Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Africa > Africa
Reload this Page >

Advice to minimize luggage theft at JNB and other airports

Advice to minimize luggage theft at JNB and other airports

Old Jul 21, 19, 3:28 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 21
Advice to minimize luggage theft at JNB and other airports

Howdy Folks,

First time safari to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe flying into JNB on Delta from ATL, and would like to ask if anyone has any advice on how to minimize potential luggage theft arriving into, and departing out of, JNB and other regional airports.

We will be checking duffle bags into/out of JNB (we need these soft-sided bags for small charter flights between a couple safari camps) and our general strategy will be to pack only clothes (and not pack perfumes, electronics, jewelry, expensive clothing, anything valuable, etc.) in the duffles.

Questions:

- Arriving into JNB from ATL, should we try and wrap our bags before they arrive at JNB? Iím not entirely sure that we can do this given TSA screening after the bags are checked-in.

- We have a couple regional flights between Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, and between Maun Airport and JNB on SAA. Should we wrap the duffles for these flights?

- Departing out of JNB, Iím fairly certain that our duffles must be wrapped due to the recent airport requirements for soft-sided, round luggage. Any other suggestions for departure?

- Anyone feel strongly that TSA locks would help or not? Much of what Iíve read seems to indicate that they are mostly useless in preventing theft.

Thanks for any advice that you all can offer!
Spindifferent is offline  
Old Jul 22, 19, 12:53 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 6,288
In my experience much depends on your agenda.

If connecting to a domestic flight on arrival in JNB you will need to collect and recheck. If connecting internationally then consider wrapping especially if bags are likely to be left for any time between flights.

I never leave anything remotely valuable in bags that leave my sight.

I doubt TSA locks will help much. A good smack will get them open even in absence of a counterfeit key.
Spindifferent likes this.
simons1 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 19, 1:20 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NT Australia
Programs: QF WP
Posts: 1,721
Note that JNB airport will now not accept duffels for check in without at least one solid surface unless they are wrapped with a cardboard sheet (to generate a solid surface)

no limitation in what is accepted at overseas ports for arrival into JNB (yet!). Not sure about transit/through check as havenít tried

i have flown through recently and will be there again in a couple of days. The bag wrapping places are a total zoo, I waited easily an hour to get my bag wrapped, This of course makes it impractical for a short ish transit on separate tickets

my strategy on the way back through will be to have as much stuff in hand luggage as possible and to only check my hard sided (usually cabin bag), with nothing even remotely valuable in appearance in it. I simply donít have time to get anything wrapped on the way through JNB and when I spoke to the wrapping place at BCN (my origin), they didnít have the facility to wrap to the JNB requirements

https://www.ultimateafrica.com/johan...-bags-luggage/
Spindifferent likes this.
nancypants is online now  
Old Jul 22, 19, 5:59 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Toronto
Posts: 150
My question is flying from Cape Town to ORTambo can you have the luggage you are storing at OR Tambo wrapped in Cape Town first?
LillianJ is offline  
Old Jul 23, 19, 6:50 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: AA, UA, GE
Posts: 3,647
Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
In my experience much depends on your agenda.

If connecting to a domestic flight on arrival in JNB you will need to collect and recheck. If connecting internationally then consider wrapping especially if bags are likely to be left for any time between flights.

I never leave anything remotely valuable in bags that leave my sight.

I doubt TSA locks will help much. A good smack will get them open even in absence of a counterfeit key.
My wife's TSA lock disappeared in either a transit through JNB or through ADD. Personally I use cheap heavy duty zip ties and cut them off when I arrive at my destination.
cheltzel is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 8:11 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: CPT,AMS
Posts: 3,511
Originally Posted by LillianJ View Post
My question is flying from Cape Town to ORTambo can you have the luggage you are storing at OR Tambo wrapped in Cape Town first?
Yes, you can wrap them in CPT (it costs R80 based on last year Nov).


Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
My wife's TSA lock disappeared in either a transit through JNB or through ADD. Personally I use cheap heavy duty zip ties and cut them off when I arrive at my destination.
I had my bag's zipper broken once (where the lock was attached), so a lock won't help... don't put anything valuable in your bags and try to make a short connection as possible.
Ditto is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 10:29 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Toronto
Posts: 150
Thanks for info hope it is not removed once at OR Tambo arrival from Cape Town.
LillianJ is offline  
Old Sep 5, 19, 6:26 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 21
Just to follow-up to my original questions:

We had no issues at all into/out of JNB with our luggage, and we were not required to wrap our duffle bags. Apparently, only duffle bags with many loose straps must be wrapped. We did see a few bags that were wrapped, but they were a minority.

We also travelled through smaller airports at Kruger, Livingstone, Kasane, and Maun without issue.

Our checked luggage only contained clothes.
nancypants likes this.
Spindifferent is offline  
Old Sep 5, 19, 6:31 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NT Australia
Programs: QF WP
Posts: 1,721
Indeed I got the distinct impression that the ďwrap soft bagsĒ rule is very loosely applied
nancypants is online now  
Old Sep 14, 19, 12:11 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Nashville,TN
Programs: AA Gold Elite
Posts: 322
For the OP,
Sorry if you have already taken this trip? Not sure when you were going.
If you have returned do let us know if you had a good trip with your baggage dilemma.

Since the Delta flight from the US tends to arrive in the evening, is it correct to assume you will overnight at a hotel in JNB before your ongoing flight on a bush plane?
If so, what I did was to put my empty duffel bag in a locked, checked bag, get to the hotel, then pack the soft duffel bag with just the items I needed for the safari. I was able to leave my hard case at the hotel since I was returning back to JNB and had booked a day room. We did a safari first, then returned to JNB to go on to Mauritius in June/July so there were many "dual climate" things I needed to bring for each distinct location.
Alternatively, you can also leave a hard checked bag in the secure left luggage area at JNB for a reasonable fee and then just retrieve it and "repack" the duffel and its contents into the hard bag.
To be fair, I flew in Business or First each time so I had a more generous bag allowance.
Agree in the opinions to NOT put cameras,laptops,ipads, binoculars, or any other valuable items in your checked bags while in transit.
So far I have been very lucky in that I have not had any bags pilfered or tampered with despite many transits through JNB.Hope my luck continues. The longer a layover, the higher the likelihood things can go missing out of your bags, so I would never check anything through JNB-just short check your bags to JNB and get them when you go to baggage claim.
vbnet likes this.
sweetsleep is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 7:32 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 83
Add tripods to that list. Traveling jnb yyz via add my luggage was opened & rifled through, TSA lock gone. Nothing missing but nothing of high value. Still disturbing though.
vbnet is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread