Sadly, things can go missing from a traveller’s baggage and in different circumstances. Luggage is stolen from restaurant lobbies, limos or even pulled from underneath the traveller’s seat as they enjoy their refreshments. They are not the usual crook-on-the-street type either: unfortunately, a number of airport workers are getting into the habit as well. A review of last year’s reports on luggage theft shows numerous reported cases in 2012. And odds are that you know someone who has been a victim of luggage at one time or the other. Perhaps you are the one who has had your stuff missing from your checked baggage.
However, not just checked luggage is a target for baggage theft. While sticky fingered airport employees are rare, they can remove stuff from traveller’s purses and bags, especially in the screening section. The worst thing is that the airline might not willingly repay you for any missing stuff. Their ticket regulations hardly cover theft of heirlooms, furs, electronics, jewellery or any other costly goods. For that reason, according to the team at AXA PPP International, it is important to learn how to avoid being a target for luggage theft.
Firstly, keep your most valuable items with you, and avoid storing them in the luggage. Cash, furs, electronics and other precious goods can be seen easily via security scanners, hence, they should not be put in any of your checked baggage.
Secondly, come up with a list of all that you have packed in your luggage (you can include the stuff you buy on the way). Keep your list in your mobile phone or just take photos of all that you want to pack in your bags before travelling. This will help you verify a theft has happened, making it easier for you to make a substantial report of what you find missing.
Thirdly, keep all your items close. In case you want to relax or catch some sleep on a plane or train, note that not all travellers will be asleep as well. Thieves are fast and always on the lookout for a chance to pounce. If you really want to sleep, slip your foot under the handle of the luggage, let it act as a pad or fasten it to yourself with a belt. This will ensure you wake up in case someone attempts to search through the items or grab it from you.
Fourthly, lock your luggage with straps or locks that are approved by your insurance company. While this will not prevent stealing by staff or agents, it will help you avoid theft from other people because your luggage will look harder to access.
Another way to avoid luggage theft is to keep a close eye on your luggage. Thefts are known to happen at security screenings before you even board an airplane.
Finally, frustratingly bright luggage is not a crooks’ friend. A multicoloured bag is extremely easy to identify and mark, especially where there are numerous plain bags, thus picking a vibrant luggage can make it unique and so a thief will be reluctant to snatch it.