It is an all too common occurrence, for business travellers the world over. Take this scenario you are tired and in transit for a flight back home, and loose concentration for just a few seconds, the result is the loss of your laptop, luggage or wallet.
There is a lot of evidence that in many countries there are gangs of thieves and fellow opportunistic travellers target travellers, this is because we are easy targets, just think in any other location such as a in a shopping centre would you wallet or belongings out of sight, I expect no but, and airport is not your regular public space and gladly submit to security screenings without a second thought, to ensure in-flight security for all passengers
The reality is there are some very commonsense techniques and great travel gadgets that can be used to virtually eliminate the loss of baggage and personal items.
The most likely places for personal items to go missing is at security check points, normally after the x ray scan, while you are held up getting thru the metal detector, and also waiting at an airline lounge or gate, when leaving your belongings unattended.
The above reinforces my first tip; don’t loose sight for your baggage or personal items. Not even for a second.
Baggage & personal item security at the Airport security checkpoint
When going thru a security checkpoint from the time you put your belongings onto the belt of the scanner until you have it in back in your possession, don’t lose sight of your items.
I strongly advise against putting individual items into scanning trays for the world to see, instead place all loose items such as wallet, keys, mobile phone, watch, camera, jewelry, etc into your carry on bag, they are less visible to the world and there is less chance of a high value easy to steal item being taken.
It’s also important to ensure you have cleared everything off of yourself to ensure you don’t set the metal detector off, and therefore delay re-possession of your belongings.
If you are travelling with a partner, or friend, share the responsibility, they give you all their items; wait for them to pass the metal detector once passed, place all items on the x-ray belt, your friend takes possession of all items while you are passing thru the metal detector.
Security at an airport lounge or gate
Just because you are sitting in a business or first class lounge, don’t loose sight of your belongings, I have heard just as may stories from people that have had their belongings stolen while in an airline lounge, as I have from people waiting at the gate or airport coffee shop.
Most business travellers feel a false sense of security while an airline lounge, these lounges are often quieter that the gate and in general you think of passengers using these facilities as business or executive travellers such as yourself
At airline lounge or boarding gate you are most likely to have possessions stolen during one of the following situations:
- Falling asleep
- While getting something to eat/drink, or going to the toilet
If you are travelling by yourself, unfortunately the only sure-fire way of protecting your belongings is to always be awake to watch them and to pack them up and take them with you, if going to the restroom or bar, practically this is sometimes impossible, so I recommend the below security products to lock, secure and deter theft if you need to get some sleep or for a quick visit to the restroom. Also don’t for get the laptop in your fabric carry-on laptop bag. A thief can eaisly cut your locked bag removing your laptop, so remember to also secure laptops, even if hidden away in a bag.
To lock your carry on bag and secure to a solid object:
Victorianox Lifestyle Accessories 2.0 Cable TSA lock to lock the zipper of your carry onbag
Retractasafe 200 is a great little retractable combination cable local to secure
around a solid object such as a railing, bench, etc
Targus ASP29US DEFCON 1 Retractable Cable Lock for Notebooks
As I have previously mentioned travelling with a partner or friend, has its advantages this is especially true in the airline lounge or waiting at a gate, just remember your travel buddy takes the role as serious as do and does not go to sleep or head off to the bar while you are using the rest room.
If you would like to discuss travel and luggage security, I have created a new forum area and thread on this topic Baggage & Personal belonging security tips for Business Travellers , why not give you experiences and tips, or ask a question.