I took a trip to Los Angeles to visit a friend. Updated FAA regulations have allowed the use of small electronic devices during take-off and landing, but no laptops. I don’t have any games on my phone, so I pulled out my Kobo Aura to read for a bit. A few minutes into our flight, the “Fasten Seatbelt” turned off, and I put my Kobo in the seat-back pouch before pulling out my Chromebook to watch a movie.

When I arrived at my friend’s appartment and started unpacking, I realized that I had forgotten the Kobo on the plane. I immediately filed a report with Alaska’s Lost-and-Found website, hoping that somehow the Kobo would get back to me. I gave a detailed description of the device (Black Kobo aura with leather cover. Current book is Garden of Rama.) and my contact information. After several days, I started to lose hope, and began preparing myself to buy another when I got back home.

The night after I returned home, an employee from Alaska Airlines emailed me saying that they had found the Kobo! I immediately called them back (it was 11:30 PM, but they had just sent the email) and arranged to have another friend pick it up from LAX the next day.

It turns out, Alaska hadn’t contacted me via my lost-and-found ticket. They opened the Kobo (which doesn’t have any form of security) and managed to find my email address in the “Accounts” section of the settings. I’m curious as to whether or not I would have got it back if my contact info wasn’t as readily available.

On a low privacy risk device such as an e-reader, having a pin lock is unnecessary in most cases. As a result, someone was able to contact me to return my device. On a higher-risk device such as a tablet or smartphone, putting owner or ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact info is easy to implement, and may just help you get a lost device back.