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Airline Baggage Safety

Boston...
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Airline Baggage Safety

Hi all,

I have seen a number of posts on airline baggage restrictions and limitations, but none regarding the safety of the bags. Is it generally safe to check a bag in addition to a small carry-on? Of course I don't plan on putting any valuables in my checked bag, only clothes and hygiene stuff. If it is a concern, would a small lock do anything to deter thieves?

I will be flying on Precision Air from Entebbe, Uganda to JRO and then JRO to ZNZ a week later. Then I fly Qatar Airways from Dar to Doha, Qatar.

Any insights and advice would be much appreciated! Thanks for the help!

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Entebbe
Entebbe
Central Region, Uganda
Doha
Doha
Qatar
Nashville, Tennessee
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2,276 posts
212 reviews
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1. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

First, if you use a lock, it has to be TSA approved or it will be cut off here in the states. Many of the airports in africa do have issues with thievery, but as you state, if it is clothes and toiletries, you will be fine. Why would they steal your underwear....:) Not applicable here, but Johannesburg has been rated as the worst in the world for theft of luggage and contents. I would worry less about the small airports and more about the big. Rome is another bad one.

Prepare for the possibility of it being delayed, but overall it is relatively safe and reliable. Don't worry to much. Most bags do just fine without any issue. Make sure you have enough to get by on for a couple of days in your carry-on. Having said that, I generally just do carry-on so it is one less thing I have to worry about. I have learned I don't need a lot of what I pack. I can do laundry and don't need most of the crap I thought I did. I buy anything reasonable once I am there.

California
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483 posts
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2. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

A small lock and you should be fine... I generally only have clothes and other replaceables in checked luggage and I hoard all electronics/cameras as carry on... truthfully those are the things I would be concerned about in checked baggage

nyc
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15,090 posts
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3. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

... those up to no good WILL STEAL your underwear. why? beats me, but they've been known to do so.

I just pack my checked bag and if all arrives, I've won and same on the return. Can't worry myself about such stuff - trials of air travel most everywhere.

The TSA locks are good in the States only where the agents have keys; overseas they don't.

Best to just use zip=ties (as you'd use to bind your computer cables together... small bag costs a few dollars, so be sure to bring a nail clipper without the nail file, to cut these open,,, keep this in ourside of any bag you wish to store it.... have never had any taken from me anywhere in the world.).

Be sure to keep ALL personal items - docs, airline vouchers, meds, passports, currency, etc. and, of course, camera stuff - with/on you or in carryon.

Nashville, Tennessee
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4. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

Maybe it is just my underwear they don't steal....

Canada
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5. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

Our first trip to Africa was a small group tour of Southern African countries. Our guide had a bag of those thin white/clear plastic pull tight tags you can get in a hardware store, which he said he carried on all his trips to Africa and before each flight he threaded one through the ends of the zippers on everyone's luggage. We passed through many airports, including Johannesburg 3 times and no one lost anything from their luggage. We have now used these tags travelling to other countries. They have to be cut off and of course security will do that if they want to see in your suitcase, but baggage handlers etc would probably not have the time to do that, so chances are would not choose a bag with one of those tags to break into. Of course you need to have access to a knife or scissors when you reach your destination to remove the tag!

West Palm Beach...
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6. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

After all those warnings about weight and size restrictions I read, no one ever weighed our baggage even though one of my travel friends had clearly over packed, That being said I stupidly stuck my Kindle into my bag which someone took flying from Kenya to Tanzania on one of those small regional plans The thief also took a small package of new socks. I guess the thief was a big reader who likes to lounge around in nice socks.

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Kenya
Kenya
Africa
Perth, Australia
6 posts
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7. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

I have just returned from an extensive trip to Sth America and used a Pacsafe wire mesh over-bag system with a lock, which I thought was fool proof over my backpack. However, when I got back to Perth (Western Australia) the customs official said that a simple biro would easily pry open the zip on my bag, stuff could be inserted or removed and then the zip (still locked mind you) pushed back over the opening and no-one would be any the wiser. Worse still, if anything like drugs were found in my bag I wouldn't be able to argue that they had been planted. His suggestion for all checked bags was to get them wrapped in plastic as the only foolproof way of protecting the contents of your bag and also your bags contents (drugs in particular can be slipped in through an opened zip). As I travel for a living, this was valuable advice and I will be getting all my bags wrapped in plastic in future

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Isle of Man, United...
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8. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

A trick I use is to lock both Zips 'tags' together and to one end of the bag. that way the zip cannot be moved an inch and no access is possible.

Any thief who stole my knickers would be easily traced! Just check the local Hospital as he will be in trauma counselling!

nyc
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15,090 posts
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9. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

The idea of all those outside pockets is a turnoff when purchasing luggage... they're not really all that useful unless traveling locally in own vehicle. Of my various travel bags only one has a small outside pocket and even that gets a zip-tie in order if anyone up to no good might want slip something into my bag regardless whether legal or not.

Even if in the US your bags are opened by TSA, they have to leave a note and sure enough they reclose them with a zip-tie. So why not use these in the first place.

Re underwear, as I've mentioned previously - nowadays I go with paper undies that they have for both women and men and I;m not talking about Depends'!

Edited: 18 January 2014, 23:57
10. Re: Airline Baggage Safety

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