Many travellers lose their baggage due to theft. Picture: Spencer Platt
Many travellers lose their baggage due to theft. Picture: Spencer Platt

5 tips to avoid airport baggage theft

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Oct 23, 2019

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No one wants to have their luggage stolen. We asked Colin Naidoo, King Shaka International Airport senior manager corporate affairs, for a few tips.

Never pack valuable items in checked luggage

Most travellers have the perception that you should pack your valuables in your checked luggage as it may be safer, but this is not the case. Naidoo says: “Always carry them on your person or in your carry-on bag so you can keep an eye on your bag. 

“Don’t forget to place a copy of your boarding pass inside your checked luggage.” 

Make sure your bag is secured at all times

Ultimately, you are the one responsible for your bag and should ensure that the luggage is secure. Naidoo advises that one consider purchasing baggage insurance. “Baggage insurance covers lost, damaged or stolen checked or carry-on luggage. A tip is to pack your own bags and know its contents.”

Lock your luggage with a TSA-approved lock

Most travellers may take this for granted, but locking your bag makes it harder for people to steal from it. 

“Be sure checked luggage has an identification tag that is not likely to fall off, such as the paper tags offered to passengers at check-in. Invest in an identification tag," Naidoo says. 

Do not carry items on behalf of anyone

Many travellers get themselves in trouble when they decide to carry items on behalf of other people. 

Here’s some advice: “Do not carry anyone’s items. Not your family member, not your friend, nobody.” 

Report the loss to the airline’s customer service agents immediately 

Losing your bag is a travel nightmare no one wants to experience, especially if you do not have travel insurance. 

“Check the surrounding area if you do not see your bags. Some airlines often remove some bags from the belt and place them in an area nearby,” Naidoo says. If your bag is lost, you will need to provide documentation of its contents. 

“Take a photo of the contents of your checked luggage before you pack your bag as it helps to support your claim. Most airlines reimburse travellers, depending on the circumstances of the loss. Familiarise yourself with its restrictions.”

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