The holidays are quickly approaching and it’s everyone’s favorite time of the year. We get to enjoy fabulous family meals, catch up with old friends and celebrate the season. It’s also the busiest travel season of the year and with busy travel seasons comes theft.
Airports recently reported that there’s been an increase resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of checked luggage stolen each year. Airports have installed cameras around luggage carousels and in cargo areas to deter thefts. TSA has also fired 500+ agents who were caught stealing from customers checked luggage. To further cut costs though, airlines have eliminated key positions that were responsible for checking luggage with boarding passes at baggage claim exits. Not good for travelers because less security at baggage claim means more theft.
Here are a few ways you can protect your checked luggage from theft during the holiday travel season and whenever you travel:
- Buy unique luggage. Invest in a luggage set that is a different color or a fabulous bright and bold pattern. The luggage carousel is a sea of black bags, make yours standout. You will notice your bag quicker on the luggage carousel and if someone tries to leave the baggage claim area with your bag.
- Lock your bag. Buy a TSA approved lock, something that is durable but easy to unlock. Be warned that if a TSA agent can’t ‘find their master key’ or if they have trouble with the combinations, the lock will be cut off.
- Retrieve your luggage ASAP. Don’t waste time, arrive at your baggage claim area before the luggage starts coming off the plane. This will ensure that you’ll get your bags and be on your way with your items safely intact.
- Leave the Louis Vuitton at home! Don’t check your expensive luggage. Expensive luggage tempts thieves; they think pricey bags contain pricey items.
- Use a carry-on bag. The best way to protect your belongings is to use a carry-on bag. Something that you can pack everything you need in but small enough to take with you everywhere in the gate area (restrooms, shops, etc.). Carry-ons also save you money! No checked bag fees applied.
Remember theft of checked bags is a big business. So don’t pack any valuables or expensive clothing/shoes/accessories in your checked bag. Also, keep your belongings with you or your travel partner at all times. If you see something/someone acting strange or suspiciously, report it to the nearest airport security/staff member.
Happy & safe travels.
BMWK: Do you usually have a carry on or checked bags when you travel?