Since 9/11/01 heightened security concerns at airports have made it all but impossible to lock your baggage. You are told that you might lock it, but TSA will break the lock if they need to subject it to additional inspection. I generally don’t bother, and I usually put fairly blind trust in security personnel.
No more. During a return flight from Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA on December 2 of last year, just over a month ago, I put a digital camera in my suitcase. I was hurrying to the terminal, and did not want to have to carry more than a laptop in my backpack. So my handy Canon PowerShot A95, with the nice little flip out screen that I used to take endless self-portraits, went into the suitcase.
Back in Athens, as I unpacked my suitcase, I realized that the camera was missing. For a day or so, I wondered if there was some mistake, but I clearly remembered putting the camera into the suitcase just before checking it in, so it was either in the suitcase or it was not. It was not.
So watch out for what you put in your baggage.
I’ve filed a TSA claim for a stolen item. Having never done this before, I’ve no idea what to expect – a long-drawn out process with no concrete results, a quick denial, or a swift and efficient inquiry with a reimbursement of the hard-earned $300+ (made working part-time at the Shakespeare Theater) for the very first camera I owned.
One thing you should keep in mind: keep purchase evidence for expensive items you own in case you need to go looking for them. And hold on to baggage tags until you’re sure you’ve got everything you checked in!