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Apple iPhone gets stuck in Qantas plane and earns frequent flyer miles

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An iPhone was lost by its owner on a Qantas flight and the handset ended up on the plane during several international flights. The promotion started on May 6 as described in an online forum called the Australian Frequent Flyer Community† At that point, a community member using the “Rugby” handle asked for a phone number for the Qantas lounge.

An iPhone gets lost aboard a Qantas plane

He needed the number because his wife apparently left her iPhone on a Qantas plane. Rugby wrote that thanks to the “Find My” app, he knew that the handset had boarded the plane with his wife, which was flying from Sydney to Auckland. Then it flew back to Sydney, went from Sydney to Honolulu to Sydney and then flew again from Sydney to Auckland to Sydney.

Meanwhile, the Rugby family was able to track the phone’s travels and the battery must have been enough to keep the phone sending signals. The device was believed to have been lodged in the seat in which Mrs Rugby had been seated during the original flight. You would think this would have prompted Qantas to do whatever it took to get the phone out of the seat.

That’s because the airline always makes announcements warning passengers that a phone stuck in a seat could catch fire. Indeed, in 2016, an iPhone trapped in a business class seat on a Qantas flight from LA to New York caught fire after the lithium battery in the phone was crushed. The passenger tried to use the recliner to free the device, but it ended with the battery being bent and the phone going up in flames.
Fortunately, the crew on board were able to put out the fire with fire extinguishers and Qantas decided to redesign the seats on its aircraft. You would think the airline would have made a more serious effort to find and/or free Ms Rugby’s Apple iPhone seen from the mid-flight fire that happened just a few years ago. A person monitoring the thread suggested that the Rugbys send an email to Qantas letting them know of the potential threat to the plane.

Another community member had a good point about how poorly Qantas cleans its planes between flights when it couldn’t find the phone. The airline also lacks security checks between flights.

After three round trips, the iPhone has finally come home

After the phone made three rounds and landed in Sydney for the third time, a forum member helped Qantas pick up the phone. It was unknown whether this person was a passenger following the forum or a Qantas employee who is a member of the forum. Anyway, the Rugbys got a call from a Qantas employee who said they had the phone and would take it to international baggage services.

mr. Rugby was in Auckland when he learned from Qantas that they had his partner’s iPhone. He picked up the well-traveled device the following week when he returned to Sydney. By the way, leaving your phone on the plane is not an isolated situation. A member of a forum called One mile at a time who goes by the name “JD” wrote: “Flight MEX-FRA first class (747) a few years ago. When I woke up, I couldn’t find my iPhone anywhere.”

He went on. “After a perfect flight, it was like an out-of-body experience… I couldn’t find it, the flight attendants couldn’t find it and the other poor passengers in the first class were like ‘get over it’. I was so embarrassed, but then everyone got off the plane, mechanics came on board and finally (sic) found him… we almost missed our connecting flight, but were thrilled to have my iPhone back for our month-long vacation in Europe.”

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