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Can’t believe this happened to me :( [Luggage Stolen While Checking in to Hotel]

Can’t believe this happened to me :( [Luggage Stolen While Checking in to Hotel]

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Old Jun 9, 19, 8:05 am
  #1  
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Can’t believe this happened to me :( [Luggage Stolen While Checking in to Hotel]

Hey fellow travelers — wanted to get some perspective on a recent situation in Athens. Just returning back from a great week away with my wife. In Athens for an overnight prior to our flights to return to the states. Decided to try a new hotel, well reviewed and seemed to be in a great area close to Plaka . Come to find out that the road it was on was essentially pedestrian only. Had to walk with my wife across a square with my luggage — lots of people out having lunch so we were rather obvious tourists heading to the hotel. Door opens, doorman gives us a nice hello and takes our bags off to the side of the very small entrance hall. My wife and I sit down at the front desk and start the process of getting our rooms. Bags were 10 feet away from me. 2 men come in — one stands beside me and asks the other desk worker to see if any rooms were available and she began to check. I looked over to ask my wife something and I noticed that one of the bags, and the 2nd guy, were gone. I was pretty confused for a second as I didn’t know if the bellman had taken it so I asked my wife where her bag was ... few seconds of head scratching then I realized what had happened. My wife ran out looking for him with the doorman and I questioned the other guy who stated he didn’t know the thief. At some point he left as I asked the manager to call the police.

So so I became the classic Athens tourist victim in a millisecond. Police came, video from the hotel showed the whole crime clearly and the 2 men were working together.

Offical report placed to the tourist police who said that 28 thefts had occurred just this morning ... we stopped in at 2 pm 😞

I like to think of my wife and I as experienced travelers as we’ve been all over south east Asia and Europe multiple times ... we also lived overseas for 4 years.

This act was brazen and completely unexpected (although no theft is expected I guess). Our error was not truly having hands on ... but when does responsibility for
the luggage become the hotel’s? They took our luggage while we checked in. It wasn’t “stored” immediately — I think back to how many times this maneuver of “let us take your bags we’ll hold them for you”, or “they’ll be brought up to your room” conversation has taken place. No ticket was provided ... it was quite informal and quick this time.

I’ll know we won’t get the bag back. It definitely had personal and valuable items in it (essentially a purse) and it was only 5 feet from my wife. We learned an expensive lesson — the hotel has been appropriately concerned
and helpful. Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 9:03 am
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Thank you for taking the time to post. Having been lucky so far, I will be more careful in the future. And, while I try to manage my own luggage, in many places, declining an offer of help with the bags labels one as cheap (i.e. not wanting to tip), especially in places where staff depend on tips for income.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 9:11 am
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I'm sorry this happened to you.

I try to watch our bags every moment but in your instance you would of thought they were safe
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Old Jun 9, 19, 2:20 pm
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Would you mind sharing the name of the hotel....or PM me with it. I have stayed in several hotels in that area that meet your description. Thanks.

Last edited by david55; Jun 9, 19 at 2:59 pm
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Old Jun 9, 19, 2:26 pm
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Hopefully the hotel will help with your luggage. If it’s a known problem, then should obviously secure it while it’s on their premises. A Tripadvisor review should indicate these problems.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 2:49 pm
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Thanks for the heads up, have Hilton reservations, next month.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 3:01 pm
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Thanks for posting this. I agree with Annalisa on this one.

I'd vote for a review -- may just help another traveler avoid this.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by satman40 View Post
Thanks for the heads up, have Hilton reservations, next month.
Hilton is a totally different animal. In the Plaka there are lots of people milling about and it is hard to stay focused. The Hilton is out of the mainstream of milling pedestrians and the only reason to be at the Hilton would be for a meal or you are staying there.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 8:20 pm
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Originally Posted by scottandtracy View Post
I like to think of my wife and I as experienced travelers as we’ve been all over south east Asia and Europe multiple times ... we also lived overseas for 4 years.
My commiserations for your loss. I hope you don't feel too bad about it - Athens is a different animal from most other urban places where people would go in terms of theft, and my sis and I found ourselves clutching to our valuables in Athens like we were holding on to dear life.

As echoed by other posters, it would be helpful to know which hotel this is, for future reference.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by david55 View Post
Would you mind sharing the name of the hotel....or PM me with it. I have stayed in several hotels in that area that meet your description. Thanks.
OP, please do not PM the name. Put it in CAPS right here. Why not to name it, most times someone from inside may know what is going on. One man of two distracting you is an age old dodge.

PS If someone had identified the hotel, WOULD YOU HAVE GONE THERE ?
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Old Jun 9, 19, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by david55 View Post
Hilton is a totally different animal. In the Plaka there are lots of people milling about and it is hard to stay focused. The Hilton is out of the mainstream of milling pedestrians and the only reason to be at the Hilton would be for a meal or you are staying there.
staying there
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Old Jun 9, 19, 9:40 pm
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I have to say I find the fact that the hotel has a bellman whose primary responsibility is to greet and assist with luggage could even let something like this happen sounds quite suspicious to me. With the ease the OP claims it happened, this certainly was not the first time.......A TA review is definitely in order.....
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Old Jun 9, 19, 10:20 pm
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Originally Posted by david55 View Post
I have to say I find the fact that the hotel has a bellman whose primary responsibility is to greet and assist with luggage could even let something like this happen sounds quite suspicious to me. With the ease the OP claims it happened, this certainly was not the first time.......A TA review is definitely in order.....
The bellman could be getting a cut. Don't think looking the other way can't make a person part of the game.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 12:06 am
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
The bellman could be getting a cut. Don't think looking the other way can't make a person part of the game.
I thought this may have been happening as well (unfortunately in hindsite). The manager and front desk personnel stated it was the first theft they have had from their hotel in this manner — they were helpful (comped the room, free food/bottle of wine, and paid for a taxi to take me to the tourist police station and back to report the crime. I hesitate to badmouth the place on line. I still think I’m an optimist and that this was a bad luck event for me, not a recurring scheme on tourists checking in. The police did not mention any similar incidents at the hotel in the past. Just a random day where we missed our flight to Istanbul, decided to stay overnight in Athens. A week ago we stayed at the Grande Hotel Bretagne but wanted a smaller boutique place this time, last minute. Was not the Hilton btw.
i think I could have elevated the discussion to who’s fault it was since the bellman had “taken” our bags but the layout of the check in area was such that we were distracted and the exit door was close — we were directly adjacent to a square with lots of cafes and people. I was the unsuspecting antelope with a bunch of tigers around I’m afraid.

i did discuss better baggage management to the staff so this didn’t happen to others. Lessons learned — Athens indeed is a place to be on guard, at all times. Just ask any local and the stories are sad and sometimes eye opening. I wouldn’t stay at the small places next time — big flashy places for me 😂. Still love Greece though . Milos and Crete already planned for next summer 👍
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Old Jun 10, 19, 1:37 am
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My family and I are avid travelers and Athens is the place where the "bad" things happen.

1. My cousin was mugged on the way up to the Acropolis.
2. Another cousin was pickpocketed on the subway.
3. I was pickpocketed on the way into a small church but fortunately moved away as they brushed past me and the zipper on my jacket was already half opened and they chose the right pocket!

Athens takes this to a whole new level! I warn all my friends and family now about Athens. We all travel extensively but it is at a whole different level in Athens.
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