Travel Advice: Theft onboard flights

Valuables being stolen on aircraft does happen, but the real danger zone is at security screening

Tips to avoid having your valuables stolen  onboard an aircraft

Tips to avoid having your valuables stolen onboard an aircraft

 

I do not want to alarm anyone about safety of valuables when flying, but I have come across a few incidences of cash and valuables being stolen on board aircraft. It is a rare crime, but does happen.

It might be worth considering these tips from corporatetravelersafety.com, to keep your valuables safe while you fly:

Do not leave your wallet in your jacket pocket when you hang it up.

Put a coloured ribbon or bright big label on your bag to make it identifiable and deter thieves from walking off with it.

Always put your bag in the overhead locker upside down, with the pockets covered, so it is less easy to root in. If you can lock it – do so.

Stow your bag near you, preferably opposite your seat, where you can see it.

If you have to, bury your wallet and valuables deep in your carry-on, inside something else, or use a portable travel safe. If stowing your bag under the seat in front, ensure the pockets are facing you.

Speak up if you think someone has interfered with your luggage or you see someone acting suspiciously.

Multiple thefts have been reported in China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said last year that “thefts from passengers by passengers are becoming a security issue”. The airline increased vigilance training for staff, especially on night flights.

The responsibility for your luggage is your own, as overhead bins are shared space and airlines cannot stand guard. Keep your belongings with you at all times, especially on night flights.

In airports there is one area to be extra vigilant, the security screening area. Thefts from here occur regularly, so you need to be vigilant and prepared.

Organise your belongings quickly and carefully, leave the bag likely to be screened last. Wait until you see the bins moving into the X-ray machine, then cross the scanning machine.

jscales@irishtimes.com

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