In-flight theft of sleeping and /or unknowing passengers has been going on for years. The people who steal can be anyone on board.
However, many people believe these incidents are rare. Or are they? They are only made public when an arrest happens. So there is no real way to determine how often they occur? Better be safe than sorry …
- Before boarding, ensure you go through the metal detector prior to your items going through the X-ray scanner; only release your items when you are ready to walk through. It is a fact that more items go missing in the security line than anywhere else in the airport.
- Lock your carry-on bag especially before you go to sleep.
- Mark you bag with a ribbon or sticker or anything that makes it stand out from the rest; thus making a mix-up less likely. This stops the intentional, or unintentional, opening of your property.
- When you reach your seat, try and put your carry-on in the overhead compartment across from where you are sitting, not above your seat. This allows you to see anyone trying to get to your valuables.
Essentially, there are only four things you need to carry with you on the plane. They are:
- your ID passport if travelling internationally
- a credit card
- a cell phone
- essential prescription medications
No matter what else is stolen, these are the things you cannot replace quickly and easily, and that you will need to get you out of pretty much any problem on landing.
Regarding protecting yourself from in-flight harassment or abuse, consider the following:
Should a fellow passenger become verbally or physically inappropriate or threatening, you must:
- Alert a flight attendant. If you’re trapped in a window seat, use the call button and loudly object to what’s happening, thus alerting others around you to the fact that there’s a problem.
- Request a new seat. Separating yourself from the perpetrator is a top priority.
- Make sure the pilot knows. Reporting the incident to the pilot is how law enforcement will, upon landing, be informed and ready to assist.
- Contact the airline. While your number one priority as a victim is to deal with the immediate situation and speak to law enforcement, it’s also imperative to follow up with the airline to ensure the incident is documented internally.
- Airlines addressing the lack of effective in-flight protocols regarding verbal and /or physical assaults, is an imperative.