Passenger Films Baggage Handler Stealing Birthday Present Out of Luggage

The old saying is that there are only two kinds of luggage, “carry on and lost.” It should probably be “lost or stolen.”

I hate checking bags because of time. You have to arrive at the airport earlier, and you wait on arrival. As much as I fly I’d spend days of my life each year just dealing with checked luggage. Life is too precious for that. (Delta and Alaska at least have 20 minute baggage guarantees, United charges more for first checked bag than either and still doesn’t match this.)

My favorite way to travel is with just my laptop bag, great for same day trips and simple overnights. That way I don’t even need overhead bin space. I can board last, saving me about 20 minutes each way.

But there’s another fundamental reason not to check bags, or at least not to check anything you can’t afford to lose. Your belongings are outside of your possession, and can you really trust anyone but yourself?

First the TSA has a crack at it:

If your bags make it to the plane, do you really want to touch the bag after everything it gets exposed to? And then there’s baggage handlers themselves.

It happened again on Friday morning. A passenger was filming out the window of a Ryanair flight from Ibiza to Madrid and caught a baggage handler stealing a speaker out of a passenger’s bag. It was a boy’s birthday present.

Cops say they got the man to confess before returning the stolen item back to its owner – a teenage boy traveling to the Spanish capital with his mom.

The baggage handler is now facing trial and had only started his job three days earlier.

Thank goodness it was caught on video or the man would still be getting paid to take things from passengers. Sadly it never seems to be other baggage handlers turning in their colleagues.

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. What about his co-worker who was watching him, just humming a tune? He should be fired also.

  2. I am an Airport Inspector and, on daily basis, I see what goes on once you hand your luggage over to the airlines. There is the very real danger of:
    • Theft from your luggage
    • Smugglers placing contraband into your luggage for pickup at your destination
    • The actual baggage handling system physically damaging your luggage

    If you notice the kind of luggage that these thieves are targeting, it is always soft sided, zippered bags. These are very easy to get into and re-close without any evidence of tampering.

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