51 days later…my lost iPad Mini was found!

[dc]O[/dc]n June 23rd, I stupidly forgot my 64GB WiFi+Cellular iPad Mini 2 in the seat-back pocket on a United Airlines flight to Colorado. I was really bummed and dutifully filed a lost item report. I got a little hopeful on June 29th when I got a Find-My-iPhone email telling me that “Mini Me,” my cleverly named iPad Mini, was found near Chicago O’Hare International Airport. As the weeks passed without a word from the airline, however, I gave up. After a month, I got an automated email saying that the item was never recovered and they were no longer searching. “Oh well,” I thought.

Then tonight, 51 days after I lost it, I got a phone call from area code 281 (Houston). I answered and the guy told me that my iPad had been found! He called because with Find My iPhone, my name and phone number appeared on the screen. He looked up my lost item report and in a minute I got an email where I was able to arrange for its return. Only cost me $17.79 for 2-3 day shipping and packaging. A deal IMHO.

Wow, I can’t believe it. The guy told me that they get about a thousand tablets and eReaders every week! Everything is send to one location and it just takes a long time to match things up. I gotta say, “THANK YOU APPLE!” I am pretty sure the airline would have never been able to match me up with my lost iPad without Find My iPhone. (United outsources their lost and found to a company called Chargerback and I would guess other airlines do as well, so those thousands are probably not just United.)

So I learned a couple things:

  1. Keep your iPad charged (particularly if you are going to lose it…haha)
  2. Have Find My iPhone installed and set up.
  3. If you do lose it, make sure you have it display your name and phone number on the device. This is done through Find My iPhone.
  4. Record your serial number somewhere*

[hr]*Finding Serial Number Using iTunes:

If you have backed up your device using iTunes, you can get the serial number even if you don’t have the device.

  1. Go to iTunes > Preferences (Mac) or Edit > Preferences (PC).
  2. Click the Devices tab.
  3. Hover your mouse pointer over a backup. You will see the serial number, IMEI/MEID and CDN for your iPhone or iPad (cellular model).

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