Fearing loss or theft, people traveling by plane often bring their most valuable possessions with them in their carry-on bags. Doing that will usually prevent stuff from getting lost. However, theft can still be an issue, especially when you and your bags have to get separated. Like when they have to go through the security checkpoint at the airport.
You’d think that your stuff would be safe while it’s going through the checkpoint. I mean, it’s got how many sets of eyes on it? And yet stuff gets stolen just about every day, because, if you think about it, no one except the individual owners knows which stuff belongs to them. So it’s the perfect opportunity for a thief or thieves to take what isn’t his/hers/theirs.
It happens more often in foreign countries or in domestic airports that don’t have stringent TSA screening protocols. It also can happen as a single thief or two scammers working in tandem. Whatever the case, your stuff can be gone before you get through X-ray.
Here are some ways to help prevent that from happening:
- Do your best to stay “ahead” of your stuff so you will be right there when it comes out of X-ray. If you’re “behind” your stuff and it comes out of X-ray before you get there, it’s sitting there, unsupervised, until you come to get it. That makes it a target for thieves.
- When you have to empty your pockets before going through X-ray, put everything into your bag – If your wallet, passport, money, etc. are sitting loose in a container, it’s easier for someone to quickly grab them and walk away. If they’re secured in a zippered pocket of your bag, it’s one more step, as well as more time for a would-be thief to get to your stuff.
- Have your stuff be bright colors (orange bag, yellow strap around your laptop, etc.) so they’re easy for you to see, even if you’re 20+ feet away. Keep watching your stuff and if you see someone taking it, alert a TSA agent immediately.
- If you’re traveling with someone else, have them go through first so (s)he can watch both his/her and your stuff as it goes through X-ray and winds up on the other side.
- Wear slip-on shoes. If you don’t have TSA Pre-Check and go through the regular X-Ray line, you have to take your shoes off. You can put on slip-on shoes much faster than you can shoes with laces, thereby decreasing the chance of your being distracted from your stuff.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary