Old Apr 7, 2011, 4:37 PM
SoCalCool SoCalCool is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1
Default Onboard Theft on AA Flight

American Airlines Welcomes All Thieves Aboard

During my recent overnight AA flight 192 from Los Angeles to Boston, a brazen passenger rummaged through overhead bins, removed my luggage and stole both my Apple iPad and iPhone. Since I installed Apple’s Mobile Me software with the location finder, I was able to determine the culprit’s street address in South Boston as soon as each device was turned on. While Google maps showed me that the address was a three-story apartment building, the location finder could not tell me the specific unit number. I contacted Boston Police to report the crime, and they asked me to obtain the passengers name so they could investigate the theft.

I then contacted American’s customer relations department and they informed me that “they could only release the passenger’s name if the police issued a subpoena.” Ever hear of Catch 22? How can the police issue a subpoena without a name? Customer relations also said their policy doesn't cover any losses from onboard theft, regardless of circumstances.[/font]

I then contacted American’s press relations department. They informed me that “overhead bins are public storage spaces to which customers have free access. As with any public place, it is each individual’s personal responsibility to ensure the security of their belongings. We cannot be held responsible for any unattended items reported missing.” If I'm on an overnight flight, shouldn't I be sleeping instead of guarding "my" shared overhead bin? Don't you think American has a responsibility to inform passengers of this – or at least issue some legal disclaimer – during pre-flight instructions? “Dear passengers, anyone can access your valuables while you are asleep during flight and we will not question them, or be held responsible. Please keep valuables in your possession at all times, or avoid sleeping on overnight flights.” That would be reassuring, don't you think?

It’s very disturbing and hypocritical that American will offer me a $400 voucher if they overbook a flight, and will cover lost baggage up to $3,300, but they will offer no compensation whatsoever for theft that occurred under their watch while I was sleeping on an overnight flight. Perhaps just as bad, they will not even help me recoup my property, despite me having proof of a person’s whereabouts. This is a warning that none of your valuables are safe on American, and they will assume no responsibility regardless of circumstances.

I’m sure thieves know this, too. And it’s probably safe to say that until American does something about it, others will fall prey to the same pilfering. That’s my experience and perspective. Please spread the word and share yours

Last edited by SoCalCool; Apr 7, 2011 at 4:40 PM.
Old Apr 7, 2011, 10:13 PM
A320FAN A320FAN is offline
Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 363

It is common knowledge that overheadbin space is shared space. As far as the name being relased, they are following corporate security policies and proceedures that are set forth. It is a federal violation for AA or any airline to relase the name(s) of persons to you or any other common person on the street. As far as electronics and thing like that ARE NOT COVERED by the contract of carriage. The flight attendants are not paid to be police officers in the skies.If you want policie officers in the skies and seceret service on your flight watching everything, go fly with Aeroflot, or Air Koryo in North Korea. You luggage is your responsibility. When I travel by air, someone in our party is always awake and keeping an eye on the overhead bins were our items our stored. If this electronics ment something to you, then you should have put them in your personal shoulder bag which goes under neath the seat infront of you. This way the control is all your. I am siding with American Airlines and their corporate policies on this. Before you ask, I do work for an airline, and I am proud of it!
Old Apr 8, 2011, 2:48 AM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 745

The police CAN get the passenger manifest released to them with a court order. Sounds like lazy cops.
Old Apr 8, 2011, 4:41 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nearest Airports: COD, BIL, WRL
Posts: 577

If you want policie officers in the skies and seceret service on your flight watching everything...

Gee. That sounds like you're talking about the flight attendants on American Air, or just about any other US-based airline with the possible exception of Southwest!

go fly with Aeroflot

Not a bad idea. Unlike American Air they won't try to have you hauled-off to jail because you asked for orange juice! Just a very abrupt "Nyet!" Also, at one point, I understand Delta was training Aeroflot in customer service. Talk about the blind leading the blind!
[B][I][COLOR=navy][FONT=Arial Narrow]We HATE to fly--and it shows![/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=navy][FONT=Arial Narrow][/FONT][/COLOR][/I][/B]

Last edited by Butch Cassidy Slept Here; Apr 8, 2011 at 4:43 AM.
Old Apr 8, 2011, 7:54 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Unusual I know, but I am partially with AA on this one. There is a tone to the original post which seeks to transfer the responsibility for the theft from the thief to the airline. That is wrong. How could AA enforce this? Every time a passenger gets up and goes in to their luggage, what do you expect the FA to do? Demand proof the item is theirs? How would the passenger do this? Perhaps you want the overhead bins locked and access banned? Can you for see any problems with this? It is ridiculous and blaming AA for the actions of the thief are just wrong. You have two beefs. 1). With the thief. 2) With the fat lazy cops who can't be arsed to do some basic police work. Put the blame where it belongs and make Boston Police get the manifest. It may not be sufficient proof but could at least scare the thief and give them a sleepless night or two.

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