A passenger left her Apple AirPods on a plane after landing in San Francisco from Tokyo.
Alisabeth Hayden told CNN a police officer helped her trace the AirPods to an airport worker's home.
She said United offered her $271 in expenses and 5,000 air miles as the AirPods were damaged.
A woman tracked down her lost Apple AirPods to an airport worker's home two weeks after she first left them behind on a plane, a report said.
Alisabeth Hayden told CNN she was flying with United Airlines from Tokyo, where she'd been visiting her husband on secondment in the military, to Seattle earlier this month.
Shortly after getting off the plane on a layover at San Francisco International Airport, she realized she'd left her jacket behind. The headphones were in a jacket pocket.
Hayden asked if she could retrieve it, but a flight attendant said only a crew member could do so, per CNN.
It wasn't until Hayden was on her flight to Seattle she realised her AirPods were not in her jacket pocket.
She told the outlet she used in-flight WiFi to track her headphones to a cargo terminal at SFO, before seeing their position move to different terminals and then down Highway 101. They ultimately ended up at an address in the Bay Area.
Hayden marked her headphones as "lost" on her app, pinging an alert and her number to the person who had them.
Hayden told CNN she enlisted the help of a detective at San Mateo police force who was working at SFO. He matched the address the AirPods were pinging from to an airport contractor working to load food onto aircraft.
When questioned by police, the airport worker said the headphones had been given to him by a cleaner, who denied knowledge of the situation, per CNN.
When they were returned to Hayden 12 days later, she said the AirPods looked like they'd been stomped on.
She told CNN United gave her $271 and 5,000 air miles after complaining about the condition of the headphones.
United confirmed the worker was employed by a vendor and not the airline.
An airline representative told Insider in a statement: "United Airlines holds our vendors to the highest standards and we are working with local authorities in their investigation of this matter."
The San Francisco Airport Police Department was now dealing with the incident.
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