Kinley Rice is a woman in Oklahoma with a remarkable account of how an American Airlines contractor stole her Patagonia jacket then put it on the Internet for sale. She came across her own jacket and reported it to authorities. The story once again raises the failure of the TSA and airlines to take basic steps to prevent continued thefts from luggage. Despite billions in subsidies and profits, airlines continue to refuse to take relatively low cost measures to stop thefts, particularly continual and active surveillance of all baggage handling areas.
The jacket was taken at the Tulsa airport with other items of clothing. Kinley noted that the jacket’s bar code was visible in the product shot and allegedly matched the one that Rice had on her receipt. That was some impressed sleuthing. She then looked a the seller’s Facebook account and found that the seller worked as a baggage handler for Piedmont Airlines, a contractor with American Airlines.
She then investigated the seller’s Facebook account, and found the user worked at the Tulsa International Airport as a baggage handler employed by Piedmont Airlines, a contractor that works with American Airlines.
Stopping baggage theft is one of the lowest tech problems facing airports. If you have continued and active surveillance of baggage handling areas, you can make detection virtually 100 percent. A rational actor is not going to risk a criminal charge with a high detection risk. Yet, once again, it seems that the airlines and airport authorities are willing to take record profits but not expend money on obvious protections for the property of passengers. There is no reason why such thefts continue on airlines with the available technology.