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stolen luggage

Hemel Hempstead...
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224 posts
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stolen luggage

hi, my daughter and myself are flying to johannesburg to catch a connecting flight with ba to port elizabeth. i have heard that lots of luggage gets stolen and was wondering if this is true, i am getting extremely worried if my luggage will arrive at port elizabeth with me on one peice. thanks

Port Elizabeth
Destination Expert
for South Africa
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6,251 posts
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1. Re: stolen luggage

Luggage doesn't get stolen, but valuable things (e.g. mobile phones) get stolen out of luggage. They were trying to stop the problem and have put cameras everywhere. I am not sure whether they have got the problem under control.

Usual advice is not to leave anything valuable in your luggage. Take all valuables as carry-on items. I don't know whether BA is allowing hand luggage at the moment, so I don't know if this advice can be followed. If you can't take hand luggage, try getting your luggage plastic wrapped.

Hemel Hempstead...
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224 posts
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2. Re: stolen luggage

thankyou lamlee for your advice, are going for a wedding so hopefully can carry our camcorder and camera on board now.

Dublin, Ireland
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213 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: stolen luggage

Hi,

Can I ask a probably stupid question but what is the purpose of wrapping the cases in plastic...I've seen this in tons of posts but I don't understand why!

Thanks a million, flying into Capetown and Johanesburg so am quite anxious about my luggage.

Bee

UK
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1 post
4 reviews
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4. Re: stolen luggage

On arrival, all my cases had been opened and relocked. Customs or Thieves???

Two locks were actually broken, there was clear evidence of rummaging/unpacking certain items and an envelope containing a cheque and letter had been opened.

Nothing was stolen, probably because nothing particularly valuable was inside the cases. BUT what is going on a Jo'burg and when will the police / authorities clean it up? Football World Cup is just around the corner...you feel violated when it is so obvious that someone has gone through all your bags!!!

London, England
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38 posts
3 reviews
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5. Re: stolen luggage

Concerned to hear about your Jo'burg airport experience. Does anyone know whether Cape Town airport is as risky in this regard?

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Cape Town
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3,529 posts
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6. Re: stolen luggage

Unfortunately incidents do occur, probably more at Johannesburg than elsewhere but as with general safety, it isn't a case of if you travel through Joburg Airport your luggage will be pilfered. Consider that tens of thousands of suitcases/bags pass through Johannesburg airport every day and just a few (even one is too many!!) might be tampered with. As with most airports, there is a chance it might but probably less of a chance than say, BA losing your luggage when travelling through Heathrow.

The purpose of shrink wrapping is simply another deterrent. A thief would have to remove a very tightly wrapped plastic cover which would be very obvious. There are two schools of thought - 1. If you shrink wrap it is a deterrent. 2. If it is shrink wrapped then the suitacsse may contain something worth stealing. By far the best advice is never put anything valuable in your hold baggage.

Whilst it isn't pleasant to realise someone has been through your suitcase, bear in mind that in the USA you can only lock your suitcase using approved locks which the authorities are able to open. They can, and do, search any suitcase they choose. If your suitcase is locked with a padlock etc they can and do break them open. So unfortunately in this world we live into these days, nowhere and nothing is totally safe but in 8 years of travelling to SA I have never had any problems either luggagewise or safetywise.

Johannesburg, South...
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556 posts
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7. Re: stolen luggage

After reading all the posts, I'd just like to add that I travel regularly between Jhb, Dbn and CT for the past 10 years and todate I have not had any tampering/theft out of my luggage at any of those airports.

I do not wrap my suitcase but lock it.

Stanley, Falkland...
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32,763 posts
75 reviews
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8. Re: stolen luggage

Not sure why this old post has been resurrected, but my view is that the situation at Joburg has improved considerably over the years. Yes - there may well be problems during a World Cup, but I doubt a competition held in England or Germany would be trouble-free either.

My advice is not to put anything in checked luggage that you can't replace or wouldn't be too upset at losing. (This goes for all airports, not just South African).

Small, valuable stuff like cheques, should not be in hold luggage.

Melbourne, Australia
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4,618 posts
364 reviews
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9. Re: stolen luggage

Back in August the Cape Times cited an official report which suggests dramatic improvements in problems with baggage tampering since a change of baggage handling contractors at Oliver Tambo. The report now suggests thefts are now down to 6 or 8 per day, down from 24 to 34 per day under the old regime. Guess you'd call that progress.

Johannesburg, South...
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1,131 posts
13 reviews
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10. Re: stolen luggage

hi, I fly twice a month between joburg and capetown and have been doing so for the past 5 years. Never was my luggage stolen or opened...while two years back my whole suitcase was stolen in milan and my sisters camera stolen out of her suitcase...this is a problem everywhere not just in south africa. Just make sure your insurance covers it.