Stealing Luggage is Rare But Easy

Imagine you and your wife are on your way home from a wonderful honeymoon. After getting off the plane and heading to the baggage carousel to retrieve your luggage, your vacation experience instantly turns sour when you realize your luggage is missing. A bunch of questions run through your head: Did someone accidentally take the wrong bag? Did the airline misplace or lose it? Did someone steal my luggage? Most airlines locate misdirected baggage and deliver it to the traveler within a few days. If you’re one of those travelers, you’re lucky.

Those who did successfully retrieve their baggage at the carousel may not realize something’s missing until they get home. Unfortunately, there’s a small chance that they’ll never see their stuff again.

Although bag theft isn’t among the top issues airlines and airports confront on a daily basis, it happens. Thieves target bags checked to long-distance destinations and those that have multiple connecting flights. It may be a TSA officer who steals a few bucks. It may be organized theft. This sporadic nature of crime makes it difficult for the industry to combat the issue in a systematic way.

There are security cameras, but they’re not always helpful. Theft also occurs on planes. Some airlines also check bag tags after travelers claim their baggage as a way to deter theft. This system however, slows down the process of getting out of the airport and lead to complaints from passengers. Airlines also hire contractors to specifically handle bags. But even with these measures, some of employees still succumb to temptations.

What do you think is a good way for airlines and airports to combat bag theft?

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