Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

Cleaning crew theft of wallet left in seat pocket on AA flight

Cleaning crew theft of wallet left in seat pocket on AA flight

Old Feb 4, 2020, 4:22 am
  #46  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Travel Safety/Security & Texas, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: AUS / GRK
Programs: AA, HHonors, Hertz
Posts: 13,513
Originally Posted by OskiBear
...- I've known a few people who left iPads on airplanes in the seatback pocket and they've never turned up. Either they're being tossed out or someone seems to know how to fence them.
Years ago, in the early 2000s, I worked for America West Airlines at the CHQ in Tempe, AZ. While at the nearby reservation center for a meeting once, someone asked, "do you want to see the lost baggage area?" Of course I said yes.
Just going into that area, the smell was horrible. I was in a hallway, there were reinforced office doors (locked), with narrow windows, and I was able to peer inside. There were rooms with luggage arranged on shelves. Then there was a room with bins that had all of the other items...cell phones, keys, wallets, makeup, inhalers, it was rather shocking all of the loose items, but they were all sorted and put into bins with like items together. Now this was before nearly everyone had their own phone, yet there were still tons of phones.

Whenever I leave an aircraft, I think of that lost articles area, and do a check of myself...wallet, phone, passport (if I'm overseas), sunglasses, etc. I'm sure I've still lost a few items, but seeing all of that stuff just sitting there has left memories that I hope I never have to deal with.


Earlier this year, I flew on a Qantas domestic flight. By the time I got up to the gate agent, I realized I had left my sunglasses on the aircraft. She told me I could go back and check. It took some time, swimming upstream against the current of passengers leaving. When I got to the plane itself, I told the crew member there, and he said everyone was almost gone. The cleaners had just gone past where I was sitting, and I assumed they had taken them (or another passenger had). But sure enough, I got to the seat, and the sunglasses were sitting right there, kind of hidden by the seatbelt. I was so thankful that I went back.
And since I had checked a bag, this didn't really hold me up at all. I walked down to baggage claim almost right as my bag came out.

Last edited by aztimm; Feb 4, 2020 at 4:28 am
aztimm is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 4:26 am
  #47  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Canada, USA, Europe
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 31,452
These days it's always someone else's fault. People need to take responsibility for their own actions.
Often1 likes this.
LondonElite is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 5:28 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Roswell, GA
Programs: AA EXP 2.8m,Lifetime PLT, Hilton Diamond, IHG PlLT, SPG Gold
Posts: 3,196
Sorry that the OP went thru this, but
lesson learned.. .always double check everything around your seat, and the overhead bin (if your lucky enough)
and never leave the pane without doing a mental check of everything you took out for the flight
I see no reason to rush off the plane, unless you have a very tight connection.
fotographer is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 5:48 am
  #49  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Programs: AAdvantage PP
Posts: 13,913
I feel for the OP but putting your wallet in the seat back pocket? As stated these are not AA employees. The OP had the option to take the offenders to court and AA was willing to compensate the IOP with a $100 voucher. While not the OP's fault per se akin to walking down a dark street a night.

Another reason I never carry more than $50 in cash on me.
MiamiAirport Formerly NY George is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 7:57 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: PEK
Programs: A3*G, UA Gold EY Silver
Posts: 8,984
Why would you put your wallet in a seatback pocket? AA is not at fault here, you are. Sorry that you forgot your wallet, but it happens to all of us.

The cleaning crew did their job - they cleaned the plane (and your wallet ).
Palal is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 8:06 am
  #51  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: Top Tier with all 3 alliances
Posts: 11,782
Let the OP's story be a lesson for all of us...

nk15 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 8:11 am
  #52  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,262
1. There is no compensation. OP received a purely voluntary customer service gesture from AA and that is all he will see.
2. OP can sue the criminal and likely win a judgment. Depending on how much cash he proves stolen, he might well collect it.
3. OP's own negligence led to this and any damages he suffered are far more due to his negligence than that of AA or its subcontractor. A simple way of saying that he's gonna lose in a claim against either.

This is the place where OP takes responsibility for his own failure to keep track of his own property and moves on.
Often1 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 8:33 am
  #53  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU/KIAH
Programs: AA EXP | Marriott Bonvoy Titanium| Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 11,330
Originally Posted by Beachfun71
There is no doubt this worker took the wallet and unlawfully attempted to use the OP’s funds. That was clearly proven. Of course there is no way to value the actual monetary loss, but $100 and, “go to court” is not enough. AA should be bending over backwards to make this situation right - to publicly declare that they do not accept this behavior from their employees and representatives. Just as I do not accept this behavior from a business I am loyal to.
AA or the sub-contractor seems to have fired the person. IMO, that's a clear way of indicating they do not tolerate the behavior.

If the OP had been staying at a hotel and someone accessed his room and stole his wallet, I would be more inclined to agree that the hotel should make him whole, include bending over backwards. However, the OP left their wallet in the public domain - a airplane seat isn't materially any different than leaving it on a mall bench; I would not expect Simon Malls to compensate me in any way if I did so.
wrp96 and Often1 like this.
Antarius is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 8:40 am
  #54  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: Top Tier with all 3 alliances
Posts: 11,782
Originally Posted by Antarius
AA or the sub-contractor seems to have fired the person. IMO, that's a clear way of indicating they do not tolerate the behavior.

If the OP had been staying at a hotel and someone accessed his room and stole his wallet, I would be more inclined to agree that the hotel should make him whole, include bending over backwards. However, the OP left their wallet in the public domain - a airplane seat isn't materially any different than leaving it on a mall bench; I would not expect Simon Malls to compensate me in any way if I did so.
A plane is not a mall though, it is a confined space that during clean up is under the control of the cleaning crew.
Let's think of it this way: Is there an expectation that items found during clean up are required to be turned in to lost and found? If the answer is yes, an argument for employer responsibility can be made, however marginal it can be.
nk15 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 8:43 am
  #55  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU/KIAH
Programs: AA EXP | Marriott Bonvoy Titanium| Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 11,330
Originally Posted by nk15
A plane is not a mall though, it is a confined space that during clean up is under the control of the cleaning crew.
Let's think of it this way: Is there an expectation that items found during clean up are required to be turned in to lost and found? If the answer is yes, an argument for employer responsibility can be made, however marginal it can be.
I would characterize it as a hope, less an expectation. There's always a good chance the cleaning crew misses it and the next pax walks off with it too.

I'm not sure how AA should have handled this. They fired the person and offered 100 bucks as a voucher. Should they just take the cash value declared at face value and reimburse for it?
Antarius is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 8:49 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Boston, USA
Programs: AA EXP, TK Elite, HH Gold, SPG/Marriott Gold
Posts: 939
I think AA has done what it could do in this instance. Maybe as a settlement/negotiation with the thief or his company
they could ask for them to make the OP good ! I think the company employing the thief could settle this for OP not
going to social media etc. (maybe too late already for that) This is only a goodwill gesture, I feel and AA is not obligated in
any way to compensate OP for his careless action...
flyalways is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 8:52 am
  #57  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Programs: AAdvantage PP
Posts: 13,913
Cleaners are contract workers. Would it be any different if someone left their wallet at the gate and an airport cleaner found it and kept it. The worker was fired and AA offered a goodwill gesture. Understandably we all do not so bright things and the hassle of a loss wallet goes far beyond what cash is missing. You are essentially left penniless until the next day when a replacement cc arrives. A true hassle if you are in the middle of a trip.

I feel for the OP and think by the grace of God go I.
MiamiAirport Formerly NY George is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 9:10 am
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SFOSJCOAK
Programs: AA-EXP & 1MM+, AS, MR-LTT, HH Gold
Posts: 7,609
Originally Posted by CMTinPHL
I am not intending to pile on here, but who puts their wallet in a seat-back pocket? A laptop - sure. An iPad - sure. But a wallet? When I fly international I lock my wallet and passport - anything important - in my carry-on luggage. But domestic? My wallet can stay in my jeans no problem. Take AA's voucher and consider it a lesson learned.
I too lock my carry-on.
There are times when I have a 2-pocket shirt on, then I put my wallet in one of them and buttoned up.
allset2travel is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 9:16 am
  #59  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: UA 1K 1MMer & LT UC (when flying UA); Hyatt Credit Cardist; HHonors Diamond; Marriott Gold via UA 1K
Posts: 6,961
My mom left her purse in the Admirals Club recently. She realized when she boarded and went to put her purse in the overhead (she was in Row 1). She immediately de-boarded, and found her purse exactly where she left it. Moral of the story: If you're going to be absent-minded, better to be absent-minded at the AC than on board?

I would never expect to see anything I left on board ever again. I'm just shocked that the thief was caught.
SS255 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2020, 9:16 am
  #60  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,262
Originally Posted by nk15
A plane is not a mall though, it is a confined space that during clean up is under the control of the cleaning crew.
Let's think of it this way: Is there an expectation that items found during clean up are required to be turned in to lost and found? If the answer is yes, an argument for employer responsibility can be made, however marginal it can be.
The analogy simply does not work.

It is solely OP's fault that the wallet was left in a place where it was accessible to crew, cleaners & other passengers. Whatever happened after that does not create liability on AA's part.

The only liability here is with the cleaner and OP is free to sue that person if he wishes. The rest of this is all tap-dancing around the bottom line fact that there are two people involved here, OP who negligently left his wallet and the thief.
Often1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.