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I flew on this airlines quite a few times now. September 2011 was my last EVER flight with LOT Polish Airlines.
Why? I carried some gifts for my family members in my luggage, after landing in my destination, luggage was missing a lock which at that point it didnt raised my concerns, until I got home and they were nowhere to be found. I called LOT and even visited their offices – no help at all, not even an apology. Worst customer service ever! And exactly what can you expect is being rubbed. Here are my flight details. JFK-WAW-JFK 09/2011. I dont even wait for their Dreamliner Delivieries. Flight comfort might be better with 787 but you can still get rubbed using this air carrier.
To be fair to LOT it is unlikely to have been one of their own staff (not saying that it is impossible but it is unlikely) who did this, more likely a baggage handler in Warsaw being paid about $500-1000 dollars per month and trying to make a little on the side.
That does not however excuse their unsympathetic after sales service, but unfortunately this attitude is typical of Eastern European airlines (and companies in general).
Don’t rule out your friendly TSA employees. According to a number of reports these people are responsible for our security, but can’t be trusted.
Read this report by ABC: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/top-20-airports-tsa-theft/story?id=17537887
As for locking your suitcase: under TSA rules you are not allowed to lock your suitcase other than with a TSA approved lock that can easily be opened. So much for security of your personal belongings.
When travelling to/from the US it is best to keep anything valuable with you in your handluggage. Unfortunately this rules out liquids as a gift in most cases.