Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues
Reload this Page >

TSA removed my laptop w/ out telling me...and I walked away...What to do?

TSA removed my laptop w/ out telling me...and I walked away...What to do?

Old Oct 2, 18, 3:25 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Charlotte, NC USA
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott Lifetime / Annual Titanium; Massively Missing Starwood
Posts: 5,047
TSA removed my laptop w/ out telling me...and I walked away...What to do?

At PHX early this morning. I ran my backpack through the scanner, TSA looked on the screen, I saw one of them pick it up and re-run the bag, it came through, I picked it up and left. When I got home I grabbed it to do some work and the laptop was gone.

I called and left a vmail, and they called to tell me they have it. My options are to pick it up, have a friend pick it up, or pay to have it shipped.

I'm obviously thrilled to get the laptop back (hopefully in one piece) but not thrilled that they opened my bag w/ out telling me, removed something, and then f'ed up by not putting it back.

What would you do?
dingo is offline  
Old Oct 2, 18, 3:38 pm
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,963
Whichever option is more convenient.

TSA has your implied consent to search your bags and certainly to open them. Would have been nice if someone had told you. If you want, you could send a note to TSA on the website and make the point that it would be a simple courtesy for the Officer to have told you that he pulled your laptop so that you would know to watch for it coming through after your bag.
Often1 is offline  
Old Oct 2, 18, 3:43 pm
  #3  
Moderator: Delta SkyMiles, Luxury Hotels, TravelBuzz! and Italy
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 25,348
Moving thread to TS/S Forum
Obscure2k
TravelBuzz Moderator
obscure2k is offline  
Old Oct 2, 18, 3:50 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Charlotte, NC USA
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott Lifetime / Annual Titanium; Massively Missing Starwood
Posts: 5,047
Thanks Often1. I've always been asked prior to having them open and go through the bag so I assumed that procedures were to advise the pax and seek consent. <deleted by moderator>.

Last edited by TWA884; Oct 3, 18 at 12:16 am Reason: Opinion/commentary not practical travel security/safety advice/information
dingo is offline  
Old Oct 2, 18, 4:21 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Charlotte, NC USA
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott Lifetime / Annual Titanium; Massively Missing Starwood
Posts: 5,047
I'm aware of the thefts, assaults, etc. Lesson learned.
dingo is offline  
Old Oct 2, 18, 6:44 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 31,453
Their mistake and they want you to pay to ship it?!?!
Loren Pechtel is offline  
Old Oct 2, 18, 6:58 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 9
Am I mistaken in remembering that every time I have EVER gone through security I have been told to "take my laptop out of my bag?" If I am not mistaken about this, then I have no sympathy for the OP... They simply did what they asked HIM to do (and he did not)
awayIgo likes this.
FredT5 is offline  
Old Oct 2, 18, 7:45 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Programs: UA Million Miler
Posts: 1,213
Originally Posted by FredT5 View Post
Am I mistaken in remembering that every time I have EVER gone through security I have been told to "take my laptop out of my bag?" If I am not mistaken about this, then I have no sympathy for the OP... They simply did what they asked HIM to do (and he did not)
TSA Pre-check you leave laptop in your bag.
aquamarinesteph likes this.
AlanInDC is offline  
Old Oct 2, 18, 9:39 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: on the path to perdition
Programs: Delta, United
Posts: 4,109
I would contact the FSD at PHX, tell them that your bag was opened without your knowledge and that items were taken out without your knowledge, and that you want them returned ASAP at their expense.
GUWonder likes this.
FlyingUnderTheRadar is offline  
Old Oct 3, 18, 12:14 am
  #10  
Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: VNY | BUR | LAX
Programs: AAdvantage | MileagePlus
Posts: 11,790
Exclamation Moderator's Action

Folks,

When posting in this thread, please keep in mind that per the forum's sticky thread the Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues forum is informational.

Please limit your responses here to practical advice. Save your opinion, commentary and rants about what TSO's should be called for the Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate forum.

Posts have been edited and deleted.

Thank you for understanding,

TWA884
Travel Safety/Security co-moderator
TWA884 is offline  
Old Oct 3, 18, 3:28 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Israel/United States
Posts: 934
I am not debating, I am asking for information ( with a nod towards moderators note)

was there any any indication you backpack had been opened or was it securely closed, in the same fashion you placed it in the belt. I ask because this gives a clue as to what signs they actually entered backpack may be evident- if one know to look.
awayIgo is offline  
Old Oct 3, 18, 8:42 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Programs: Southwest Rapid Rewards. Tha... that's about it.
Posts: 3,945
Originally Posted by dingo View Post
At PHX early this morning. I ran my backpack through the scanner, TSA looked on the screen, I saw one of them pick it up and re-run the bag, it came through, I picked it up and left. When I got home I grabbed it to do some work and the laptop was gone.

I called and left a vmail, and they called to tell me they have it. My options are to pick it up, have a friend pick it up, or pay to have it shipped.

I'm obviously thrilled to get the laptop back (hopefully in one piece) but not thrilled that they opened my bag w/ out telling me, removed something, and then f'ed up by not putting it back.

What would you do?
My opinion is, this is not really a matter of opinion, it's a matter of practicality.

If you're anywhere near PHX in the next few days, pick it up.

If you're nowhere near PHX in the next few days, attempt to have a friend pick it up.

If you're nowhere near PHX in the next few days and have no friends in the area who are able to pick it up for you, pay to have it shipped.

Yes, it sucks that you have to go out of your way to retrieve your laptop, but lesson learned - in future, be more careful about checking that you have all of your belongings with you before leaving the checkpoint. In particular, make sure that the two most expensive items you're likely to be carrying, your laptop and phone, are with you, as well as your wallet and ID, and any other items that are either completely indispensable to you or cost a mint to replace.

Sorry to be so harsh, but honestly, it's just not reasonable to fail to check your most important/expensive items after going through a TSA screening, whether regular or PreCheck. At any time, for any reason, without warning, TSA can open your bags and rifle through your belongings. Anyone transiting a checkpoint should always be prepared for this and check their belongings on the way out of the c/p, while getting re-dressed. That's just common sense.
Often1 likes this.
WillCAD is offline  
Old Oct 3, 18, 8:54 am
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,963
Unless you or someone you know has other business at PHX and the time to waste, just have it shipped. You can supply a FedEx or UPS account number and TSA will use that (permitting you to take advantage of a corporate rate). By the time you pay for parking, you won't have saved much. A friend will still have to ship the thing.
Often1 is offline  
Old Oct 3, 18, 6:42 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Charlotte, NC USA
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott Lifetime / Annual Titanium; Massively Missing Starwood
Posts: 5,047
Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
My opinion is, this is not really a matter of opinion, it's a matter of practicality.

If you're anywhere near PHX in the next few days, pick it up.

If you're nowhere near PHX in the next few days, attempt to have a friend pick it up.

If you're nowhere near PHX in the next few days and have no friends in the area who are able to pick it up for you, pay to have it shipped.

Yes, it sucks that you have to go out of your way to retrieve your laptop, but lesson learned - in future, be more careful about checking that you have all of your belongings with you before leaving the checkpoint. In particular, make sure that the two most expensive items you're likely to be carrying, your laptop and phone, are with you, as well as your wallet and ID, and any other items that are either completely indispensable to you or cost a mint to replace.

Sorry to be so harsh, but honestly, it's just not reasonable to fail to check your most important/expensive items after going through a TSA screening, whether regular or PreCheck. At any time, for any reason, without warning, TSA can open your bags and rifle through your belongings. Anyone transiting a checkpoint should always be prepared for this and check their belongings on the way out of the c/p, while getting re-dressed. That's just common sense.
Look, I don't want to spiral this into a flame session, but the sentiment that it is "just common sense" to expect the TSA to open, remove, and zip up bags with zero notice or heads up is silly. And taking an inventory at the checkpoint is equally silly. I've got about 50 things in that backpack. If it is common sense for me to inventory them before I go to the airport and then stand there and do so again, well, that's f'ed up. And to follow the advice of picking my one, two or maybe even five most prized possessions and simply check for those is equally silly. I think the advice is better presented as 'watch your crap.' If I'd done that and assumed that the folks on the other side are at best incompetent and at worst crooked and kept my eye on them, I'd likely have seen them remove my bag, unzip it, remove the laptop, zip the bag, run the bag, stop the belt when the bag came out but not the laptop. That's the advice. Watch them. Observe them. Mistrust them to either be honest or competent.

I sent an email requesting reimbursement for my shipping costs. This is, in part, the canned response I got from the TSA:
"We seek to provide the highest level of security and customer service and we regret that you had a negative experience at our screening checkpoint. Our policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their personal situations and needs, are treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy. Every person and item must be screened before entering a secured area, and the manner in which the screening is conducted is important. Transportation Security Officers are required to be courteous and respectful and are trained to explain what they are doing and what will happen next in the process."

So is it a requirement that they advise the citizen what the professionally trained government professional is doing with the private property or is it just that this particular professional forgot his training?

I get it. It was my fault. That's the TSA line so it is true.

I'd just expect a little more reasonableness here than 'expecting them to take your stuff is common sense' and 'pick a few important items and make sure you have them when you leave.'



Originally Posted by awayIgo View Post
I am not debating, I am asking for information ( with a nod towards moderators note)

was there any any indication you backpack had been opened or was it securely closed, in the same fashion you placed it in the belt. I ask because this gives a clue as to what signs they actually entered backpack may be evident- if one know to look.
1. Pre-check I am, says Yoda. Sorry, forgot to include that perhaps.
2. There was no indication at all. No notice. No one shouting 'who's bag is this'? No unzipped zippers. No nothing. Zippo. Zilch.

Last edited by TWA884; Oct 3, 18 at 10:02 pm Reason: Merge consecutive posts by the same member; please use the multi-quote function
dingo is offline  
Old Oct 3, 18, 10:07 pm
  #15  
Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: VNY | BUR | LAX
Programs: AAdvantage | MileagePlus
Posts: 11,790
Exclamation Moderator's Action

Public comments on moderation are against the FlyerTalk Rules:
18. Discussion Of Moderator Actions

Moderators value your private views and feedback related to their actions and duties. You may submit appropriate feedback to moderators by private message or e-mail. Do not post comments about moderator decisions or actions, or about the work of moderators, unless a moderator has invited members to post feedback in a particular thread.

Any concerns about the actions of a moderator should be directed exclusively and privately to the Community Director.
This subject matter has been exhausted.

Thread closed.

TWA884
Travel Safety/Security co-moderator
TWA884 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread