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Christmas warning: Thieves stealing hand baggage on Dragonair flights

Christmas warning: Thieves stealing hand baggage on Dragonair flights

Old Dec 23, 13, 8:24 pm
  #1  
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Christmas warning: Thieves stealing hand baggage on Dragonair flights

Probably not a new topic (but my search turned up zero results), but for anyone here planning to do some Christmas and New Year travel with KA, do keep an extra eye out for thieves that prowl dragonair's flights and stealing handbags. Apparently these gangs are extra active this time of year:

http://www.scmp.com/business/money/w...gonair-flights

Hold on tight to your hand baggage inflight, that’s the message this Christmas. Dragonair is working with police to tackle the problem of organised gangs of Mainland thieves operating onboard their flights. It seems they are targeting the rich pickings to be found in Asian passengers’ wallets and bags as they relax on flights, unaware that they are being robbed as they sleep. According to some of the airline’s pilots, the problem of organised Mainland gangs targeting hand baggage inflight is becoming increasingly serious.

The issue of theft onboard from overhead lockers and hand luggage is nothing new, but you rarely hear of it on Asian airlines.

Working with police

So I asked Dragoniar what measures they are taking to counter this? “Dragonair takes inflight security with high importance and has been working closely with police in facing the issue,” spokesman Ivan Chan tells me. Passengers need to be extra vigilant. Dragonair is striving “to raise the awareness of passengers in properly keeping their cabin baggage and personal belongings.”

Public announcements are being made by cabin crew during the flight, reminding passengers to take good care of their property,” he adds. Cabin crew are also watching out for any passenger behaving abnormally.

So keep your valuables close when flying this Christmas and don’t put expensive items in the overhead locker. If you plan to fall asleep, make sure you are well and truly attached to your purse wallet and mobile phone.
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Old Dec 23, 13, 9:26 pm
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sxc
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Funny there was something on RTHK police watch or whatever the program is called., last week.
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Old Dec 24, 13, 3:52 am
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It happened many times on SQ/MI flights last few years. It is group works normally. They target flights in between 2-4 hours as these flights are long enough for passengers to loose concentration yet short enough for passengers not to double check belongings. Looks like now these groups are moving to KA...
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Old Dec 24, 13, 5:09 am
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Originally Posted by chongcao View Post
It happened many times on SQ/MI flights last few years. It is group works normally. They target flights in between 2-4 hours as these flights are long enough for passengers to loose concentration yet short enough for passengers not to double check belongings. Looks like now these groups are moving to KA...
I frequently take the KA flight from Dhaka to Hong Kong, which goes via Kathmandu and which is just the sort of flight you are referring to. We leave Kathmandu at about 1130 p.m local time and get into HK at 6 am. after a 4 hour flight. The J cabin is in darkness for most of the flight and, as far as I am aware, the cabin crew rarely come through - a thief's paradise.... From now on I will be more careful. It's not clear if the gangs are only targeting flights to/from the mainland, but it's better to be safe !

The article above refers to a warning announcement being made, but I have never heard this on any of the KA (or CX) flights that I have taken recently.

Last edited by DernierVirage; Dec 24, 13 at 5:12 am Reason: Typo
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Old Dec 24, 13, 6:04 am
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Christmas warning: Thieves stealing hand baggage on Dragonair flights

I was warned by a purser once on a KA flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai of needing to take my phone with me which I had placed on an armrest. I was just moving my hand luggage across the aisle as I changed seats, and she said my phone could have been stolen in that time (about 30 seconds). I was surprised when she said this type of theft had happened before, and this why she spoke up. Note I was in J, and the cabin half empty and the doors were about to close.
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Old Dec 24, 13, 9:08 am
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Its not only specifically KA flights. I guess CX/KA passengers are targetted because the flights costs more than the mainland ones.
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Old Dec 24, 13, 9:17 am
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For some routes, the thieves would need visas. This could be difficult if they don't have decent jobs and a pretty clean police record.
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Old Dec 24, 13, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by cxauhk View Post
I was surprised when she said this type of theft had happened before, and this why she spoke up. Note I was in J, and the cabin half empty and the doors were about to close.
Probably she was aware that you were a DM and could be direct to you in giving the alert. She seemed a keen observer too.
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Old Dec 24, 13, 3:07 pm
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There is a large internal push with stopping these thefts as its becoming rampant.
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Old Dec 24, 13, 9:08 pm
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Do we know of any kind of specific/ concrete measures to reduce the stealing beyond the warnings? What does "working closer with the police" really mean?
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Old Dec 24, 13, 10:56 pm
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It is sometimes difficult not to put things in the overhead cabin. Perhaps it is time to use locks on the bags? Many come with them so it is convenient. Unless the thief carries the entire bag (which is too obvious), one is safe.
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Old Dec 25, 13, 2:37 am
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A colleague of mine on a late KA flight from mainland back to HKG in Y couldn't find his bag back in the overhead after landing and noticed it two bins back with someone's coat over it. His thought was someone must have moved it in flight to make some room in the original bin. When he went to get his bag the alleged owner of the coat started to shout at him that this was not his bag. Due to the time of the day, a days work and the travelling for a moment my colleague thought he might have travelled without any carry-on item. Finally he just took his bag and ignored the guy. Later, when he told me the story he started to think and realized that prior to take-off he had put his wallet etc in the bag to be more comfortable in flight and this must have been noticed.

Last edited by Mrtnw; Dec 25, 13 at 5:04 am Reason: autospelling...
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Old Dec 25, 13, 3:01 am
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I think this problem has been under reported. It may not have gotten much attention until lately because of so called 'gangs'. But my cousin was once robbed of several thousand euros when he was in the Business Class cabin of BA. He had placed his baggage on the overhead compartment. But someone came by in the night when the cabin was dimmed and said he needed to get something in the overhead compartment and just sort of rifled through several bags.

You wouldn't think that anyone would do that.. but did.

Of course by the time he realised anything .. in the morning just prior to landing when he went to get his passport in his carryon. He reported to BA but as this was a 'new' incident, and what else can the crew do? His word only..?


So... moral now is - lock your carryon, or use no name brand carry ons that may not look too inviting.
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Old Dec 25, 13, 4:30 am
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I'd better get a lock for my carry-on luggage, especially my computer bag, where I leave everything - passport, cash, credit cards etc.

Worst thing is that on some of the KA 330s there is no storage space above the central seats in the J cabin and so the available space fills up quickly. I usually board late and my things often can't be kept near where I sit and so I have absolutely no way of keeping an eye on them. This never worried me until I read this thread !
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Old Dec 25, 13, 5:14 am
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I'd imagine the best way to avoid this problem is to not buy the luxury carry on luggage that so many CX passengers seem to favor. That is a sure target for thieves.
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