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Baggage Problems
COMPLAINT: Another customer with items stolen from luggage
 
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  #1  
Old Feb 1, 2010, 8:14 PM
rthexton rthexton is offline
 
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I travelled from Las Vegas to Bellingham, Washington on January 31st and had my expensive camera and lense stolen from my suitcase.

When I reported this a day later, customer service told me they would do nothing except make a report and send me a letter stating that they will not cover the item. With security rugulations only allowing you one carry on and personal item, it makes it hard to carry a large camera with bag on board unless you want to bring nothing else.

I am so apalled and its no wonder that these staff members are stealing from bags, they are getting away with it! Alaska Air claims that "... Our goal is to always provide safe, reliable transportation" They are failing. I will not travel with this airline again.
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  #2  
Old Feb 1, 2010, 9:13 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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It is posted, it is written, with just about every airline that they will not be held responsible for expensive items in checked luggage. Cameras, computers, etc. NONE OF THEM should ever be in checked luggage. This is nothing new, it's been a universal policy among airlines for decades.

Your carry on could have been your camera bag, and just pack clothes in your checked luggage.

As a note, it is likely your stuff was stolen by TSA who scans the luggage, or Menzies who actually handle Alaska's luggage operations. There's no way to prove who did what. In the future, whomever you fly with, use TSA locks on your bags. Available online at any travel store. These are locks that TSA has a master key to. So if something goes missing, you can point the finger accurately.
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  #3  
Old Feb 1, 2010, 9:21 PM
rthexton rthexton is offline
 
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Thank you for your note but I think that your are missing an important point.

Regardless of who stole from my bag during this process, travellers deserve to feel comfortable and secure when they check bags. It is that simple. The airline should take some responsibility for a system that is obviously flawed. I will also file a complaint with TSA.

Also, I don't carry clothing on board and as a nervous traveller, my carry consists of things that ensure my comfort on board such as books, magazines and a pillow and blanket. This does not allow for me to carry another backpack with camera.

Simply said, the finger cannot be pointed at one organization alone, this is a collective problem and as an Alaska airline customer during this trip, I expect a certain amount of courtesy and responsibility from the airline....regardless of the fine print.
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  #4  
Old Feb 1, 2010, 11:24 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Gromit has no basis for saying

Quote:
As a note, it is likely your stuff was stolen by TSA who scans the luggage, or Menzies who actually handle Alaska's luggage operations.
There have been numerous cases of thieving airline employees taking customers stuff, and many have been prosecuted. He goes on to contradict himself by stating the more truthful "there is no way of knowing who took it". But what the customer does know is this: they placed their luggage in the care of the airline, and the airline didn't take sufficient care of it to ensure it was delivered whole to the customer.

You should file a claim with the DOT. This might help. Spirit Airlines was fined a couple of years ago for refusing to cover laptops left in luggage. This was found to be unlawful by the DOT.
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  #5  
Old Feb 1, 2010, 11:36 PM
rthexton rthexton is offline
 
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I agree. I have a problem with the airline refusing to take any responsibility for their cutomers basic travel needs.

If that is the case, agents should ask you each and every time you check in to ensure you have not packed valuables and state that they take no responsibility for the contents.

Thank you for your tip on reporting with the DOT. In the meantime, I will choose airlines that meet these needs.
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  #6  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 1:43 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Quote:
Gromit has no basis for saying


Quote:
Quote:
As a note, it is likely your stuff was stolen by TSA who scans the luggage, or Menzies who actually handle Alaska's luggage operations.
Quote:
There have been numerous cases of thieving airline employees taking customers stuff


Seriously Jim? So TSA can't possibly be guilty of taking things out of peoples bags? And there are "no" cases of TSA thefts? I know you didn't say it but it would seem that way. So you mean the guys with the actual x-ray machines and tools to break locks, can't possibly be.... thieves? Wait, wait...


This was in 2004 - http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in643165.shtml


This was taken last year - http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-b...-From-MIA.html


One more? How bout my personal favorite?
http://gone-hollywood.com/2008/10/ts...00-hbo-camera/


To say Gromit has no basis is bull. It is HIGHLY likely that the camera was taken by a TSA agent. If ever valuables go missing from a checked bag I'd blame TSA first and foremost.

To the OP: if you wanna find out who took your camera, or look to be compensated for the loss you cannot blame one. Blame all! Start with TSA, whom are the first hands in the cookie jar and work your way from their. You cannot automatically assume an airline agent took it, though jim is correct, Airline agents are not innocent, they steal as well. But it is also well documented that TSA agents, customs agents, hell even police officers have a tendency to "dip in the till".

I would also agree with Jim that though the airlines state they are not responsible for the loss of valuables doesn't mean it's open season to your stuff. I would file a claim and if they won't do it, file a lawsuit (small claims). If you have receipts for the camera or any documents (credit card statements, online receipts, warranty) all would be most helpful.

I would also follow Gromit's suggestion and get a TSA lock on all future checked lugguage so if something does go missing you know who to blame first hand. Make sure before the bag leaves your site all the locks are in place. Finally, regardless of the check bag rule, never pack your valuables, medication, important documents. That's just common sense.
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  #7  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 2:01 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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TO the OP:

Some bad advice above that you can safely ignore.

When the airline accepts your check in bags they put themselves in the position of a bailee. They are responsible to return it to you at the end of the flight. It is for the airline, not for you to monitor where this bag goes and to ensure that no one steals from it.

TSA conducts the scans right there under the nose of the airline and you as the passenger do not have to point any fingers as to who stole. You demand compensation from the airline, and let the airline investigate.

It may be a good idea not to put electronics, cameras into checked bags if they can fit in your carry on, but notwithstanding their disclaimers, the airline is responsible both under the DOT regulations and under the principles of the common law. If they want you to check these items, then they can't at the same time limit your space in the cabin.
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  #8  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 2:41 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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And this from Cicero:

Originally Posted by Cicero
"To the OP: if you wanna find out who took your camera, or look to be compensated for the loss you cannot blame one. Blame all! Start with TSA, whom are the first hands in the cookie jar and work your way from their."


Which donkey said that?

How does a passenger start blaming everyone and work their way from their [their?]

Does a passenger have the resources to go back to the airport and all the places behind the scenes where their luggage passed to investigage?

What kind of an airline jackass are you?

First sin... ooops I mean Cicero, don't reply to me in private in such a manner, I'll out you. Doesn't matter if the mods do anything or not (most likely not) it gives the other members a heads up. Second it doesn't matter if TSA works "right under the airlines noses" that hasn't stopped them from stealing. My examples have proven that. You ask me "how does the passenger start blaming everyone? Easy file a claim with both TSA and the airlines, report it to local authorities. Why so? what if there's a rash of thefts on either side? Possible, no? Keep all documents, document whom you speak to and at what time.

Oh and that's "frequent flyer jackass to you."

wait...... ahhhh forget it.
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  #9  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 3:03 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Quote:
You decrepit old loser

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You'll out me? What do you mean by that?

Your brain has already gone out for decades you decrepit old loser.

You are an airline donkey without a brain.
Why do I hint the smell of sinfail......


After I will just ignore him, why waste my words.
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  #10  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 12:35 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Bob,
Did you just spend ages writing a response which rebutting claims I didn;t make? What was the point of that?

I did not say TSA don't steal, nor did I imply it. I simply stated that there is no evidence they are more likely to steal than airline employees. None of your links provide that evidence.

In these days of digital CCTV, there is no excuse for the TSA and the airlines not having comprehensive video coverage of the bags. In particular, there should be video of every bag opened by the TSA and when a customer complains of theft, the video digitally recalled and checked. That would inhibit the TSA thieves and perhaps help uncover some of the airline thieves.
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  #11  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 12:41 PM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs
In particular, there should be video of every bag opened by the TSA and when a customer complains of theft, the video digitally recalled and checked.
Love that idea. Probably cost may be why it's not already done but it would be great for the customer. Wouldn't stop the airline thieves that already exist but it would cut down on any TSA sticky fingers.
__________________
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
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  #12  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 1:24 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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The cost, compared to the staggering scale of the loss through theft, is pretty minimal. Almost all shops these days have CCTV..don't tell me airlines, airports and the TSA can't come up with the money. It isn't an original idea.. I understand when a bag is opened in the UK, by Customs or security, it is filmed. It doesn't just protect the customer.. it also protects the honest employees from false allegations.
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  #13  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 1:39 PM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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This board had a somewhat similar discusson almost a year ago. I guess the powers that be didn't read that thread otherwise this problem might have already been well on the way to being fixed.

Video monitoring thread
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Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
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  #14  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 2:14 PM
NewJerseyDevils NewJerseyDevils is offline
 
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Originally Posted by rthexton View Post
I travelled from Las Vegas to Bellingham, Washington on January 31st and had my expensive camera and lense stolen from my suitcase.

When I reported this a day later, customer service told me they would do nothing except make a report and send me a letter stating that they will not cover the item. With security rugulations only allowing you one carry on and personal item, it makes it hard to carry a large camera with bag on board unless you want to bring nothing else.

I am so apalled and its no wonder that these staff members are stealing from bags, they are getting away with it! Alaska Air claims that "... Our goal is to always provide safe, reliable transportation" They are failing. I will not travel with this airline again.
Look on EBAY and if you find your stuff call the police.
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  #15  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 2:59 PM
cortney cortney is offline
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i want to know how many carry on items the OP had. he states he had his books, magazines, pillow, and blanket, that could be put into one backpack. you are allowed 2 carryons. rollerboard and personal item. he says he couldn't carry another backpack with the camera in it...why not? you could have, thats 2 carry ons. if they state reliable safe transportation...they did that right? you made it to your destination safe, just without your camera unfortunetly
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  #16  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 4:55 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Jim the point of my statement was to show that Gromit does actually make a point (Where you say he has no basis and you "appear" to disagree with him) and also that there is more than enough evidence out there to show it's very possible and more than likely a TSA agent could/is more than likely to have stolen the OP's camera as opposed to an airline agent.

Quote:
I did not say TSA don't steal, nor did I imply it
I know that, but in your first statement you push blame solely on the airline and in the second you state:


Quote:
In these days of digital CCTV, there is no excuse for the TSA and the airlines not having comprehensive video coverage of the bags.
Really? but that hasn't stopped them from doing it and I've given you three, CURRENT examples of theft by a tsa agent, one of which was very high profile - the TSA agent who stole the HBO camera and mind you he was not caught on CCTV he was caught trying to sell that camera on ebay! You think having CCTV deters theft? I think not sir.
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  #17  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 5:54 PM
rthexton rthexton is offline
 
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Originally Posted by cortney View Post
i want to know how many carry on items the OP had. he states he had his books, magazines, pillow, and blanket, that could be put into one backpack. you are allowed 2 carryons. rollerboard and personal item. he says he couldn't carry another backpack with the camera in it...why not? you could have, thats 2 carry ons. if they state reliable safe transportation...they did that right? you made it to your destination safe, just without your camera unfortunetly
First, I am a she. Second, I was told that I could have one carry on and a purse and that I could not bring my camera bag on board unless I wanted to check my carry on which contains simple items to ensure my comfort, items that the airline no longer provides for customers.
If I had to carry everything on board that I didn't want stolen, I could never travel. This is insane!!
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  #18  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 6:36 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2...ith-theft.html

http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0809/653820.html

http://www.denverda.org/News_Release...20forgery.html

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-1123292.html

Bob, I am not defending the TSA. It seems to be staffed by people who are too stupid to work for a real public security agency like the Police or FBI. I also have no doubt that they have a lot of thieves working for them. I have made more links for you. It doesn't prove anything, other than what I said. There is simply no basis for claiming that the TSA are more likely to steal from a passengers bag than an airline employee. Indeed, scroll down on the first link and look at the comments. There an airline employee admits it is a regular occurance and he is one of the thieves!

Quote:
I know that, but in your first statement you push blame solely on the airline and in the second you state:
No Bob.. I said that there was no way to know did it. However, we do know one thing. The bag was in the care of the airline when it was robbed.

On CCTV, it does not always act as a deterrent, but it would allow crimes to be investigated and the culprit found, if they are TSA. I am sure it would act as a deterrent if they knew every time that it was filmed and traceable.

Anyway, I am offering you a compromise. Many TSA and many airline employees are a bunch of thieves.
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  #19  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 7:24 PM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Originally Posted by rthexton View Post
If I had to carry everything on board that I didn't want stolen, I could never travel. This is insane!!
TO Ms Hexton:

There is nothing insane about air travel. There are adequate remedies and the most obvious is a complaint to DOT which people don't bother with and a claim in small claims court which still less people pursue.

Some airline diehards seem to be missing the point which I think you have recognised, which is that the airline's liability arises not from your being able to identify that the theft came from its employees or agents. In fact the suggestion that you blame TSA is only a distraction to you.

You don't need to talk about theft at all. That is usually a matter for the police.

A passenger's claim is a civil claim. He gives the airline his bag at the start of the trip and at the end he says to the airline, just hand over my bags otherwise pay for my stuff lost while the bag was in your care. The airline doofuses don't appreciate that t's not the passenger's concern how the bag was pilfered.

The moment you start talking theft, you put the burden of proof on yourself and it is a heavy burden, to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.


The pertinent point here is as Jimworcs says:

[html]
However, we do know one thing. The bag was in the care of the airline when it was robbed.

[/html]

And that's all you need to prove, plus the value of the lost camera.

It only adds to the strength of your claim that the airlines have not set up the simple steps of monitoring the bags with security cameras. It is not at all costly as someone suggested. These things have become so cheap now that for a few thousand dollars a homeowner can have a string of cameras around his home connected to a computer and monitor through the internet from a remote location.
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  #20  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 9:09 PM
cortney cortney is offline
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ok, sorry you didn't state you were a she. i manage to carry everything i dont want stolen with me. camera, video camera, ipod, laptop, blanket and at times a pillow, all fit into a bag. my best friend has a $2000 professional camera he also carrys on along with a backpack and has never had problems
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  #21  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 9:52 PM
rthexton rthexton is offline
 
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Lucky for you and your friend.
The airline did not allow this in my case.
From now on, I will pack dollar store clothing, 99 cent shoes in an old cheap bag because I am not willing to put all of personal items in the hands of a system that is taking no responsibility for lost items.
In the meantime, I am confident I can find an airline which provides top customer care and puts the CUSTOMER first, even if this means only flying on Canadian airlines going forward.
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  #22  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 9:59 PM
rthexton rthexton is offline
 
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Also, I feel like people are forgetting about customer service, going above and beyond to ensure that customer needs are met. These are the businesses that will flouish while the ones that have piles of unsatisfied customers complaining on this site along with a variety of social and mainstream media outlets will suffer. Never underestimate the power of bad publicity in a airline business where customers have choice and the companies that commit to doing WHATEVER they can for customers will come out on top.

This was the first time I flew Alaska after seeing a brutal story years ago about their baggage staff. One time is enough for me, that's for sure. Should have trusted the first news story but you live and learn.
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  #23  
Old Feb 3, 2010, 12:52 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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It is astonishing how airline employees have become adept at blaming the victim. The customer is a victim of a crime. Cortney, in a typically stellar performance by an airline employee, seeks to blame the victim, because they shouldn't expect airline employees or TSA employees to be honest. Why not? Outrageous
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  #24  
Old Feb 3, 2010, 2:24 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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First Jim, I didn't say you were defending TSA, I actually agreed with you that airline agents are thieves (so you don't have to sell me on that, I know). I said your statements appear to blame one party and I say why not blame both? If BOTH are prone to stealing, why blame one party?

Quote:
No Bob.. I said that there was no way to know did it. However, we do know one thing. The bag was in the care of the airline when it was robbed.
No Jim, you didn't say that... GROMIT said it, you merely quoted him in your reply that started with Gromit no basis for saying. Need a refresher?

Quote:
There have been numerous cases of thieving airline employees taking customers stuff, and many have been prosecuted. He goes on to contradict himself by stating the more truthful "there is no way of knowing who took it".
Unless you were referring to this statement:

Quote:
I did not say TSA don't steal, nor did I imply it. I simply stated that there is no evidence they are more likely to steal than airline employees. None of your links provide that evidence.
I never said you said TSA don't steal nor did you imply it, I merely stated your response was too one side. And I don't see how my links are wrong, they clearly show TSA agents caught in the act of stealing from passengers bags, the end results they were fired and prosecuted. How are the links you provided different from mine? Can I argue that your links provide no evidence to your cause? I don't think so.

Quote:
On CCTV, it does not always act as a deterrent, but it would allow crimes to be investigated and the culprit found, if they are TSA. I am sure it would act as a deterrent if they knew every time that it was filmed and traceable.
If that were true yes. But obviously it does not as theft by TSA agents is still on going. You would think that if a CCTV camera was in plain site people would be LESS LIKELY to steal, and I say yet again, it doesn't deter crime. If the person who has it in his heart to steal wants something, he will take it.

Oh and jim, you can choose the "compromise" cop out but I choose not to compromise on this one. You talk a big game, but point for point you cannot keep up. Your links (evidence) support your argument as do the links I provide support mine, but in the end its your one-sided nice that will always be your loss. Always.
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  #25  
Old Feb 3, 2010, 6:33 AM
cortney cortney is offline
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WHOA!! i didn't blame the victim of ANYTHING!! is it their fault that TSA or an airline employee stole the camera?? NO! but it is their fault that they checked in an expensive camera, where the airlines policy (all airlines) state they are not responsible for lost items as such. if i were the poster i would have decided to forget the blanket and pillow and carry on my camera. i'll wear a jacket to keep warm. i think its terrible that this kind of crap happens to passengers and i would be ticked off too. i think both parties are to blame. im sure some tsa employees are theives as well as some employees. but i have worked the ramp part at a small airport and believe me, it gets chaiotic out there, and i dont know where some would find time to open any random suitcase and start stealing
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