1. Be able to provide serial numbers for electronic devices (if possible) or at least the passcode for a locked smartphone or tablet, says Virgin America. The airline says it has "massive charging stations" in many of its airport baggage offices so they can power up devices to try and sleuth out ownership.
2. Know the color, brand, and description of the lost item, even something as simple as a Teddy bear or anything else that falls under the hard-to-identify category.
3. Be able to describe the contents of a missing wallet or purse; the more unique items you can name such as currency, descriptions of any photos or cosmetic brands, the better.
4. Label all valuables in advance (initials on the paw of a stuffed animals might work).
Unfortunately, stuff happens and sometimes missing items are gone for good. But not the embalmed baby shark. Maybe. A Virgin America spokeswoman said she was "pretty sure" he eventually made it home safely.
The opinions expressed by Rick Seaney are his alone and not those of ABC News.