Unfortunately theft can happen anywhere. On my family trip to South Africa a few years ago we had several items stolen from a few different bags.  Although that was the first time it happened to me, it’s not as uncommon as you may think. A CNN report found that passengers incurred over $2.5 million in property losses between 2010 and 2014. This was from more than 30,000 reported losses. Here’s how to respond to theft at the airport:.

  • If your entire bag is missing, report it to your airline.
  • If you’re missing a specific item, start by checking with the airport’s lost and found.
  • If the item isn’t in lost and found, you need to file a claim with the TSA.
  • You will need to give as much information as possible. Receipts or appraisals and your flight information will help your claim he processed faster. You will also need to file a claim with the airline.
  • If you think an expensive item like jewelry or electronics was stolen, call the law enforcement office at both your departure and arrival airports and file a report for stolen goods.
  • Be sure to request a copy of the police report.
  • Check with your insurance company to see if it will cover the loss. Many homeowner’s or renters insurance plans will cover theft. Some credit card companies may also provide coverage. You should also purchase baggage and personal affects insurance which will cover you.
  • And to help prevent any theft, here are some tips
  • Don’t check valuables. Jewelry, electronics, and cash are all easy targets in checked baggage. Keep these items in your carry-on or on your person at all times.
  • If possible it’s best to only travel with a carry on. This will eliminate any worry about your luggage being in somebody else’s hands.
  • Review the contents of your carry-on post-screening to be sure that you have everything you were carrying prior to moving through security.
  • If you do have to check a bag, opt for a unique colored suitcase. Thieves are less likely to target a wildly colored bag than a plain black one.

While you can never be totally prepared for theft, taking a few precautions and understanding the claims process can help you respond quickly and effectively if this should happen to you.

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