A Guide to Recovering Lost Items at O'Hare Security Checkpoints

Written by Steven smith  »  Updated on: July 09th, 2024

A Guide to Recovering Lost Items at O'Hare Security Checkpoints

The hustle and bustle of security checkpoints at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport can be overwhelming, especially if you're rushing to catch a flight. In the midst of juggling carry-on bags, electronics, and travel documents, it's easy to misplace an item at security screening. But fear not, travelers! This guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the process of recovering lost belongings at O'Hare security checkpoints, separate from the general O'Hare Lost and Found.

Understanding the System: TSA Lost and Found vs. O'Hare Lost and Found

It's important to distinguish between the O'Hare Lost and Found and the TSA Lost and Found. Here's a quick breakdown:

O'Hare Lost and Found: Handles items lost within the general airport area, excluding security checkpoints.

TSA Lost and Found: Specifically deals with items confiscated or left behind during the security screening process at O'Hare and other airports nationwide.

Since this guide focuses on recovering items lost during security screening, we'll delve into the procedures of the TSA Lost and Found.

Steps to Recover Your Lost Item

Act Quickly: Time is of the essence. The sooner you report your lost item, the better the chances of retrieving it.

Report to TSA Security Officer: Immediately after realizing your item is missing, inform the nearest TSA security officer. They will note the details of your lost item and direct you on the next steps.

Contact the TSA Lost and Found:

There are three primary ways to contact the TSA Lost and Found for O'Hare Airport:

Phone: Call the dedicated TSA Lost and Found hotline for O'Hare at (404) 530-9758. (Note: While this is the Atlanta TSA Lost and Found number, it's also the designated line for O'Hare inquiries.)

Online: Visit the official TSA Lost and Found website (https://www.tsa.gov/contact/lost-and-found) and submit a detailed online report. Be sure to mention that you lost the item at O'Hare Airport security screening.

In-Person (Limited Availability): Due to security measures, visiting a TSA Lost and Found office in person is not always an option at airports. However, you can inquire with a TSA officer at the checkpoint if there's a designated area within the security zone for such purposes.

3. Provide Detailed Information:

When reporting your lost item, be as specific as possible. Here's what information will be crucial:

Detailed Description: Describe the item thoroughly, including its brand, color, size, and any unique markings or identifying features (e.g., initials, serial numbers).

Location: If you can recall the specific security checkpoint where you might have misplaced the item, mention it in the report.

Date and Time: Knowing the approximate date and time you lost the item can significantly aid the search process.

4. Follow Up Regularly

The TSA Lost and Found processing times can vary depending on the volume of inquiries and the nature of the lost item. Here's how to stay updated:

Check the Online Status: The TSA Lost and Found website allows you to check the status of your report using a reference number provided when you filed the report.

Call Again: Don't hesitate to call the TSA Lost and Found hotline periodically to inquire about your item. Reference your report number for faster assistance.

What Happens to Unclaimed Items?

Unclaimed items are held by the TSA Lost and Found for a specific period (determined by TSA regulations). After this time, unclaimed items may be transferred to a government agency or even sold at public auction.

Proactive Measures to Minimize Loss

Double-Check: Before proceeding through security screening, double-check your belongings to ensure you have everything.

Separate Containers: Consider using separate containers for electronics, valuables, and travel documents to avoid placing them in different bins during screening.

Labels: Labeling your belongings with your contact information can significantly increase the chances of them being returned if misplaced.


Losing an item at security screening can be stressful, but by following these steps and understanding the process, you can significantly increase your chances of recovering your lost belongings at O'Hare Airport. Remember, acting quickly, providing detailed information, and following up regularly are key to a successful retrieval. While the O'Hare Lost and Found handles items lost within the general airport area, the TSA Lost and Found is the designated resource for recovering items misplaced specifically during security screening.

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