5 Tips to Protect Your Baggage from Airport Theft

Experts say that the best way to prevent baggage theft is to keep an eye of your belongings at all times. But that is not practical or possible in some conditions. Especially at airports where you are supposed to check-in large baggage not allowed inside the airplane cabin. Is your baggage really secure from airport theft?

How secure is your baggage really if even inside the airport there are cases of theft like in this news (six nabbed at NAIA for baggage theft)? You should remember that thieves are experts at what they do. All you need is to make their job more difficult so that they will turn away or give up.

In PinoyMariner, we summed up the things we think you should do to lower the chances of being a victim of baggage theft.

1.) Avoid using branded or expensive baggage.

Thieves are attracted to that. Put yourself in a thief’s point of view or shoes. If you see an expensive baggage, what do you think will be inside of that? Of course, compared to a cheap one, a thief would have greater chances of finding expensive loot inside a branded baggage. We know that the saying, “what you see is what you get”, is not true all the time. But in terms of thievery, you can simply say that “you can judge the book by its cover”.

2.) Use bright colored or uniquely styled baggage.

5 Tips to Protect Your Baggage from Airport Theft - TSA lockThieves love to target baggage that looks like everyone else. Why? Because they won’t get noticed easily if they try to steal it. Imagine, while waiting for your baggage to appear on the conveyor belt, a suspicious man suddenly took that “striped-bright-orange” baggage of yours. You will notice that easily and you can stop him in an instant. Compare that with a common black baggage. You’ll be guessing first if that baggage is really yours. You will only then realize that your baggage is lost when everyone else at the baggage claiming area are already gone.


3.) Never put valuables in your check-in baggage.

Put all your expensive things in your hand-carried baggage. That includes jewelries, electronic gadgets, and important documents. It’s also a good idea to put spare clothing and toiletries in your hand-carried baggage just in any case your checked one accidentally lost its way, or worse, was stolen.

4.) Use hard-sided baggage.

If possible, avoid using baggage made of cloth. Hard-sided baggage is tougher to slit. It’s a great turn off for lurking thieves. It can also protect things inside your baggage from some abusive baggage handlers who just throw them carelessly.

5.) Use TSA-approved locks and cable ties.

5 Tips to Protect Your Baggage from Airport Theft - TSA lock with cable tieAirport authorities have the right to open your baggage if they suspect something is doubtful inside. If you are not using TSA-approved locks, most of the time they will destroy the lock. It actually happened to me, luckily nothing was lost from my baggage. If they can’t destroy your lock, they will forcefully open the zipper and you will be left with a baggage sealed with a packing tape. Therefore, use a baggage with built-in TSA lock and a cable tie for additional security. TSA locks can be easily opened by authorities without destroying your lock or baggage zipper. The cable tie for additional security can then be easily cut off by authorities during inspection. While thieves at the airport will need a pair of scissors to cut it before they can ransack your baggage.


Airport baggage theft is a very alarming situation. We need to protect ourselves not only from baggage theft but also from serious cases wherein a baggage can be maliciously implanted with illegal substances. That’s the worst thing that can happen. It is also a great precaution to take pictures or videos of items inside your baggage before sealing it. It might be a useful evidence when something wrong or unduly thing happened to your baggage.

What about you? How do you protect your baggage from theft? Share your techniques and ways below at the comment section. Keep safe everyone!

Anvin Argañosa

An Electronics Engineer by profession. A land-based worker turned into an ocean dweller. An "aspiring" business tycoon and financial advocate. A loving father to my daughter Julian. And a very obedient husband to Ann (wink!).


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