Luxair Madrid/Luxembourg: robbery from checked, TSA-locked luggageBack to Forum
A word of warning from someone who really should have known better: on a recent Sunday evening Luxair flight from Madrid to Luxembourg, I suffered the theft of a valuable watch which I had stupidly packed in a checked Tumi bag, locked with a TSA-compliant padlock. The robbery occurred in Madrid since the bag – undamaged and with the padlock locked – was already on the carousel when I disembarked in Luxembourg and I only discovered the loss when unpacking at the hotel. The person clearly knew what s/he was looking for since the contents of the bag were undisturbed and only the zipped internal compartment containing the watch was open.
I was surprised to receive the standard “not our responsibility” response from both the Luxair baggage department and the Luxair Chairman’s office with no interest in investigating how the theft occurred given the implications for the abuse of authority by TSA-cleared personnel at Iberia, Luxair’s baggage handlers in Madrid.
Insurance coverage apart (unfortunately, neither my employer [it was a business trip] nor I had cover), clearly the long-standing rule of “never packing valuable items in checked luggage” still holds true but, more pertinently perhaps, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by TSA-compliant locks.30 Nov 2016
Bad luck. I’m amazed, though, that neither you nor your employer was insured. I’d expect any company to have proper travel insurance for its employees who, er, travel.
What would have happened if you’d fallen ill or had an accident?
As for valuables – no, never in checked baggage, unless it’s an item you can’t take on board – like my treasured (and large) Swiss Army knife. Omnia mea mecum porto.30 Nov 2016
Globe_trotter that is a shame indeed. That’s one thing I have always checked with my employer if they do cover even personal belongings during a business trip eg (personal laptop or iPad damage etc). I generally always have annual travel insurance personally but there can be a gap between my expiry and my next personal trip therefore it’s worth checking.
It’s a shame you did not recieve a interested response from the parties involved.
Would home insurance be a possibility?30 Nov 2016
I’m sorry to hear about that. I would lodge a police report with Madrid’s police. I would say that Luxair are responsible as you paid them to provide the service, and they contracted baggage handles so should be held accountable.
I’m sure you’re aware, that TSA locks have a set of numbered master keys so can be opened by anyone with that key. A few months ago, a rather foolish TSA worker posted a photo to Twitter showing a set of keys with their numbers, so these could be replicated by anyone with a 3D printer or a cutting machine.30 Nov 2016
@flyman – a few months ago, my son found a set of TSA keys in his suitcase which a TSA officer had left in error, after inspecting some fragile items in the case, which they did not re pack, causing them all to break.I was not covered on my travel or home contents policy. I was advised to make a claim against the TSA
My son tried to hold the keys for “ransom” but BA confiscated them (quite rightly)..1 Dec 2016
flyman – I did file a police report in Madrid and Luxair was not liable (as they proudly told me) under the “Montreal Convention of 28th May 1999 which is implemented in the [EU] by regulation (EC) No. 2027/97” which they quoted.
On the home insurance front, no joy either I’m afraid: my policy only covers theft outside the home as a result of a physical attack; theft with no attack is only covered if it occurs inside my flat – as MartynSinclair correctly suggested, “subject…to T&Cs…”.1 Dec 2016