Unfortunately, more and more airport security reports are coming in that the baggage handlers themselves are actually slicing open your luggage with razor blades and removing your valuables. For your travel safety, follow these security tips to protect your luggage in airports:
- Follow FAA guidelines for what to pack, what you can’t pack and how much you can pack. What a passenger can and cannot take on a plane is listed on www.FAA.gov and no exceptions are made.
- If you must check your luggage, wait to see it go into the “chute” after it is taken from you.
- When riding in a shuttle bus, don’t let your luggage leave your side no matter what. The rear compartment can be opened while the bus is stopped at a traffic light. People are constantly getting on and off the bus at different stops just to steal luggage.
- Because tags fall off or get ripped off, put photocopies of your passport, ID, and itinerary in your luggage. In case a bag gets lost, someone who recovers it will be able to forward it to you.
- Place any baggage, laptops, or briefcases on the counter in front of you when you stand at rental car, hotel, and airport ticket counters. If you put these at your feet to the left, right, or behind you, you become a prime target for distraction thieves. For example: a very emotional person walks up to you while you are waiting for the clerk at the counter, asks you how to get to the Alamo, and then starts to cry. In the confusion, an accomplice sneaks up behind you and removes the laptop that you placed on the floor next to you.
- Don’t take your eyes off your belongings while they are going through security or screening checkpoints. This is a prime location for distraction thieves to steal laptops, pocketbooks, and briefcases. Once you put your belongings on the movable belt, one thief distracts you from immediately going through the metal detector by either dropping a handful of change, causing a scene, clipping a metal object to the back of your coat that will cause a delay, or saying, “Hey, don’t I know you?”— anything to keep you from going through the metal detector for 30 seconds while the accomplice walks through clean and picks up your belongings. If you become distracted for an instant your valuables are gone! With security as tight as it is and all the security camera systems, this crime is harder to commit but still being done.
- Never leave your bags unattended. They can be stolen. It happens every day. Do not overstuff your luggage. It can pop open easily. In addition, stuffed luggage looks to a thief as if there might be something of value in it.
- Don’t use fancy, expensive luggage. It’s a red flag to a thief.
- Put all electronics, cash, jewelry, medicine, and important papers in your carry-on luggage.
- Trust your gut. Instincts play a huge role in your personal security.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
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