Summer travel season may have come to an end, but you still may have a few loose ends to tie up from your most recent trip.
Unfortunately, the possibility of encountering thieves upon arrival at your destination is always there, but did you know the threat can also be present while flying to your destination?
Most recently, the Government Accountability Office issued a report stating a 20% increase in misconduct among Transportation and Safety Administration employees between 2010 and 2012. These findings may have prompted the TSA to advise travelers with currency, coins, precious metals, or valuable jewelry to ask the security officer to screen you and your carry-on luggage in private. What should you do, however, if your valuables come up missing?
First, promptly inspect your checked luggage for your more expensive items. If the TSA searched your bag, you will find a slip of paper inside, stating so. If something is missing, file an online claim form found on the TSA website., The chances of a TSA employee stealing from a searched bag with a proper search slip inside is rather slim.
In the case of something missing with no slip from the TSA, seek reimbursement from the airline. Federal law governs domestic air-travel, while international air-travel is governed by the Warsaw Convention. In either case, prompt notice to the airline you traveled with is important.
You usually have 24 hours after landing to report stolen items. For example, United Airlines requires immediate notice of any missing item by calling their claims number. United also requires written notice within 24 hours of discovery by filing a claims notice. Generally, all airlines requirements may be found at the ‘Contact Us’ link provided on their websites. Most airlines will also require original proof of purchase for items valued at more than 100.00USD. That can be difficult to put your hands on, but knowing about it beforehand is the best form of protection.
In addition to any of the aforementioned remedies, you should call the airport’s law enforcement office, as well as local law enforcement to file a report. This will allow for better tracking, but more importantly, it will allow for a police report number, which proves to the TSA or airline that you have, in fact, had an item stolen from you.
There is one thing, however, thieves will never be able to steal from you…
your vacation memories.
Written by Tomas Alarcon