Passenger traffic at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport was down 62.9% year-over-year in August, when 302,237 people used the facility, its private operator ASUR confirmed.
ASUR, whose Aerostar subsidiary runs the LMM, also revealed that year-to-date, passenger traffic registered in Puerto Rico’s main commercial airline traffic hub is down 50.7%, due to restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The results coincided with Aerostar’s unveiling of a new “lost and found” service at LMM, where since September 2019 to the present, more than 1,200 items have been misplaced, airport officials said.
“Until a few days ago, the duty of protecting them was shared between the Puerto Rico Police and Aerostar. From now on, Aerostar will be in charge of the new process to recover, keep and process the return of these items found in the different areas of the airport, except at the checkpoints, since TSA will continue to be in charge in these areas,” said Aerostar CEO Jorge Hernández.
“In the case of cash, Aerostar would transfer custody to the Police. In the case of items that have been forgotten inside the plane, the process must be carried out directly with the airline,” he said.
The program seeks to simplify the process for the passenger, who will be able to start the claim either online or over the phone, by calling 939-545-8300. Once that step is completed, the passenger will get further instructions to recover their lost items, he said.
“If the person isn’t in Puerto Rico, the item can be sent where they tell us, through an external service that will be available for a fee…that will be determined by the company that will provide the service,” Hernández said.
Aerostar will keep the items for a period of 30 days. Those that go unclaimed or recovered will be donated to the Salvation Army, which will be in charge of disposing of them, either through by selling them to generate funds for their community programs, or by donating to those who may need them, he said.
Items that passengers lose the most, according to data collected by Aerostar, are suitcases, packages, clothing, food and personal items, such as makeup and medicines.