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All Airlines Compliment - Homeland Security Vs Airport Baggage Handlers

Review by MZTACTFUL on 2009-12-28
I have been wanting an answer to this question for a long time. I was just reading complaints about am. Airlines. Mostly on stolen luggage. That subject irks the hell out of me. I don't know what airline it was, but someone went through my bag, got everything all dirty, and threw it back in. I hadn't packed anything valuable in that bag, so I lucked out. But, something that worries me even more is, who's watching the baggage handlers? My bag was gone through by one of them. If they could do that, what's to stop them from sticking a bomb in a piece of luggage? I've watched all kinds of specials about airplain security. But, I have yet to hear, or see, anything in a report that talks about security and the people who handle our unlocked luggage! Is the information out there, and I've just missed it? Or, am I right to worry?
Comments:32 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-01-03
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-28:
Security backround checks are done and fingerprints taken and run against various databases. If you have something in your past, ie felony conviction, you won't be hired. Unfortunately, this is the best system there is. You ask who is watching them? Well, if you assigned someone to watch them, who is watching the watcher and so forth. The company has to trust it's system and the employees to an extent. No, you shouldn't worry.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-28:
You don't remember which airline you flew? Mmmmmmmmmmmmkay.

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-28:
OP may have flown a trip with multiple airlines involved. For example, a commuter from a small city to a hub, a major US carrier overseas then a foregin carrier to a domestic city within another country. Just a guess.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-28:
The whole baggage issue: lost/misdirected/stolen/pilfered etc though a problem to the individual has to be placed in a wider context.
In the US alone, there well over 10k flights originating everyday. Again, in the US alone well over 1 million people are flying daily. Your statistical chances of having your baggage have any "occurrence" is about 0.05% and out right lost for good about 0.005%. Airports are huge places (DFW for example is larger than Manhattan) with thousands of employees, 30K is not uncommon. Airports like ORD and ATL have almost 2 million flights a year between them. Does theft occur? Absolutely, but by whom and when - difficult to tell, smoking gun at best points to certain groups at certain specific times is the most you'd know. You post mentioned baggage handlers, whereas I'm more inclined to feel (greater opportunity) it is the governments own TSA folks who are engaged in more of the theft incidents.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-28:
Agree whole-heartedly, VF. They have the time, the equipment to see inside and the authority to open it. I strongly believe TSA is responsible for the majority of theft. But, the OP's title asked about the baggage handler's security so that's where I kept my original comments.
Posted by Ben There on 2009-12-28:
Chances are if your bag had been opened it was by the TSA. Unlike TSA, baggage handlers can't see into your bag electronically. Also, the majority of time is spent in open view of anybody who bothers to look outside the airport window at the plane.
Posted by MZTACTFUL on 2009-12-29:
Miss Marple, MY COMMENTS & CONCERNS ABOUT BAGGAGE HANDLERS WERE VALID. YOU SEEM TO HAVE A PROBLEM THAT I DIDN'T NAME THE AIRLINE THAT I FLEW ON. ARE YOU QUESTIONING MY MEMORY OR MY INTELLIGENCE? I BELIEVE THE AIRLINE WAS DELTA. BUT,IT HAD BEEN A WHILE AND I WASN'T FOR SURE. NOW, YOU HAVE THE REST OF THE STORY. ALL OTHER COMMENTS RECEIVED WERE FINE. YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO HAD TO BE AN ASS. NOT NECESSARY...
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
Mztactful, the thieves are the baggage handlers not TSA. Also, it's a bit fanciful to suggest that they would put a bomb in your luggage. Baggage handlers are not terrorists. If you look at them they are not your typical middle-eastern islamic fundamentalist American-haters whose cause is to destroy our way of life. Lets face some facts. They are for the most part low-paid American scum. Their only cause is to steal from your suitcases, to supplement their meagre income.

Airlines have to pay out up to $3,300 per lost/delayed bag. They escape because they make up their own rules about limiting payment for various reasons. About two months ago DOT issued a warning that it will take action against airlines who impose their own limits for paying compensation for lost/delayed bags.

When you check in your bag, the airline becomes what is known as a bailee for reward. They are responsible to give it back to you without excuse. They hire thieves, so they pay. Even if they didn't hire thieves, they still pay. Even if it's not their fault, they still pay. You give the airline your bag for the flight, they give it back to you at the end of your flight. You don't want to know their problems. They don't give it back to you? You give them a list of what was in the bag and its value, and they pay. They can't in law insist on seeing the receipts. They say this to complainers to scare them away. Having a receipt strengthens your position, but if you have an acceptable explanation why you don't have one they can't insist on it.

In another thread I asked (and none of the airline stooges could answer) why is it that security cameras cannot be installed to follow the trail of bags. For $1,000 a householder can set up security cameras around his home connected to his computer and the internet

If more and more passengers insist on getting their $3,300 per lost/pilfered/delayed bag, airlines will step up to their responsibility of ensuring that your bags get to you.

The delay is also part of the theft, and that is why passengers with delayed bags should also claim. Baggage handlers secrete bags, then in their leisure search them and then you get the bag a day or two later.

Who's watching the baggage handlers? That's where security cameras should come in. Why aren't security cameras installed on the ramps and carousels?

My guess is, and it is for the time being just a guess, is that the airlines are up to the theft. If they didn't allow their baggage handlers to steal from your bags, they would have to pay higher wages.
Posted by Ponie on 2010-01-03:
'Their only cause is to steal from your suitcases, to supplement their meagre income.' Jimmy, that's a strong, strong statement to make. You're still at it, eh?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
James, not sure were you get the idea baggage handlers make minimum wage. yes, I know you claim some survey or another, but no one has been able to verify it. Just for fun, I did a quick Google search for these positions in Columbus Ohio, and the first link that came up was starting at 10.14 an hour. That's more than fast food, at least.
http://aviationemploymentboard.net/topic/20895/1/Ramp-Crew-Jobs/Ramp-Baggage-Handler-Customer-Service-Agent-CSA-Columbus-OH.html&replies=0

Why do you call these people scum?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
Raven, whether it is minimum wage or not is not the point. Who would work on a ramp at temperatures sometimes below freezing, doing strenuous work, for even $10 per hour? They are scum because they take this job and steal from innocent passengers to supplement their wages.

If you want to be a thief, at least do it the normal way like grabbing an old lady's handbag so when you start running with it you run the risk of getting caught and receiving a few police bullets. Don't hide behind an airline who defends your thieving because they can't afford to pay wages that are appropriate for the job.

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
Good grief. *goes back to swilling Wild Turkey and giggling at the troll*
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
Bad analogy James. A thief is a thief is a thief whether they do it out in public or whether they do it on the job. Do not lump all employees who are baggage handlers into one pile. Just like any job, there are dishonest ones but your scum comment is not called for.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
*thanks Pro for saying it very well and offers to share Wild Turkey*
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
ProConsumer, that was not an analogy at all, so I don't know how it became a bad analogy. Maybe not all baggage handlers are thieves. But baggage theft comes from the baggage handlers. A thief is a thief whether they do it out in public or whether they do it on the job. Of course!! Why bother to say something obvious. They are both thieves. Stealing from passengers' bags and grabbing an old lady's handbag is both thieving. However there is an aggravating aspect to the baggage handler. He does his stealing under the pretext of being a baggage handler. The purse snatcher does not pretend anything. Further the baggage handler is under the umbrella of the airline. The purse snatcher is not under any umbrella. Once seen running with the purse, the police will shoot. Maybe instead of installing security cameras, armed police should wait near the ramps and any baggage handler caught should be fired upon. Then we'll see who is scum.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
It is a bad analogy and if you can't see it then there is no use trying to explain it to you because you wont get it. It seems from your posts that you fail to look at things from any other viewpoint than your own.

Thanks Raven. Make it a double! :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
*hands Pro a big ole double*

bottoms up!
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
You obviously don't know the meaning of the word analogy. Don't try to explain what you yourself don't understand. In any case I didn't ask you for any explanation.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2010-01-03:
Mod Eyes Lurking @@
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
a⋅nal⋅o⋅gy  /əˈnælədʒi/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [uh-nal-uh-jee]


–noun, plural -gies. 1. a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based

You cannot compare crime of knocking an old woman over and taking her purse to the crime of stealing from someones luggage. They are not equal crimes.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
Ms. Mod, please don't bump the comments. They are directly related to the complaint and the attempt to clear up misinformation provided by a member of the community. Thank you, and have a nice day. :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
ON WHICH A COMPARISON MAY BE BASED. Don't you get it? I am not comparing the two. In any case in an analogy you look for similar features in different things. My example was not an analogy.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
Before the Moderator begins deleting, I'm stopping here on this thread. I've said all I need to say
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
*steals a sip of Raven's Wild Turkey and sits back to watch*
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
Like I said, you wont get it. Out of respect for the OP (so their thread is no longer hijacked) and the TOS, this conversation is over.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2010-01-03:
Pro...you are so polite!
Posted by Ben There on 2010-01-03:
You lost me when you said the TSA are not thieves. There are many reports of TSA agents who have been busted for personal theft and theft rings. One individual in Newark stole over $200,000 of goods that were sold on eBay. Just google "TSA Theft" and look around.

James236, are you saying that all of these reports are false and you have inside information that there rings were actually baggage handlers?
Posted by Ben There on 2010-01-03:
Also, if we say that only scum is based on pay, well the TSA starts employees at $16,831 which is less than starting pay I have seen for baggage handlers. Also, unlike TSA agents, baggage handlers get to fly fly for free.

I guess that makes the TSA even more likely to steel using James236s theory? I actually have a link to the TSA site that shows pay: http://www.tsa.gov/join/careers/pay_scales.shtm
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
Ben There, I don't think I've ever disagreed with you...till now. Don't feed the troll. Pathetic but it appears someone feels negative attention is better than none at all....
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-01-03:
James, YOU google it yourself and supply a link, you still haven't given a link to the supposedly (Murphy and Brinkley report, and I have been able to find nothing but a mention of it in another "suspected" report. Let's have some links to your "reports" to back up your statements.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
James....you usually have constructive comments and I support JW as much as the next guy (probably moreso) but your comments seem to have been taken over by someone else. Someone get your password? Hope you come back to normal soon. Btw, I'll agree that baggage handlers steal but not nearly as much as TSA employees who are paid well. What's their excuse?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-03:
You're a nice guy Judge. But not as nice as Mr Johnnie Walker. I think I'll retire with him for the night. Yes I'll try to get back my password. Goodnight

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