Seems that there is a problem at JFK. Victor Bourne, a baggage handler at Kennedy International Airport, came up with a plan. A plan to make money. Mr. Bourne and the associates, and I use that term lightly, that he recruited were able to afford many luxury items despite their low wages. The plan? Smuggling cocaine inside international flights and stealing high ticket items from luggage. According to a witness at Mr. Bourne’s trial 80% of employees at American Airlines engages in some kind of unethical and illegal activity. Me thinks American Airlines has a problem.
Of course it is not limited to American though that seems to be the airline in the spotlight at the moment and the airline with the most reports of this type of activity.
In 2009, the last year for which there is complete data, the Transportation Security Administration received about 6,750 reports of property missing from checked baggage. Passengers reported the total value of their losses as nearly $5.3 million. Clothing was reported most often as missing. Digital cameras also disappeared with some frequency.
Even the defense lawyer, Mr. Savitt, said that he believed part of the witnesses’ testimony. “It became very obvious that everyone in American Airlines’ baggage services is dirty,” Mr. Savitt said. “If they don’t steal commercial cargo on a regular basis, they are going to rifle suitcases. It is astounding the kind of valuable items they were able to steal.”
I have traveled a bit and of course, the hubby travels all the time. (He just made Diamond status last week so you know that his butt, and the rest of him, has been on a plane a lot these days.) When we say goodbye to our luggage we hope to see it again. Hopefully in the same condition it was in when we handed it over. Now that is not always the case. My luggage has been on vacations of its own–visiting places I have never been. One time on a return trip to Australia my big red duffle came back a week later via a Qantas airplane. I had flown New Zealand Air. Now explain that one!!!
So what is the take away here? Hmmmm—–people are dishonest? Your luggage is not safe? How many times have I seen random suitcases fall off of luggage carts and see them scattered all over the tarmac as we taxi out ? I guess when it comes to traveling you need to use common sense—-don’t pack anything irreplaceable in checked baggage. When you see the TSA card inside your suitcase you know that someone has been looking through your items but did you know it happens more commonly and that items may get lifted??? Keep an inventory of what all you travel with if you are concerned. Know that your luggage passes through many hands before it reaches its final destination –if it ever does. It kind of explains why more folks are cramming huge carry ons in the overhead bins, doesn’t it??
I would like to think that people are honest but I guess that is a myth. Travel safe, my friends, and know that what you left with may not arrive with you at your final destination.