Did you know that airport safety has become a serious issue for travelers? At Los Angeles International airport (LAX) alone, crime increased 10% in 2013 and crimes against property jumped an amazing 34%. This includes burglary and theft of personal items and items from parked passenger vehicles. We have a few tips to help you keep your personal items safe and sound while waiting at the airport to start your vacation.
- Stay alert and keep your bags with you at all times. Only allow uniformed airline personnel to handle your bags unless you’re traveling with a friend.
- Avoid wearing metal jewelry/hair accessories/or metal belt buckles. They tend to trigger the metal detectors thus triggering a secondary pat down. Secondary pat downs may leave your personal items vulnerable to thieves. If you’re traveling with someone, make sure they have your personal items. You can also ask the TSA agent to retrieve your personal items before the pat down begins.
- Watch out for staged mishaps. Criminals are cunning and will work in pairs/groups to stage accidents to distract you and divert your attention while one of their partners steals your bags.
- Blend into the crowd. Don’t wear expensive jewelry, or carry expensive purses or bags that may draw the attention of a thief.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. While waiting at the gate to board your flight, take your personnel items with you everywhere you go. Everywhere! (lol)
- Pack it up! 15 minutes before your flight begins to board stop using/charging all electronics. Don’t be tempted to get that last minute of ‘juice’ from the charging stations before you board the plane. Be ready to board with your group so you won’t rush off leaving valuable cell phones/tablets on a charging station.
- Keep a detailed list of the contents of all checked luggage. This will help if your luggage goes missing, is stolen or if items are stolen from your luggage. Take a picture of the contents (especially the valuables) with your smartphone or tablet.
- Leave the portable GPS device at home. If you’re leaving your car parking at the airport, be sure to lock it and don’t leave anything of potential value in sight. Also if you used/have a portable GPS device in the car, do not leave it in the car. Criminals don’t use them to sell them for a few quick bucks, they use them to find your home address and go there and break-in.
- Park in lighted and highly trafficked areas of the parking lot. Especially if you’re returning late at night, be sure that your car is in a bright, lighted section of the parking lot. If you’re traveling alone ask the shuttle driver to wait til you are safely in your car.
- Arrive at the airport early and remember you’re leaving for a fabulous vacation. Enjoy!
Happy and safe travels.
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