WATCH: Montreal cabbie finds, pays for return of lost phone to California

It was a horrible ending to Alan Applonie's trip to Montreal.

“I got in the cab to get to the airport, was so rushed to get [there], and some point in the airport or on the plane I realized I’d lost my phone—a brand new iPhone 7, unlocked, I assumed I would never see it again,” the Tracy, California resident recalled, now back on the west coast.

But then, a bit of goodwill changed his luck.

“I walk in my door in California. My son says ‘hey Dad, Grandma called and some guy from Montreal says he has your phone,’” Applonie said. “I was like: really? Wow.”

The phone arrived at Applonie's home, a full 3000 miles from Montreal, days later.

Not only did it arrive promptly, but the cab driver insisted on covering the shipping costs.

The driver, who only wanted to be called Hassan, said he knew he had to do the right thing.

“To be honest, everyone has that temptation: you want a new iPhone, right?” Hassan said. “It would have been a burden on myself if I hadn’t returned it to its rightful owner.

Applonie says he was floored by the display.

“He said ‘[this is] my gift to you.’ I’m a complete stranger—it was totally unexpected,” Applonie said.

Applonie has offered to donate $500 to a charity of Hassan's choice, an amount the Montreal cabbie says he wants to match.

—with files from Kelly Greig of CTV Montreal