard and was damaged. Insurance covered repair. It came home with the Barrel crawl "re-installed" ;)
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
935
Location
Sugar Land, Texas
Somewhere between my car and the airport security screening checkpoint today, a small bag containing my 500PF detached itself from the hook on my rolling bag. Since it was much lighter than the other bag that was piggybacked on the wheeled suitcase, and the entire rig was well-balanced, I did not feel it detach.

I quickly retraced my steps back to the car, which included an escalator, a moving walkway across a pedestrian bridge, a trek across the parking deck and an elevator ride. Nothing.

Racing back to the terminal with elevated heart rate and beads of perspiration forming, I considered with great regret my decision not to insure my gear. I inquired with various people along the way, but no one had seen a thing. I simultaneously considered whether the loss of salary that I would incur if I didn’t report to my work assignment would be worth it compared to the value of the 500PF. A quick trip up the escalator to see if anyone had turned it in to security was my next attempt. Nothing.

Nearly flattening a dozen passengers on the way down the two sets of escalators to baggage claim, I burst into an airline baggage service counter and breathlessly asked if anyone had turned in a lost bag in the last ten minutes or so. The agent said that a lady tried to give him a small bag, but the airline cannot accept a lost item. Apparently the losing of baggage is a one-way process. However, the agent furnished a description of the person who tried to give him the bag, and pointed me in the direction she had departed. Sensing the gravity of the matter, he tried to follow to assist my search for her, but really never had any hope of keeping up with me. I was very nearly sprinting at this point.

Three baggage claim areas away, I spotted a woman fitting his description holding my bag up high above the crowds for all to see. Fully prepared to participate in a bidding war to purchase it in the impromptu auction (funny how the imagination wanders at times like this), I instead waved my arms and said, “Thank you, that’s my bag!” Without hesitation she handed it to me. A quick peek revealed that the lens was still inside. She smiled and started to walk away, but I stopped her and asked if I could give her something. She didn’t immediately say no, so before she could, I pressed a twenty dollar bill in her hand and resisted the urge to give her a big hug.

Whew!
You are very fortunate indeed. Onetime when I was exchanging money at the Narita Airport upon arrival, I found a travel wallet complete with passport, credit cards and cash in it. I turned it in to the teller at the bank. Hopefully the owner was able to retrieve it.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
23,845
Location
SW Virginia
Lucky you! Of course if you were REAL lucky this would not have happened.

Congrats on your perseverance in seeking it out. I had a similar experience with a tripod I left by the roadside in NM several years ago. I wrote it up on this forum, but the forum search function is not working now so I can't find it.
 

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