TSA Theft Claims Often Rejected

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Claims of theft by TSA employees are a constant irritant for airline travelers so a jet charter company looked at how those claims are resolved and found that almost half were denied. Of the 7,900 claims filed with the TSA over the 14 months from January 2016 to February 2017, only 4,300 were resolved, says Stratos Jets, a charter company, which crunched the government data. Even among the claims that were resolved, payment was meager, with less than 25% approved in full and 12% settled for partial value. “In the case of denied claims or those that aren’t responded to promptly, travelers have the option to file a suit against TSA with the U.S. District Court,” says the Stratos report. “Processing of claims can take up to six months, according to information provided by TSA, and claims are generally denied if TSA determines your bag was not opened for ‘physical inspection.’”

Jewelry claims were most consistently denied, with three in four receiving an outright rejection and only 9% approved in full. Lost cash and cameras follow close behind—both denied in two-thirds of claims. Travel accessories (like headphones and chargers) were most likely to be reimbursed, with 48% of claims being paid in full. By dollar amount, travelers with stolen or damaged computers faired best, receiving an average of $460 per claim, though claims for computers and accessories were only approved in full for 16% of claims.

The full report by Stratos Jets is available here.

Comments (3)

It look like TSA employees took lessons from CONgress on robbing people blind.

Posted by: bruce postlethwait | September 8, 2017 7:28 PM    Report this comment

Five years ago, on a commercial flight from Charlotte to Sacramento, I was stopped by two TSA agents just after passing trough the metal detector. They told me there was a problem with my wallet and I would need to give it to them to "test". One of them remained with me while the other disappeared into a room with my wallet. A moment later she returned and told me everything was fine, just a glitch with the detector, and I was on my way.

Hours later, when I went to pay my parking tab in Sacramento, I realized my wallet had been lightened by around $200.

Yes, in retrospect I was gullible but please don't remind me in a post. My wife has been doing that with endearing efficiency for five years!

Posted by: kim hunter | September 10, 2017 7:01 PM    Report this comment

Many years ago, pre and post 9/11, I was flying commercially cross-county twice a week for work. As a technician, I was carrying gobs of expensive tools and test equipment with me. I simply could not carry all the gear as carry-on had had to check my luggage.

Within 3 months of flying under TSA oversite, I began loosing hundreds of dollars of tools per flight (remember, this is twice a week). Sure, I filled out claims, but nothing became of them.

In the beginning weeks of TSA, if your checked baggage was opened/hand-searched, when you got the luggage back there would be a tamper proof shipping tag with unique number zipping the bag closed. Inside the bag, there would be additional TSA documentation. This lasted a handful of trips. After the de-implementation of such measures, the theft began
So, here's what I came up with and the theft stopped. You are required to use "TSA approved" lock, but not all locks are created the same. I was able to find a combination, TSA approved lock that tripped a telltale if anyone opened the lock with a TSA key. If my bag was opened in route, I had prof (at least to me) that the bag had been opened.

Inside my locked bag, I put all my "good" tools inside pelican case and used 2 telltale locks on it. So, I have a bag-within-a-bag with telltale locks all around.

I doubt the telltale deterred them, I imagine it was just the sheer number of locks.

Posted by: Robert Ore | September 11, 2017 1:55 PM    Report this comment

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