Durban -There has been a spate of complaints about the theft out of passengers’ luggage at King Shaka International Airport in Durban.
The conversation was sparked when Kaajal Shamprasadh returned from Cape Town on Tuesday, to find items from her luggage missing.
“When we got home and started unpacking we realised the lock on my 12-year-old’s bag was broken and her wallet emptied out as well as a new Nike T shirt (with the tag on) stolen ... seems to have happened at King Shaka International Airport... please be aware,” she posted on Facebook.
Others who had similar experiences reacted to the Facebook post. Mazid Glasswala said at least Shamprsadh had her bag.
“I was here for two weeks up and down left and right pillar to post I cannot find my bag. Nobody wants to take responsibility.”
Renae Albers Botha said a family member had her belongings stolen when she returned from the US. “They told her it must have been stolen in Dubai, liars they are,” she posted.
Addila Timol said they took a flight from Cape Town on Saturday night.
“Most of the people’s bags were broken into. They broke the zips and locks. They had tools to break it. The staff at the British Airways counter say that there is nothing they can do about it. No one takes responsibility,” Timol posted.
Avi Maharaj posted: “Nothing new. Theft always occurs at our airports. If you have valuables in your main luggage always wrap your bag whether you travelling local or international. It’s unfortunate but this is the country we live in.”
Rochelle Munsami said she had a similar situation where her spare cellphone, jacket and cash were stolen from a locked bag.
Rabia Kadwa advised people to always wrap their bags in shrinkwrap to avoid the problem.
Roxanne Cele said: “That happened to us as well. Travelled khulula ... bag was broken and clothing items and perfumes and two pairs of takkies gone.”
Fatima Motala said: “That is why I don’t ever pack valuables in my bag always put it into my hand luggage. We work so hard for our stuff to be stolen. Maybe charge the airline. Open a case against them. This needs to be stopped.”
Airports Company South Africa spokesperson Colin Naidoo said it was an unfortunate reality that no security measures were entirely criminal-proof. “However, we would urge passengers to take reasonable precautions with their bags,” he said.
Following the airline’s rules and terms and conditions about valuables in bags;
Locking bags and using a lockable luggage strap or baggage sleeve;
Consider using plastic wrapping on bags; and
When airline staff at the door of an aircraft inform you that your hand luggage will have to go into the hold, be sure to remove your laptop and other valuables first.
“The global standard for all airports is that baggage incidents should be below four per 10000 bags handled. The essential first step is for the passenger to report the tampering to the airline and the police. We investigate every incident of baggage tampering that is reported to us. Baggage handlers are employed by a ground handling company which in turn has been contracted by the airline,” he said.
“The victim of baggage tampering is not only angry about the loss of items, but also feels that their privacy has been invaded,” Naidoo said.