15 bizarre items left behind by travelers

15 bizarre items left behind by travelers

A botanical garden, a golfcart wheel and a prosthetic leg -- just some of the routine items that travelers leave in hotels and airports

Need a bigger suitcase, a 42-inch LCD TV or a spare wheel? Get them all in one unclaimed baggage auction.

Just be thankful to the forgetful owners.

Every day, millions of items are orphaned by travelers at airports and hotels. Some weirder than the others. 

We talked to hotels and airports worldwide -- these are the weirdest forgotten items they've found so far.

Have you ever left something weird, wonderful or valuable behind? Tell us about it in the comments section.

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1. Kate Middleton

RoyalElizabeths outnumbered Philips.After the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, British budget hotel chain Premier Inn found a bounty of unwanted "royal products."

They included: 18 masks of Queen Elizabeth II, 12 masks of Prince Philip, 36 Union Jack flags and a life-size cut-out of Kate Middleton.


2. A botanical garden

Botanical GardenWho wouldn't want their hotel room to look like this?A hotel staffer at Jumeirah Frankfurt tells a story about working for a hotel in Doha.

“When we came to make up the room of a guest who had just checked out, we were more than surprised to find a scenario that reminded us more of a botanical garden than a hotel room.

"The room was filled with large palms, plants and flowers. On the bedside table we even found a small water fountain. Obviously someone had made a great effort to prepare a very special evening for someone special.”

3. False teeth

DentureNo steak tonight.Both Premier Inn and the Royal Cliff Hotel have found leftover dentures.

Let's hope the owners had spares.

4. Live turtle

TurtleFelly and friend."A guest left behind a turtle in their room and it ended up wandering the guest corridors where a room attendant almost stumbled on him," says a staffer at Banyan Tree Macau.

"The room attendant immediately brought him down to the housekeeping office where we found a glass vase to serve as a turtle tank.

"We named it after the Banyan Tree Green Imperative Fund’s turtle, Felly. It now serves as the housekeeping mascot. We even bought another turtle to accompany him so that he will not be alone."

5. Lots of luggage

luggageThere's a reason luggage tags exist.Miami airport hosts at least two unclaimed baggage auctions every year. In each auction, up to 500 pieces of luggage go under the hammer.

That means 60 to 80 pieces of estranged luggage per month.

6. Ironman and Hawkeye

Expert archer, terrible memory.Among the sea of unclaimed suitcases, Miami Airport has discovered an iron bust of a man and a high-tech bow, with arrows.

7. Nun's habit

Nun's habitIt was probably the one in the back.In London, Premier Inn's team members found a number of uniforms this summer -- including a flight attendant's uniform, nun's habit and Olympic volunteer's uniform.

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8. Wedding gown

wedding gownThe real wedding gown?After a newlywed couple checked out of Jumeirah Dhevanafushi in the Maldives, a housekeeper found a wedding gown had been left behind. 

Surprisingly, the guests were not concerned and the dress was still with the hotel.

Staff suspect the dress was brought along only for the wedding photos, a common practice among Asian guests.

Or maybe the honeymoon didn't go as well as planned.

9. Tickets to the Olympic men's 100-meter final

"See it or drop it?"The guest who left behind tickets to one of the hottest events of the London Olympics: a) was forgetful, b) had more money than brains (some tickets sold for more than £1,600 or US$2,577) c) was in more of a rush to get somewhere than Usain Bolt. 

Or all of the above?


10. Cash

cashForgotten cash or gift from world's most generous tipper?A maid at London's Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel found £500 (US$805) in a guestroom.

The hotel managed to track down the guest and return the cash. The guest was ecstatic and decided to tip the honest maid with ... £500.

Staff at Hong Kong International Airport once found HK$100,000 cash (US$12,900) in an unclaimed bag. It was later returned to the careless but fortunate owner.

11. Golfcart wheel

"Suitcase? Checked. Coat? Checked. Golfcart wheel? Um, where's the golfcart wheel?" Cleaning staff at Hong Kong International Airport found a golfcart wheel at a boarding gate. An airline representative later claimed the wheel for a client.

And to beat that -- Miami Airport once auctioned an unclaimed automobile engine. 

12. LCD TV

LCD TVIn his defense, it is easier to misplace than a surfboard.Some travelers only understand the oversize and overweight baggage charges when they check in.

Staffers at both Changi Airport in Singapore and Hong Kong International Airport say they've found abandoned LCD TVs. Changi Airport staff have also found folding bicycles, surfboards and bird cages.


13. A leg

Tale of the three-legged guest.At the Chisos Mountain Lodge in Big Bend National Park, Texas, a guest checked out without his prosthetic leg.

Lodge staff tracked the man down while puzzling how he made his way out of the hotel. It turned out the man had two spare legs. They nicknamed him the "three-legged guest."

14. Handmade handkerchief

handkerchiefNo ordinary hankie.A guest left a hand-sewn handkerchief at one of the desert villas in Banyan Tree Al Wadi

The guest called and said the handkerchief was a beloved gift bequeathed to him many years ago and he could not travel without it. 

The guest was reunited with his hankie soon after. Happy ending.

15. Thai bathing bowl

Someone needs a new bowl for Songkran.

What would you expect to find inside a Jacuzzi in a hotel room? One Royal Cliff Hotels Group staffer found a traditional Thai bathing bowl. 

The small metal bowl was never claimed by its owner. 

Have you ever left something weird, wonderful or valuable behind? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Hiufu Wong is CNN Travel's staff writer.

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