Overall about 14,000 travelers each year make official TSA reports of items missing from their luggage. Thousands more will file claims with the airports and individual airlines too.
Some recent headlines describe luggage raiding as a continued risk for travelers:
- New TSA ‘theft’ leaves teen’s bag $100 lighter
- TSA worker who stole from LAX luggage was tripped by Ebay, officials say
Who touches your luggage?
When you leave your home on a trip, many people in addition to the TSA are likely to come in contact with your luggage:
- taxi, bus and limo drivers
- rental car employees
- airline baggage handlers
- hotel employees
Implement these baggage precautions
Some precautions travelers can take that reduce their luggage risk include:
- Lay out all the items you will pack in your bag and snap a couple of photos of it. That way, if you have to make a claim, you’re more likely to remember what was in the bag.
- Keep electronics with you in your carry-on instead of packing it and checking the bag.
- Leave jewelry, expensive shoes, and other valuables at home. If you must take them, wear them.
- Medications should always stay with you in your carry-on just in case the bag is delayed or lost.
Consider a TSA-approved lock for your checked baggage. Two companies sell them:
See the TSA’s baggage locks information.