Here's how you handle a lost iPad gracefully

CNET co-founder Shelby Bonnie lost his iPad and then got it back with a cheeky balloon delivery and a bevy of entertaining Facebook posts.

Most people get annoyed when they lose an iPad. Former CNET CEO Shelby Bonnie decided to have some fun and entertain everyone connected to him on Facebook for a week.

Welcome to a tale of an iPad that was left in an airplane seat pocket, stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis, wound up in Miami Lakes, FL and was returned to Bonnie with some prodding courtesy of a cheeky balloon delivery.

Bonnie's adventure with his iPad started like many others. Bonnie's update on April 23 went like this:

My traveling iPad. I took a red-eye Thursday night arriving into Fort Lauderdale (FLL) on Friday early am. A little groggy, I left me iPad in the seat pocket. I have been following it on Find my iPhone and it seems to be staying at the Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis. Note the heart shaped pool. Mystery is that there were no flights from FL to Memphis that would have gotten it there in time.

Usually the tale would have ended there. Bonnie, now a managing director at Allen & Co., could have wiped the device and called it a day. Or whoever had the iPad could have drained the battery to nix Bonnie's ability to find it. In any case, the fun was just beginning.

A day later on April 24, Bonnie said:

iPad is on the move. Now in downtown Memphis. I hear the restaurants are great there so I hope it grabs a good byte. I have decided that I am going to deliver balloons to whichever home it lands.

The balloon reference at the time sounded like a throwaway comment. But Bonnie was serious.

On April 25, Bonnie discovered that his iPad was found near Riverside Golf Club in Memphis. "What would a Monday be for iPad without golf?" quipped Bonnie.

Later that day, Bonnie was within 100 feet of his iPad as he caught a flight from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco. The iPad flew back from Memphis to Fort Lauderdale. Turns out the iPad walked right past Bonnie en route to some place else.


The iPad wound up at a nice house with a pool later that day. Bonnie announced that "tomorrow, a beautiful bunch of balloons" would land.

So on April 26, Bonnie's balloons landed. For $49.91, he sent five Mylar balloons to his iPad, which was hanging by the pool in Miami Lakes, FL. Bonnie left his phone number and wrote the following message:

"My iPad sadly ran away from home and I would really like to welcome it back."

The occasion: Thinking of you.


Later that day the iPad was on the move again. Whoever had the iPad was heading back to the airport.

A happy Bonnie noted that the iPad made its way to the airport lost and found. Bonnie said:

Success! iPad is coming home. As described by lost and found when they called a second ago, a fairly elderly woman came in a few minutes ago and said she had gotten the balloons and thought it would be a good idea to return the iPad to the airport. She said to thank me for the balloons, but she didn't really want to call.

On April 28, Bonnie tracked the iPad again, but wasn't sure if it was headed home or going some place else.

Finally, Bonnie's baby made it home. Naturally, he had balloons to enhance his made-for-Facebook moment.