Airline Employee Reportedly Listed Passenger’s Clothing on Facebook Marketplace

Checked baggage is always ‘at risk’. A CNN camera man learned that when his checked camera equipment was stolen and listed on eBay. The TSA employee who took it forgot to remove the CNN stickers before posting the listing.

American Airlines is now reimbursing a Tulsa passenger for $1000 after her lost luggage turned up on Facebook Marketplace, being sold by a baggage worker there. The passenger had them ‘dead to rights’ too – the bar code on the new Patagonia jacket being sold matched her receipt for the purchase, she says.

The carrier says they “are investigating the situation” and that they’re “very concerned with the allegations and..fully cooperating with authorities.”

Baggage handlers stealing customer belongings right out of their bags isn’t limited to “other countries” it seems. Why couldn’t all airports be like the one in Japan where bags are even cleaned before being given back to passengers?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Not surprising at all. I’ve had checked baggage opened when there were liquids inside which is not surprising, but I’ve also had bags opened when there was nothing inside that needed screening by hand or packed in a way that would have been difficult for x-ray scanners to see. On many of those occasions, the way my bags were rifled through looked like fishing expeditions and, yes, things have gone missing from time to time. That really disgusts me when it happens, especially when you see the preprinted note saying that it was all in the name of safety. One can only hope that the thieving bag screeners/handlers get their own stuff stolen when they fly.

  2. Not surprised. My wife stopped using her Tumi suitcases because well over 50% of the time her bags were opened. We now travel with my cheap Delsey bags and they have yet to be searched once. Go figure

  3. You said a TSA employee stole it, yet you say an airline employee listed the item. Who did the crime?

  4. Just another clear example of poor security and high trust of poorly paid workers.
    Cameras covering every angle of the inspection area where bags are opened would do wonders to reduce this problem.

  5. Video all the areas baggage goes through.. Keep videos for 6 months. Could have been implemented 30 years ago.

  6. @EricZ I tend to agree with you. We don’t have Tumi luggage but the only times we have found a note in our luggage from TSA was when we have checked our more expensive luggage. As a rule now, if we plan to check bags we take our cheapest luggage, not for that reason but because I am sick of finding damage to bags after we get home and I just don’t feel like fighting the airlines for $ and trying to prove they damaged our bags. So, if we check a bag now, it is a cheap bag that I don’t care about and I haven’t found a TSA note in our cheap bags.

  7. Robert…reread the article. There were two separate incidents, one with a camera and the other with the jacket.

  8. That is the worst spoken TV Reporter I’ve ever heard. She could not even pronounce Patagonia correctly.

  9. You have to be very careful of the news you post. Have the facts straight… Th e mechanics don’t get in contact with any passengers luggage. What I can tell you is that the union represents both mechanics and baggage handlers in the same contract negotiations and maybe the baggage handlers are the ones putting the union flyers.

  10. Know what your getting into with Tumi!!!

    I typically travel with two standard size Tumi carry on bags. These bags are on the higher end of Tumi and they look it. One was $1,295 and the other was $1,499. If for some reason I do check either of these bags they ALWAYS end up with the TSA inspection sticker on the bag tag alerting me that they’ve been opened. The more expensive bag doesn’t have zippers and uses metal latches to close it. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been paged at the gate because TSA couldn’t figure out how to re close the bag. Every time I’ve asked why it was opened to begin with I’ve been given the same “it was random” line which is total BS. I travel with my brother often who uses a much less expensive Samsonite bag that has never once been opened. Looking back I wish I had purchased less expensive bags but I needed the quality. It’s the TSA employees more than fellow passengers we need to worry about when it comes stealing. TSA clearly can spot an expensive bag and absolutely has the opportunity to open them at will and in some cases take what they want. In my opinion it’s the physical bag they target and has nothing to do with what kind of priority tag it’s labelled with.

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