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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019
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What happens to stuff that gets left behind in Dublin Airport?

Dublin Airport hangs onto lost items for three months. So what happens if nobody comes forward to claim it?

Dublin's Airport Police retain items for 90 days after they're handed in - but what happens after that time has passed?
Dublin's Airport Police retain items for 90 days after they're handed in - but what happens after that time has passed?
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

ALTHOUGH AIR TRAVEL has become significantly less rare for many of us in the era of cheap flights, there’s still a certain factor about going to an airport where many people treat travelling to the airport and flying overseas as a big event.

As a result, we tend to focus on making sure we have everything organised – passports in hand, boarding passes printed, no liquids in our hand luggage – and so, despite the significant volume of people that travel through Dublin every year, there’s not very much lost property.

That said, a quick look at the log of property that people have found at the country’s biggest airport reveals a healthy batch of stuff left behind by travellers and handed in by others passing through the buildings.

A look at the items left in so far this month contains no fewer than 12 pieces of luggage, while three laptops and a tablet machine have also been left behind in the last few weeks – not to mention the 18 mobile phones and four iPads left behind since the start of November.

Airport Police, who handle the lost and found property at the airport, hang on to items left behind for a maximum of 90 days – but we wondered what happens to property that’s left unclaimed after 90 days.

We asked an airport spokesman, who said: “Any unclaimed property of value is sold and all proceeds go to the DAA’s Charity of The Year, which this year is Barretstown.”

Naturally this poses a slight issue for electronic items like mobile phones and computers, which could have sensitive data on them.

In these cases, if something is left unclaimed, its contents are wiped clean and the DAA donates them to the charity Camara, which collects old computers and refurbishes them for educational use in Africa.

“The same system applies with any items surrendered by passengers at security screening,” the spokesman said. “Anything of value that can be sold is sold and the proceeds go to the DAA Charity of the Year.”

Read: ‘Passport please’: Ryanair boss checks boarding passes at Dublin Airport

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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