The Friendly Skies – Come Through

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This is my new pink iPod touch – which is exactly like the pink iPod touch I lost on my United Airlines Flight to San Francisco December 18. When I discovered  the loss I was very upset. First I could not believe I had actually lost it – so I did the suitcase and carry-on search over and over until I was SURE it was missing. In fact, I was pretty sure where it was – tucked into the wall-mounted pocket in front of the bulk-head seat I had claimed as mine when I boarded the plane at Dulles Airport.

Why upset? Well, first off the iPod is not a frivolous recreational toy for me – it is an important asset for my storytelling work.  I record everything as a “voice memo.” — then convert through Garage Band to mp3 files.  I set up practice lists and work in the car, on a plane or just walking around. It was loaded with all my playlists and a few albums of favorite songs for those times I cannot bear the sound of my own voice any longer.

Second, I had heard that Apple was discontinuing this model and in the future the iPod would not have the Voice Memo capability.  I would be out-of-luck.  Being a creature of habit who likes to keep comfort levels in place – I would be stuck working out a new system. So I jumped and ordered a replacement. Pink – exactly like the one I had just lost. I had little to no hope that I would ever see the lost one again.

My daughter Robin was more hopeful. “Mom, put in a Lost and Found form to United.” Robin was forcefully optimistic. “Mom, have you put in the Lost and Found form, yet?” she kept asking.  “Why? Its probably gone for sure.” “Just do it.” So I did.

I lost my iPod December 18. On December 30 I was back in Maryland where I picked up the new PINK one – only one difference from the lost one –  my name is engraved FREE on the back.  With the help of an Apple genius we loaded all my stories from the iTunes back-up, set passwords and it was ready to go to work. I was relieved and feeling comfortable.

January 1 my iPhone rang. “Mrs. Schoettler, this is Sharon from United Air Lines in San Francisco.” For a moment I was confused then, “you found it!”  “Yes – I think this may be your’s. please describe your item and give me the password.” I did.

It WAS my original PINK ipod. The cleaners found it tucked into the wall-mounted pocket in front of 7C bulkhead seat. With the ear phones still plugged in. She had received my Lost and Found Form. The item had been buried by other things on her desk for a week. “We have been so behind.” Laughing, I told her about my replacement. “Maybe you can return it.”  “I would. Except – Apple offers a Free engraving  option- and I had them put my name on the outside back – to protect it against loss..”

She laughed. I laughed. Sharon will Fed Ex it to me. It should be home in a few days.

Starting the New Year with a piece of good luck. Happy New Year.

P.S: I will be flying the Friendly Skies again in February  when I take The Hello Girls to CA – – believe me, I will not be tucking either one of my iPods in a seat back pocket!!!



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