I was recently on a flight from Richmond to Denver on a major airline. The flight stopped at Charlotte for 90 minutes then continued on to Denver. I always carried my snowboarding jacket with me while travelling instead of packing it in the bags, just in case my bags were lost or delayed. I had […]
I was recently on a flight from Richmond to Denver on a major airline. The flight stopped at Charlotte for 90 minutes then continued on to Denver. I always carried my snowboarding jacket with me while travelling instead of packing it in the bags, just in case my bags were lost or delayed. I had even selected this flight so my bags couldn’t be lost switching to a connector flight.
I decided to step out into the concourse for a little while, before the next leg began. As I got out of my seat, the stewardess said, “Is that your coat in the overhead bin?” I said yes, but I was staying on this flight and thought it would it be safe to leave it there while I stepped out to stretch my legs. “Absolutely,” she replied, “you can leave it there,” and we talked about this being her last flight for the day, as another crew was coming on board. I was the last passenger off the plane, as the cleaning crew was opening the back door.
As I was waiting to re-board the plane, I overheard the ticket agents talking about another flight at the adjacent gate, and a passenger much like myself was traveling through to his next destination, and had stepped out as the cleaning crew picked up trash. Now his iPod was missing. The tone of the conversation was implicating that the cleaning crew, which had already denied taking the device, had stolen it.
I went back to my seat and took my spot, and while sitting there, a little voice in my head suggested that I check to see if my jacket was still in the bin. I opened the compartment and my heart dropped as I realized it was gone. Airline personnel don’t say the words “taken” or “stolen,” instead using the word “misplaced.”
I went to the crew and let them know what happened. They sent me to the ticket agent who called the cleaning crew, and of course got a denial when asked about the jacket. Lost & found was checked and it wasn’t there, and there was little I could do. I was told to file a misplaced article claim in Denver and sent on my way.
As the last passenger off the plane, you couldn’t suspect another passenger, and any crew member leaving the plane would have had a tough time hiding a bulky jacket while walking through the terminal, but it was so easy to take it out the back door of the plane as the cleaning crew left the plane.
I had plenty of time to think about my monetary loss ($300) and of course the sentimental value, and I then began hoping that the articles in my checked bags were safe. I was so thankful that I had taken my carry-on bag with me into the terminal, as it had my laptop in it.
If you’re traveling by air, feel free to use my experience to make a better decision than I did.
Theft happens. Every day, a certain segment of the population makes a living stealing the possessions of others in order to sell the items for cash. I allowed myself to be a victim, and paid the price. Here are some things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of theft:
- Always lock your vehicle
- Keep valuables out of sight or in the trunk of your car
- Park in well lit areas
- Always keep your home locked when unoccupied
- Don’t keep a spare key to your house hidden near the doors
- Have a neighbor park a car in your driveway while you are on vacation
- Leave a light on in your home if you are gone for the evening
- Have a neighbor pick up your mail and newspaper while you are out of town
- Make sure your shed is securely locked
- Never leave personal items on the plane unattended
- Women: keep your purse close to your body while in crowds
- Men: keep your wallet in your front (not back) pants pocket while in crowds