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TSA should be responsible for all baggage losses

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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:11 am
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TSA should be responsible for all baggage losses

Thread title says it all. TSA should be responsible for paying for all reported luggage damage or theft within 30 days. All payments will be directly offset by reductions in bonuses for anyone who works in baggage screening - TSOs, LTSOs and STSOs.

If TSA is responsible for all damage claims, TSA will have an incentive to police the area. Lazy LTSOs and STSOs will have an incentive to reduce theft and damage (unless they are actually participating) because it come out of their bonuses. TSA will only be allowed to deny a claim if the claimant is given clear video footage demonstrating his/her bag was not tampered with by TSA.

If TSA can prove it did not mishandle a pax bag, then the airline is clearly on the hook. That will incentivize the airlines to monitor their own people more closely and we will all be safer for it.

If an LTSO or STSO doesn't get a bonus because the money went to reimburse pax for damaged belongings, maybe that LTSO or STSO won't think it's so funny anymore to watch TSOs toss opened containers back into pax bags.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:25 am
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"paying for all reported luggage damage"?

That is an absolute invitation to fraud.

The number of people who think that their taxes are too high so they figure they can get the government to pay for new luggage might be something Congress would look at.

In a word, not likely that Congress is going to appropriate funds for this purpose.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:30 am
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I agree .

TSA requires access to checked baggage, routinely cut off TSA approved locks, and there are far to many reports of open liquids and such being dumped in inspected checked bags that clearly point to TSA misdeeds. And yes, the cost should come directly out of the pocket of the TSA employee who inspected that bag. There should be identity stamps on the TSA Inspection Notice that leads back to the individual screener. Failure to document the screening should be an automatic termination.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:33 am
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Auto insurance companies address the fraud issue by doing their own investigation.

If TSA investigates claims of theft or damage to luggage, they will have the evidence to refute fraudulent claims. If they have a financial stake (TSA bonuses, not the taxpayers' bottomless wallets), they will be motivated to investigate.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
"paying for all reported luggage damage"?

That is an absolute invitation to fraud.

The number of people who think that their taxes are too high so they figure they can get the government to pay for new luggage might be something Congress would look at.

In a word, not likely that Congress is going to appropriate funds for this purpose.

Not if screeners are required to sign inspection notices. I imagine that requirement alone would lead to a significant drop in complaints about baggage thefts and damage.

However, since TSA does not seemed inclined to take responsibility for anything untoward, requiring screeners to sign notices will never happen.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
I agree .

TSA requires access to checked baggage, routinely cut off TSA approved locks, and there are far to many reports of open liquids and such being dumped in inspected checked bags that clearly point to TSA misdeeds. And yes, the cost should come directly out of the pocket of the TSA employee who inspected that bag. There should be identity stamps on the TSA Inspection Notice that leads back to the individual screener. Failure to document the screening should be an automatic termination.
Identity stamps on inspection slips mean nothing. A dishonest TSO won't hesitate to steal another TSOs slips - or to exercise his 'screener discretion' to not bother with inspection slips or lock keys at all.

Tapes should be subject to frequent random viewings by someone not in the TSA chain-of-command. Any TSO caught opening a bag and not putting an inspection slip inside should be suspended for a day.

Suppose I'm an honest TSO working baggage inspection. I might look the other way when my co-workers steal or slice a bag open just because they can or laugh as they toss opened containers back into bags.

I am not as likely to keep looking the other way if I don't get my generous annual bonus because of the payouts for the damage my co-workers caused. Now that their 'games' are costing me money personally, I might actually decide to 'say something' about what I've been seeing.

Frankly, I would support an internal TSA program that rewards TSOs for reporting misbehavior by their co-workers.

I'm sure if a system like that were in place, someone would have 'seen something' at DEN when two TSOs played games to target selected pax for sexual fondling If someone knew that they'd get $500 for turning in a fellow employee who has been dumping open containers back into checked bags, I think they'd go for the money.

Heck, LTSOs and STSOs might even be motivated to put their cellphones away, end the personal chit-chat in little groups to the side, and start watching for misconduct to report.

Last edited by chollie; Aug 28, 17 at 11:43 am
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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
Not if screeners are required to sign inspection notices. I imagine that requirement alone would lead to a significant drop in complaints about baggage thefts and damage.
Trivial for a TSA screener to say "that's not my signature" when confronted with an inspection notice carrying their name.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
Trivial for a TSA screener to say "that's not my signature" when confronted with an inspection notice carrying their name.
Then TSA needs to come up with another method of tying notices to individual screeners which they could do if they wanted to do so.

If a screener says "not my signature" then the CCTV coverage is immediately pulled and reviewed.

But as I said above, since TSA does not seemed inclined to take responsibility for anything untoward, requiring screeners to sign notices will never happen.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
"paying for all reported luggage damage"?

That is an absolute invitation to fraud.

The number of people who think that their taxes are too high so they figure they can get the government to pay for new luggage might be something Congress would look at.

In a word, not likely that Congress is going to appropriate funds for this purpose.
"Oh, we didn't do that. Musta been the baggage handlers!"

That's an absolute invitation to wholesale thievery, vandalism, and negligence.

Not to mention the fact that while TSA is inspecting baggage, they are doing absolutely nothing, nothing! to actually secure baggage. If there is any doubt whatsoever about what happens to a bag between the time the owner hands it off to the airline and the time they pick it up, that means the process is unsecure and completely compromised. It only takes one hole to sink a boat, and only one unsecure point to sink a chain of custody.

TSA is completely at fault, even if the baggage handlers are the culprits, because the Transportation SECURITY Administration is tasked with securing aviation, and they're failing to do that with checked bags to the point where it it impossible to ever find a luggage pilferer.

So yes, they should be held accountable, until such time as they can set up a system that either secures the baggage from soup to nuts, or at the very least set up a system that prevents their own people from stealing and damaging bags with impunity.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
"Oh, we didn't do that. Musta been the baggage handlers!"

That's an absolute invitation to wholesale thievery, vandalism, and negligence.

Not to mention the fact that while TSA is inspecting baggage, they are doing absolutely nothing, nothing! to actually secure baggage. If there is any doubt whatsoever about what happens to a bag between the time the owner hands it off to the airline and the time they pick it up, that means the process is unsecure and completely compromised. It only takes one hole to sink a boat, and only one unsecure point to sink a chain of custody.

TSA is completely at fault, even if the baggage handlers are the culprits, because the Transportation SECURITY Administration is tasked with securing aviation, and they're failing to do that with checked bags to the point where it it impossible to ever find a luggage pilferer.

So yes, they should be held accountable, until such time as they can set up a system that either secures the baggage from soup to nuts, or at the very least set up a system that prevents their own people from stealing and damaging bags with impunity.
At least by my reading, TSA's authorizing statute does not provide for it to monitor checked luggage loading and off-loading. If you can point to any language which does require it to do so (rather than the name of the agency) that would be very helpful.

Now, if you think that the law ought to be changed and TSA's authority (and budget) be expanded so that it can have its Officers stand around and watch luggage being off-loaded, that is another thing.

Last edited by Often1; Aug 28, 17 at 12:36 pm
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Old Aug 28, 17, 12:12 pm
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If a pax reports luggage damage to TSA and TSA pulls the tape (instead of sitting on the claim for six months until all existing footage has been destroyed), TSA can refute or accept the pax's claim.

If TSA can prove via footage that it is not at fault, then the airlines will have to pay up. That will incentivize the airlines to either better secure their own systems or accept that they will have to pay out on all claims, knowing that some will inevitably be fraudulent, as a cost of doing business.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
At least by my reading, TSA's authorizing statute does not provide for it to monitor checked luggage loading and off-loading. If you can point to any language which does require it to do so (rather than the name of the agency) that would be very helpful.

Now, if you think that the law ought to be changed and TSA's authority (and budget) be expanded so that it can have its Officers stand around and watch luggage being off-loaded, that is another thing.
Do you think TSA screeners should be allowed to damage, steal, or harm in any way, a travelers possessions without any liability?

Do you think that TSA's mandate to secure commercial aviation precludes ensuring that Check Baggage is safe from access by a bad actor after TSA inspection?

Last edited by TWA884; Aug 28, 17 at 2:04 pm Reason: Update quoted post to reflect edited version
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Old Aug 28, 17, 12:41 pm
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I arrive at a hotel and give my car keys to the valet to park my car.

My car is subsequently vandalized because the valet parks it and leaves the windows down and the car unlocked by someone.

Does anyone really think the hotel is off the hook because I can't prove their employee damaged my car or left it vulnerable to damage?

My 'contract' is with the hotel. The hotel is responsible for the security of my car until I get it back. I don't care if their employees have custody of my car the entire time or if part of the process involves a third-party parking garage staffed with crooked people.

One small point about the bags. We have all seen the videos demonstrating how baggage handlers can use a pen to open the zip of a checked bag, rifle the contents, and then 'reseal' the zipper.

I do not believe US baggage handlers run around with bolt-cutters to cut baggage locks. I don't believe bolt-cutters are an ordinary tool used in their job. I also have never believed the TSA lie that baggage handling machines destroy as many locks as TSA claims, because those same baggage machines never destroyed a lock of mine before TSA - or anywhere else in the world.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Do you think TSA screeners should be allowed to damage, steal, or harm in any way, a travelers possessions without any liability?

Do you think that TSA's mandate to secure commercial aviation precludes ensuring that Check Baggage is safe from access by a bad actor after TSA inspection?
No, I don't. Do you?
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Old Aug 28, 17, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
No, I don't. Do you?
No, I do not and I think steps should be taken to ensure that doing so results in a severe punishment.
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