Just when she was about to board an Amsterdam-bound flight, a 30-year-old UK citizen was stopped by a security person at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Wednesday.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) staff asked her if she had forgotten anything and it was then that she realised that she had misplaced a bag containing all her money.
The woman had kept the bag at the airline counter when she was collecting her boarding pass and left it there. The CISF guard gave the bag back to her and she found her Rs. 1.92 lakh (in euros, dollars and rupees) safe.
The chances of getting misplaced items back at Delhi airport are increasing because instead of depositing the lost item with the airport operator, the CISF has started giving it back to the passenger it belongs to by identifying the flier through CCTV footage.
In 2013 till March, out of Rs. 1.2 crore worth of property that was misplaced, property worth Rs. 84 lakh had been given back to passengers, and in 2012, the figure was Rs. 2.6 crore out of Rs. 3.6 crore worth of items.
Compare this with 2010, when out of Rs. 2.6 crore worth of misplaced items, only Rs. 21 lakh worth of items was returned.
"Earlier we used to deposit the unattended item with the airport operator and passengers were required to claim it from them. But now our surveillance team immediately informs the control room when they find any unattended item.
"The control room scans CCTV footage to identify the passenger who owns the item. The passenger is tracked and the item is handed over directly," a CISF official, who requested anonymity, said.