Uber Dishes on What People are Losing Inside Cars

Uber has released a Lost and Found Index and they’re sharing details on what customers report having lost inside rideshare vehicles. And since they’re into big data they drill down into where people are losing things, and when things get lost.

The most common items to lose when you take an Uber are (in order): Phone; Ring; Keys; Wallet; Glasses; Purse; License / ID; Gloves/ Glove; Charger; Sunglasses.

I get ‘small things that fall out of your pocket’ as well as things you lose or carry into the car. I’m surprised umbrellas don’t make the list. I’m not sure why people are taking out their wallets and IDs for cashless rides, however.

Big cities are ‘the most forgetful cities.’ Except that Uber doesn’t define this, and I suspect they’re reporting total losses rather than losses per ride so you’d expect more people, more rides, more items lost. Hence Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami are the top 5 cities for lost item reports.

People lose things most on the weekend, though Sunday more than Saturday, perhaps this just means Sunday as in ‘the wee hours of Saturday overnight’ when they’re drunk. People lose the most stuff between Thanksgiving and New Years, supporting my theory — holiday revelry (drunk).

There’s also a correlation between day of week and lost items:

  • Sundays see the biggest spike in lost wedding dresses.
  • Mondays see an increase in lost skateboards.
  • Tuesdays people lose swimsuits (!), here I’d expect the weekend
  • Wednesdays Uber sees “the biggest spike in lost notebooks” but is this journaling notebooks or laptop computers?
  • People lose suitcases at the end of the consultant work week on Thursdays, and the beginning of long weekend leisure travel.
  • People lose their briefcases on Fridays (when they leave work and go out drinking perhaps)
  • People lose their plane tickets on Saturdays, I’m going to call bull on this one, people don’t carry paper tickets anymore. At most they lose printed copies of their itineraries but who cares enough to report those lost?

Here are the “50 Most Unique Items Forgotten in Ubers”

Valuable Nordic Walking Poles
Sweet potato care package
Engagement Ring
Rubber Mallet
School Papers
Hot Cheetos
Notary bag
Pool stick
Smoke Machine
Pearl earrings
Wedding outfit
Hard drive
Bulletproof vest
Crime & Punishment book
Grill set
Meat packet
Corn hole boards
Wooden Hat
Lottery ticket
Back massage device
Rose Quartz
Elf cut-out
Tap handle
Expensive slipper
Harry Potter glasses
Salsa Verde
Potted plant
Dog Sweater
Contact Lenses
Arm sling
Jewelry Box
Money bag

I cannot say I’ve ever lost anything inside of an Uber, Lyft, Fasten or other ridesharing service — not even an umbrella. Have you?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Add me to the list of forgetful Uber users. Left my (work) iphone in the car in Chicago. I tried to get in touch with the driver about an hour after I realized it was gone with absolutely no luck. Went through all of the basic iphone recovery steps online. Traced it driving away from the city, and then months later it showed up in Amsterdam. Obviously never got it back, and I went through a frenzy of changing all of my passwords, even though it was locked. The worst part was that I was traveling alone and had no phone. I made some calls on my laptop, and I used the uber laptop trick to get a ride back to the airport the next day. Was very thankful that my company was able to get me a replacement in my hands within two/three days (while I was still away). But it was super frustrating and embarrassing.

  2. I had my phone slip out of my jacket pocket once in a Lyft (I assume folks who lose wallets or IDs it’s similar, slips out of a pocket). Luckily I was going to a friends place and we were able to contact Lyft, who got us in touch with the driver, and she dropped it back off later in the day when she was back in the neighborhood. Definitely more cautious with my phone now, though.

  3. Way before Uber, lost an umbrella in a taxi in Dublin. Hailed a cab again a few hours later, lo and behold it was the same one, with our umbrella still in the back seat! Decided that Dublin must be a small town 🙂

  4. And yet: the app doesn’t provide any way to tip the driver who has come across town to deliver your missing wallet…

  5. Wife and I both left our umbrella in a Bangkok Uber a day before several days of straight rain. And it was IMPOSSIBLE to buy a new umbrella, we couldn’t find them anywhere except for $40+ for a crappy one.

    It rains all the time, where the hell are locals buying theirs?

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