How to Protect Yourself from Theft
Overall, T.S.A., the Transportation Security Administration, does a good job, but theft still occurs. Below are some tips to keep you and your belongings safe:
• Listen to T.S.A.’s instructions and rules and keep your cool at all times. Don’t get belligerent with them!
• Keep your valuables close to you and where you can see them. If you get patted down and you don’t like who is doing it, request a supervisor or someone else.• Most theft occurs when carry-on baggage, full of valuables, like a laptop or jewelry, has to be checked at the gate. This can be for an oversized bag or if there’s not enough room in the overhead bins. The gate agent checks your carryon and, you as a passenger, have no choice but to do what they ask of you.
This where it gets interesting. The agent tags your bags and sends it down a large tube that attaches to the gate stairs where it is then loaded on to the plane. This is usually at the last minute, and bad employees may be profiling your bag, ready to steal from it or take the whole bag.
The tricky part is the airlines wouldn’t know where the theft took place. Was it at the station where your trip began or where you landed? They just don’t know.
I do know how to fix that problem, but for now, you, as a passenger, should keep your valuables on your person. Don’t “take a chance” by bringing on an oversized bag. You may end up losing more in the long run
Excerpted from the forthcoming memoir, The Baggage Handler.