We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Theft from suitcase.

Berlin
4 posts
Theft from suitcase.
Save

I have just taken a flight from Malaga to New York then on the LAX. At some point on the US part of the trip my case was opened by braking the lock and a flyer left inside to inform me of the search by US Customs.

I have no problem with extra security like this, my problem is that an item was taken from my case.

I am wondering if anyone can tell me who I need to report this to? The airline or the airports?

Thanks, Ross.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
36,683 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
1. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

You need to report it to the airline then see if your insurance will pay.

Note that it's recommended that you don't lock cases on flights involving the US as they do open cases.

And in all cases you should never put anything valuable or important it case it or the case disappears

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
733 posts
302 reviews
156 helpful votes
2. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

Several years ago an item was missing from my suitcase when i got to San Francisco. A note was left in the case by US TSA. The airline told me to file with TSA, which I did, It was paid in full about a year later.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/customer/claims/forms.shtm

Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
7,755 posts
9 reviews
53 helpful votes
3. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

You don't mention what the item is. However if it was only 1 item, there's a possibility it was removed because it violated a baggage restriction. The presence of the flyer does indicate it was the TSA that probably opened your bag.

Here's a link to the restricted items page;

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

MANCHESTER U.K
1 post
4. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

According to my seller of suitcases in Manchester U.K USA Customs routinely open cases.The store recommended that you purchase a lock which Customs do have the appropriate key for and sol after opening will lock the case. Apparantly case opening in the states is a regular occurance and travellers have discovered half their contents strewn on the luggage reclaim belt.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
74,040 posts
49 reviews
112 helpful votes
5. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

I'm a very frequent air travler in the US and have never seen anyone's belongings "strewn on the luggage reclaim belt" ever.

Customs does not open checked luggage except in very rare cases, perhaps behind the scenes if they are using a drug dog or something. Customs inspects bags on arrival with the traveler present.

The information from your suitcase seller is valid for TSA, Transortation Security Administration. They can and do inspect luggage after it is checked in.

I have about 70 flights under my belt this year, most with a checked bag. My bag has been opened one time so far.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
36,683 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
6. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

I've never understood why the TSA is the only organisation that deals with airline luggage that is incapable of opening a case unless it has a *special* lock

UK
Level Contributor
49,560 posts
82 reviews
193 helpful votes
7. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

Even with a special lock, mine and many others experience is that they just rip them off anyway.

Bangkok, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
16,188 posts
62 reviews
240 helpful votes
8. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

Hi,

If US Customs in fact did take your item, they would either have notified you in person, or left you a Notice of Action (CBP Form 28) outlining the seizure. This notice is a 8.5 X 11 piece of double sided paper.

This notice informs you of the seizure, the Federal Statue under which your property was seized, what penalties are possible (aside from seizure), what (if any) rights and remedies you have to get your property back and the time-line to do so.

Normally baggage opened by US Customs- Customs and Border Protection- is re-sealed with special CBP tape.. If they did in fact seize something, then the notice as mentioned earlier would be left for you.

If, on the other-hand the TSA did the inspection and removed your item, they do try to leave you a notice when they've opened and inspected your bag. Their notice is different from the CBP's and looks like this:

TSA Notice (Flickr Photo):

http://tinyurl.com/243hdrf

As noted, you should start with notifying the airline who last handled your baggage. Both the TSA and the CBP have assistance lines for passengers who feel items were improperly removed or other similar issues.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 10 years ago
San Francisco...
Level Contributor
749 posts
9. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

It would have helped to know what item was missing. If it was an item of value then it is possible some baggage handler stole it.

Even for domestic flights, we have received those notices where TSA said they opened the bags. But then our bags had only clothes and toiletries so nothing felt missing.

Gop,

That link is not working for me.

Bangkok, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
16,188 posts
62 reviews
240 helpful votes
10. Re: Theft from suitcase.
Save

Hi,

Try this:

http://tinyurl.com/243hdrf

or direct from Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79609432@N00/9314259/

Travel Safe,

© 2021 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in India. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.