Southwest Airlines/ TSA - Jewelry stolen from checked luggage

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Mar 17, 2016
3
1
3
51
#1
I was flying home from Las Vegas, Nevada (McCarran Airport) on 2/26/2016, I checked (1) bag, in my checked bag I placed 2 blue Tiffany boxes underneath my clothes. The square box content (my pearl necklace with matching earrings and bracelet and my Tiffany necklace with dangling letters T&Co. The rectangle box content my 1 carat diamond anniversary ring; gold 1 carat diamond heart shaped pendant (missing on small stone at the top right corner) and gold hoop earrings. This box also contained some costume jewelry. I placed the items in my luggage because I knew they would only be scanned one time by TSA and then loaded onto the aircraft. There was no way for the baggage handlers to know the contents of my luggage unless someone at the TSA counter tag my luggage for them to go through my bag. When I arrived at Dallas Love Field my luggage was the 3rd piece to roll off the belt. I grabbed my luggage and proceeded to my son's car. When I arrived home, I looked in my bag to give my grand-baby the items I had purchased for her and I realize someone had gone through my luggage and taken my jewelry boxes. I contacted Southwest Lost and Found, this department instructed me to contact Southwest Customer Service, the Customer Service Department instructed me to contact TSA; TSA instructed me to call the Love Field Police Department, Love Field Police Department instructed me to call McCarran Police Department; McCarran Police Department instructed me to contact TSA and this has been a never ended nightmare. I have filled out every form, contacted every department, provided pictures of my jewelry, as well as all information I was asked to provide. The Pearl set was a gift for Mother's Day from my children and the Anniversary Ring was a gift from my ex-husband when we were married and he was serving in the US Army. My heart is broken because those items that were taken from me meant much more than a price tag to me and to know that Southwest (a billion dollar industry will not even return my phone calls or letters of inquiry is even more disheartening). I have pictures and of items that were stolen and Tiffany and Company provided me with a receipt of the necklace that was stolen and a picture.

What's your desired resolution? I would like for Southwest and TSA to work together and give me some of my money back for the items that were stolen from my bag that was in their care. I know camera's are throughout the airport I do not understand why TSA will not pull the tape to determine if their employee and Southwest baggage handlers are working together to steal from the passengers. My bag was not a flashy bag so there was no way of knowing any valuables was in my bag unless the TSA agent tip the baggage handler. I am sure I am not the only victim. There no warning signs posted or indicated on the E-Ticket, Itinerary or near the luggage check station posting do not check your bags because of theft.

What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 3500

Date of transaction/travel date: Purchased 2/13/2016 - Travel Dates 02/23/2016-02/26/2016
 
#2
Not A Chance.

big bold letters in the contract of carriage - "Do not place valuables in your checked luggage."

Then there is common sense. You put $3500 worth of jewelry that would have easily fit in a purse in checked luggage?

Why would anyone place a 1 carat diamond ring in checked luggage? I'm sorry - but how do you prove it was in the bag to begin with?

You say it was.
Southwest says it wasn't.
Was
Was Not.
Was.
Was not.

All luggage is supposedly inspected by scan before it gets on a flight. A ring shows up pretty clearly on that scan. So TSA or someone with access to TSA stole it- ok. So?

The Contract you have with Southwest specifically excludes 'valuables,' such as jewelry.


Next.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#3
Sharon, this seems to be a common story on the internet. Chris did a story on this back in 2008: Tips to ensure the TSA doesn’t swipe your stuff.

Was there a note in the baggage that said it had been searched by TSA? I know you have filed a lot of form, but if you haven't done it, be sure to file a claim with the TSA. It specifically states that it will take 6 months for them to investigate. Most of the stories I have read though resulted in them denying the claim.

As for the airline, you can try writing them asking for assistance or information. At the top of the page is a link to Company Contacts. You may just get the same run around and referred to the TSA though.

If you took out Travel Insurance or have a Home Owners policy you can also try to file a claim with them.

This is a difficult position for everyone, if the investigation by the various authorities doesn't uncover who did it, then it boils down to your word that the items were even in the baggage. A very hard lesson learned about packing valuables in check luggage.

Hopefully someone else here has other ideas.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jan 5, 2015
77
149
33
43
#4
Why didn't you put your jewelry in your purse and carry it on?
Sorry to tell you this, but you'll never get anything from the airline because even WN disclaims jewelry in its contract of carriage.

TSA...good luck with that one. You'll have to prove it was TSA and not WN. Which...isn't going to be easy or possible at all.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,897
113
New York
#5
File a claim with your homeowners, so long as you have receipts and appraisals. Otherwise that will be a waste of time as well. You value your entire claim at $3500 and I don't see how that could be possible as it would be too low. Putting a few items of jewelry in your checked baggage is simply not believable. It is too small not to take with you, especially since you claim it had sentimental value. I am sorry but I don't see this going well for you. It could actually go horribly wrong since you filed a police report.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,897
113
New York
#6
Did you use an American Express card for the stolen recent purchases? It will definitely reimburse you with your receipt under its purchase protection. I'm am not sure about the others. I just checked and many other cards will reimburse as well. File that claim right away as you have a limited time.
 
Last edited:
#7
Did you use an American Express card for the stolen recent purchases? It will definitely reimburse you with your receipt under its purchase protection. I'm am not sure about the others. I just checked and many other cards will reimburse as well. File that claim right away as you have a limited time.
how much you wanna bet she'll get a denial letter based on her turning over custody of the her belongings to a third party?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,112
15,591
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
Sorry, you are never supposed to put valuables in checked luggage and really shouldn't travel with anything you can't afford to lose. Did you have a TSA lock on your bag?

This has nothing to do with the bag being scanned, it has to do with the fact that every airport might have dishonest employees who will open a bag and look for valuables. But you never should pack anything valuable in checked luggage.
 
Likes: Warren
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,897
113
New York
#9
how much you wanna bet she'll get a denial letter based on her turning over custody of the her belongings to a third party?
That is a good a point. I do remember reading they will deny the claim for an issue involving a carrier, like damaged in shipping, but I know it covers outright theft. I think it is worth a shot, unless she has homeowners bc the airline is not paying this.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,897
113
New York
#10
Sorry, you are never supposed to put valuables in checked luggage and really shouldn't travel with anything you can't afford to lose. Did you have a TSA lock on your bag?

This has nothing to do with the bag being scanned, it has to do with the fact that every airport might have dishonest employees who will open a bag and look for valuables. But you never should pack anything valuable in checked luggage.
What's worse, she packed it in the bright blue Tiffany boxes making them extra appealing. Is it possible that you thought you packed the items but perhaps left them at home, etc? I have done that.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
989
1,039
93
#12
Plain ole homeowners insurance does not cover jewelry unless you have it listed. When the amount exceeds some low-ish number you have to actually get a personal articles policy which is no fun paying the premium on, so many people forgo it.
Mine has saved me $$$ a couple of times. Mostly when a diamond falls out of the setting. Apparently I am pretty hard on my rings.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
1,078
1,339
113
#13
Sorry, but this is like leaving your wallet on the seat of your car with the windows rolled down at the mall. There is zero chance Southwest is going to compensate you. You can't even prove that the items were in your suitcase to begin with.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,259
5,599
113
48
#14
There have been numerous reports of thefts from baggage at airports; some are TSA and some are airport employees, like baggage handlers and those that work on the ramp. See the recent CNN article http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/13/us/airport-luggage-theft/ It is very difficult to know where the problem happened, at departure airport, at arrival airport, TSA, baggage handlers, ramp worker. Baggage handlers have been caught rifling through luggage on video -- look at the example in the CNN article. The difficulty in proving where the theft occurred. Southwest, as with many airlines, has a specific disclaimer for money or jewelry in carry on or checked baggage, as outlined in their contract of carriage.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,897
113
New York
#15
Baggage theft happens every day. It is so widespread, that coupled with the likelihood the airline will just lose your bag, well it is exactly as Neil pointed out- like leaving a wallet of cash on your seat.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,259
5,599
113
48
#16
I posted the news link because the OP was so certain that it was the TSA versus other workers at the airport that stole things from her baggage. Interesting that a lost Tiffany necklace, one carat diamond ring, and another one carat pendant, earrings and pearls all added up to only 3500, which is also the maximum reimbursement per passenger on domestic flights, I would have thought is would be more. I have an independent appraisal on my one diamond ring and this slightly less than 1 ct ring has a separate insurance policy rider and it never travels with me. With jewelry if I cannot wear it on the flight or carry it in my purse I do not take it or buy it when traveling, just not worth the risk between the air travel and hotel.
 
Likes: krisseye
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,897
113
New York
#17
More likely she selected the number bc it was the maximum she could claim. The items sound like they would have been worth more but there is no point if you are correct that 3500 is the limit. She doesn't know who took them but either way, she is unlikely to recover from the airline. She has a couple of other options to pursue.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,935
7,823
113
San Francisco
#18
I posted the news link because the OP was so certain that it was the TSA versus other workers at the airport that stole things from her baggage. Interesting that a lost Tiffany necklace, one carat diamond ring, and another one carat pendant, earrings and pearls all added up to only 3500, which is also the maximum reimbursement per passenger on domestic flights, I would have thought is would be more. I have an independent appraisal on my one diamond ring and this slightly less than 1 ct ring has a separate insurance policy rider and it never travels with me. With jewelry if I cannot wear it on the flight or carry it in my purse I do not take it or buy it when traveling, just not worth the risk between the air travel and hotel.
This is exactly what I thought, Christina. I know NOTHING about the value of jewelry, considering $50 earrings my "good ones", but the list of missing items should have totalled around $10K at least. A most interesting post, I wonder if someone is checking to be sure we are paying attention on this forum.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
989
1,039
93
#19
When she talks about 'one carat anniversary ring' and necklace, she is speaking of one carat TW diamonds, not a solitaire one carat Diamond. Huge price difference. even if they were 1K solitaire diamonds, the color/clarity can be so low that they really aren't worth much $, so the $3500 valuation, while suspicious is probably not too low for the valuation. In fact, could be way high. You can get the heart shaped diamond necklace for $99.
 
Sep 6, 2015
297
316
63
#20
Jewelry should be appraised every five years by a reputable appraiser for a flat fee, not based on the value of your jewelry. I take mine to Jared. They give me a photo along with the appraisal. I also have jewelry coverage on my homeowners policy. Anything you can't afford to lose should always go in your carry on, whether it is medication, jewelry or a laptop (which shouldn't go in checked baggage regardless because of the lithium battery). My husband bought me a diamond tennis bracelet last year. When I bring it with me, it is at the bottom of my carry on, and if I get tied up by security because of my joint implants, my husband has his eye on the bag constantly. When I am at a hotel both my jewelry and medications get locked in the safe any time we leave the room. I had an entire suitcase stolen when I was a college student and have had medication stolen from my hotel room. Lesson learned. I hope you find a resolution.