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How Safe is Your Carry-On Bag

I saw this article on CNN.com and thought I’d share it with you.


How Safe Is Your Carry-On Bag?

Do you give much thought to your bags while on the plane? Do anything in particular to protect your belongings?

Personally, I lock my bag before it goes in the overhead and I take anything of value that I keep by my seat with me I get up.

Reader Comments (15)

I have a luggage lock that is opened by a card. I can wear the card on a cord or place it in my pocket.

I lock my bag before going through security and keep it locked on the plane.
I usually place my bag under the seat, unless I've got one of those video box things blocking my space.
All my important stuff, passport, documents, Kindle, money etc., are in a small wallet purse that I wear cross body, hidden under a cardigan or jacket, throughout the trip.

I have been aware of air side and on-board theft for quite a few years, more so at Toronto when scammers were pulling the squirt-ketchup/mustard-on-your-clothes trick. (They were caught and imprisoned).
I'm really on my guard when I have to travel alone (the last two years and this year again). That is also the reason I like to carry a bag with a shoulder strap, it hangs off the shoulder or cross front body, I never put it down and I am hands free.
June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula Bag Lass
All valuables go in the small bag that never leaves me. That bag then goes in or straps/zips onto the bigger pack I carry. If I must put it overhead (and not under the seat) I try to put it one to two rows in front of me on the opposite side of me so I can see it.
June 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstevenshytle
I'm a bit over the top when it comes to security. I have a very small bag (RFID) that holds my passport, money, identity card, credit cards and iPhone. I wear it across my body and it never leaves me, even for trips to the toilet. It has everything important should there be an evacuation.

I'm in Hong Kong and there were newspaper articles about long-haul flights in and out of Mainland China being targeted by gangs who steal from people's carry-ons while they sleep. This is one reason I bought the EC Weekender as it has lockable zips. I go with the thinking that it's best to make your bag (and self) appear to be difficult pickings, as thieves tend to go for the easy ones. My ECW is the dull green - my locks are bright green and really stand out. Plus they're the word ones.

It doesn't hurt to be vigilant. And not just on the plane. I've seen the result of inattentiveness at the check-in queue.
Oh, and of course I'm in the aisle seat.
June 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
I've been much more cautious about my baggage since my father had a number of Christmas gifts stolen from his checked luggage and my colleague had his carry-on bag stolen. By the time my colleague boarded his flight, the overhead bins were full at the back of the plane. He placed his basic-black carry-on in an overhead bin near the front of the plane. It was gone by the time he made his way to that row when exiting the airplane.
June 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSnow
I carry all valuables in my Scottevest and a 36 inch flight bag. Flying out of my city requires gate check of main carry on. I lock it before gate check and never let my flight bag out of reach. Made it 9 days in Europe once before my checked bags caught me. So I two bag instead of one really but my system has been improved with the scottevest.
June 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertim foutz
I buy colorful zip ties from Fry's Electronics - the kind for bundling cables - and zip tie all openings closed. A small nail clipper rides in my pocket. I think airplanes are relatively safe, but small electronics are so tempting these days, so why invite trouble? I second carrying the really important stuff on you, but watch out for pockets with zippers half way down - when you are really fatigued you might not even notice. A neck pouch is best.
June 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMWebb
I've had stuff stolen from a locked zippered carry-on on Amtrak. The thief used the ballpoint pen zipper trick and I was none the wiser until crossing the border a few hours later and realized that my backup cash, atm cards and some travel documents were missing. This bag was also cable locked to the luggage rack. A baggage handler friend told me that I was probably targeted because I was the only one who cable locked my locked luggage to the rack and the thief put extra effort in to getting to what he thought contained extra valuables. Plus I'm sure it didn't help that I had the flu on travel day.
June 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertcl
The only items of value that I carry are my mobile phone and the contents of my wallet (cards and cash). Those stay on me, usually in a zippered pocket but sometimes in a small crossbody purse or wristlet. Oh, I suppose that my glasses* are valuable but I wear those.

Paula Bag Lass, I'm thinking of getting a Kindle (just the basic, no-frills, e-reader one). What bag are you using to carry it that allows you to carry a few other items without being too bulky? I gravitate towards small bags as it is but would love to see your recommendations!

*Is it wrong that I am considering Lasix soley so I can stop carrying Rx glasses AND Rx sunglasses LOL I have a pair of Rx glasses w/ a magnetic sunglass clip that I often travel with but it would be nice to be able to just forget about glasses (and contacts, since I gave up on those a few years ago).
June 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCoCoYoYo
Hi Coco,
We have Bentley luggage and bags here in Canada, their web site is:
I have a few of their bags from over the years, unfortunately once I've grabbed them, they discontinue the styles after a while, so my purses / bags have become irreplaceable.
One favourite, is slim with three tiered zippered compartments, a detachable strap (so it can be used as a clutch), this I use cross body or around my waist, the compartments are large enough but don't bulk out when I put my Kindle and document wallet in it. Sometimes I don't use the wallet but stick my important docs/passport/cash in a Ziploc baggy and put this in the bag instead. The Kindle fits in the largest section with about half inch to spare around it. (My Kindle is the basic one with the keyboard)
This one is about the closest I can find but is a bit smaller all round and the straps are fixed......
It gives you an idea though.

How about the Big Zipper Bagg from Baggallini?
I have a couple of Baggallinis, not this one.........but give me time LOL! They are good bags.

Lug bags are my other favourite and I seem to be collecting them and their accessories...>sigh<....I just can't help myself!
Unbelievably lightweight, I've used the Puddle Jumper as a carry on and forgot I had it hanging off my shoulder.......panicked and felt like a right idiot when I realized! Be warned Lug is addictive.
June 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula Bag Lass
Sorry, I forgot to include the link.....
June 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula Bag Lass
I carry my most valuable on me when traveling too, but I also split them up and carry in different places. The stolen items were my backup atm cards, backup cash and 2nd ID, so it could have been worse. But still, I worry about identity theft.

In the past few weeks, TJ Maxx (Winners in Canada) seem to have a good selection of Baggalini's latest fashion colours ;-)

As for Lug, I do like them, but my main dislike is their use of magnetic closures. I avoid anything magnetic as it invariably will demagnetize a credit card or something equally important at the most inopportune moment while on the road. Many banks and credit card companies will only send replacement cards to your billing address via registered mail. So it is almost impossible to get a replacement card when not home. In addition, replacement cards issued overseas often do not have the same security features as ones issued at home which present problems when trying to manage financial affairs while away. For example, not all replacement cards have a chip & pin and not all replacement cards have a security code.
June 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertcl
Another quick suggestion - place the zipper tabs facing the REAR of the overhead bin (best done with a non-wheelie bag). Then they have to remove the bag or break the zipper - more likely they will move on to someone else's easier to access wheelie bag with the zipper tabs in front... Also, NEVER leave an ipad, phone, ipod, etc on the seat when you go to the loo - take them with you, same with headphones!
June 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan E.
>>>"As for Lug, I do like them, but my main dislike is their use of magnetic closures"<<<

Oh. All my Lug bags and accessories have zips or normal stud closures. Next time I'm in our local pharmacy (with a great Lug section), I'll have to have a closer look at the gear I don't have.

Good tip, I think I have a couple of other bags with magnetics plus my ScotteVest Fleece has them in the exterior pockets.
June 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaula Bag Lass
Good advice about positioning the bag in the overhead so the zippers are towards the bulkhead, away from easy reach.

I think more pilfering takes place with luggage still in the overhead bin, than by someone pulling a bag down where the owner might spot his or her bag.

The worst has to be those daypacks with handy fleece-lined zipper pouches for cellphones at the top - definitely leaving that zipper pouch pointing towards the cabin is asking for trouble. I always bury valuables.
June 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMWebb
Hmm. I don't lock my carry-ons. Is this bad? When I was a kid, I was always scared someone would sneak drugs into our bags (I'd just seen Bangkok Hilton, and those landing cards in Southeast Asia saying DEATH TO DRUG TRAFFICKERS didn't help). That card lock looks cool.

I usually have my phone and camera close at hand, but when I go to the bathroom, I often leave them (sometimes under a blanket). Maybe I'm naive.
October 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMax

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