You’ve heard it a million times, don’t pack valuables in your checked luggage. I’m wondering why you check luggage at all. If you need help figuring out how to travel for weeks at a time with just a carry on, read this.
If you do still check a bag, there is a whole laundry list of valuables the airline won’t reimburse you for if they are stolen. It’s important to know how to prevent airport workers from stealing your valuables.
Conde Nast Traveler supplied us with this list from Alaska Airlines:
The following items are judged to be unsuitable as contents of checked baggage, and [Alaska Airlines] assumes no liability for loss, theft, damage or delay in the delivery of:
A. Cash, currency
B. Negotiable papers
D. business contracts, documents
E. jewelry, watches
F. cameras, videos and photographic equipment, camcorders, audio equipment, film, camera equipment, photographs.
G. Electronic equipment/devices, personal electronic equipment/devices, including components such as compact discs and video game cartridges.
H. computers and related components
I. binoculars, telescopes, optical devices including eyeglasses
K. precious metals, stones or materials
L. art objects, sculptures
M. historical artifacts
N. original manuscripts
O. irreplaceable books, publications, collectibles (such as baseball cards) P. antiques, heirlooms
R. sales samples
T. furs, including coats, gloves, hats
U. game trophies, antlers, and pelts
Notice that medications are listed. Keep necessary medication with you at all times. Never mind its monetary value; what matters is its medicinal value, and if your bag goes missing, you won’t have access to your medicine anymore.
Also remember that the maximum liability with luggage is either $3,400 on domestic flights, or 1131 SDRs (special drawing rights) on most international flights, which is currently about $1,555. So, if you want to pack a suitcase full of designer clothing, even though airlines don’t exclude those items from liability, you will likely be reimbursed far less than the full value if your bag is lost, particularly on an international flight. If you travel with a lot of expensive clothes, consider whether you have insurance that will cover you if your bag goes missing.
Here’s what to do to avoid theft of your valuables:
• Put valuables in your carry-on.
• If your carry-on won’t fit under the seat in front of you, keep a lightweight extra bag inside of it that will. Then, if you’re forced to check your bag because everyone else has already stuffed the overhead bins, you can remove your valuables and place them in the extra bag.
• If you need to bring something valuable that won’t fit in your carry-on, contact the airline before your flight and ask whether you can declare the extra value and if it will cover loss or damage. If it won’t, it’s probably best to ship it instead, insured.
If you take these simple steps, you will most likely arrive at your destination with your valuables intact.
Travel is such a big part of your ageless lifestyle, the last thing you want is to have your trip ruined by things being stolen from your luggage.
If that’s not enough, check out this CNN report with video of the actual thefts and stats of how often and where this is happening.