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How does one file a claim for items stolen while passing through airport Security (in Paris)?

How does one file a claim for an item stolen while passing through airport Security? While preparing to fly from Paris to Seattle via Air France (Delta), I had a $40 flashlight stolen from my bin as I was being checked through Security. Since I was ordered to put the flashlight in the bin, I feel like Security is liable for the loss. I complained vigorously at the time, and was told that I needed to file a report with the police. However that would have resulted in me missing the flight, so I couldn’t do that. What should I do now in order to be compensated for the loss?

Posted by
401 posts

I'd be amazed if you could be compensated for it. Security is there to check passengers and baggage; not to keep track of any particular individual's belongings. Perhaps your homeowner's insurance might do it, but I would imagine that small amount would be below any deductible your policy may have.

Sounds to me as if the total cost of your trip may have increased by $40 (batteries not included).

Posted by
7303 posts

I know how you feel. My husband’s favorite belt disappeared at security coming into Iceland. His only sweater, a beat up old thing, disappeared leaving New York on the same trip. It must have been a pretty nifty flashlight for that price, but where’s the scam. I‘m glad it was only a flashlight and not a phone or iPad with all your photos. Your title says items; what else disappeared?

Posted by
9180 posts

You won't get compensated by CDG security. You can try to file a claim with the police and then submit it to your insurance company. Your homeowners policy might cover it.

Posted by
2525 posts

Did you purchase travel insurance or have coverage via a credit card?

Posted by
11929 posts

You were ordered to put the flashlight through the scanner as that is required; you cannot carry it through on your person. It is best to place small items in your bag rather than loose in a bin, where it is easy for someone to grab while waiting for their own bags.

It is unfortunate, but as noted above you are unlikely to get compensation from the airport security. Homeowners' insurance covers theft of personal items while traveling (I know from personal experience with a car break-in) but there may be a deductible.

Posted by
8293 posts

Chalk it up to experience and buy another flashlight.. I see them advertised on TV for $20, supposedly used by “the military”. But wait !!! Order now and they will send you 2 flashlights for the price of one.

Posted by
20966 posts

Forget it !! This is one while extremely frustrating is not worth the brain cell damage that will be done while fighting windmills. At least it was only a flashlight.

Posted by
441 posts

Wow, I had no idea that there was so much theft in the security line. I am sorry that happened to you. I am always frustrated when my stuff gets through way before I do, and I try to keep that from happening but now I'm going to be extra vigilant-and always put stuff in a closed bag if possible.

Posted by
741 posts

I always go through first, once I am through hubby then comes through after he put our things through. This is how we try to avoid things going missing. This sucks. Sorry you went through this.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all for your responses, and for the advice. I think that I’ll run it by my homeowner’s insurance, since I have replacement cost insurance, but there may be deductable. I’ll check on that.

I’m mainly bothered by the injustice of it. Security commands you to let go of your possessions—then does not accept responsibility for loss when the stuff is in their control.

Posted by
401 posts

That's because it's your job to keep track of your possessions.

When I go through security I either jam the small stuff in a shoe or in a zippered pocket on my jacket. Keeps things together and is easier to grab it and go so I'm not an impediment to those coming behind me.

Posted by
3444 posts

Were you told to remove the flashlight from your carry on bag and place it separately into a bin? Sounds a bit unusual if that was the case. But still nothing the Paris Airport will pay for.

It could have been anyone who took the flashlight. Unless you have absolute proof, there really is nothing you can do except file a police report and go and buy another flashlight. They only have "control" of your possessions while they are in the X-ray machine. Once they are left sitting on the conveyer, they are no longer considered in their control. This is frustrating, but no different than a valet car parking situation where they refuse to pay for the damage obviously done to your vehicle by their employees because the receipt you get states they refuse all responsibility.

Home owners insurance is not the way to go. First, there is a deductible. These start at $500 for most home owner policies issued in the US. Filing a claim can also cause your rates to go up.

I had a pair of SHOES disappear while I was going through security. SHOES. Well worn, inexpensive boat shoes in a very large size. I obviously had them on before going through, they were no where to be found after. I had to walk barefooted through the airport to the clothing store where I was lucky to find some very overpriced shoes I could wear to complete my journey.

Posted by
5639 posts

So what do the experienced folks suggest to do with wallet, passport, phone, etc. - i.e., the really valuable stuff? Its not always easy to keep an eye on things, especially if you have to go through the screening more than once, need wanding or other distractions. Once when I took a couple of steps to keep sight of my valuables going down the belt, I almost got jumped on by multiple TSA agents.

Posted by
20966 posts

I carry a man purse or small day bag. Big enough to hold an Ipad with several zipper pockets. Before getting into the security line, I put nearly everything in the bag -- coins, keys, billfold, watch, etc. The passport and boarding pass are in a front shirt pocket. If it is a body scan (rare these days with pre-check) I will hold the passport in one hand. It works pretty well. Given the level of security on security (over head cameras, etc.) it is unlikely that anyone would risked stealing a nearly worthless flashlight.

Posted by
3444 posts

I burry everything I can in my carry on bag. I will lose everything if someone runs off with my entire bag, but a chance I can take.

I do carry my passport in my hand through the entire process. Never had any issues.

Posted by
3151 posts

So what do the experienced folks suggest to do with wallet, passport,
phone, etc. - i.e., the really valuable stuff?

They are all in my purse and I make the purse the last thing that goes through the xray machine so I can do my best to keep an eye on it. My carry-on is in front of it. I fly weekly to client sites and/or conferences. Knock on wood, I haven't had anything stolen at security. My husband puts all of what you described above in his briefcase.

Posted by
11230 posts

I put as much as possible in my bags, rather than loose in the bin. This includes wallet, keys, cell phone, pens, belt - anything I can fit in, and that don't have to be put in the bin separately (3-1-1 bag and computer keyboard).

Posted by
7630 posts

Going through security at SFO on 6/3 and at CDG on 6/26 I was told to put laptop and cell phones (I had 2) in the bin. They could not be in my purse or a bag.

Posted by
7630 posts

photobearsam, your strategy doesn’t work for solo travelers.

Posted by
31216 posts

So what do the experienced folks suggest to do with wallet, passport, phone, etc. - i.e., the really valuable stuff?

I normally use a small Eagle Creek zippered pouch and place iPhone, keys, watch, coins and anything else metallic in that, prior to going through security. Depending on which luggage I'm using at the time, the pouch is either clipped to my carry-on bag or placed inside my personal item.

This method has always worked well and so far nothing has been pinched, including on my most recent flights last week.

Posted by
3873 posts

Wallet/phone etc - we are almost always wearing a jacket for our flight - anything in our pants pockets goes into the jacket pocket which is then zipped up so nothing falls out. This is more for my husband, as he always seems to have a pocket full of change, and his wallet of course.

Posted by
3151 posts

Any reason your flashlight wasn't packed in a bag?

My concern is always my purse in those gray bins. When traveling in cooler temps (or when it's raining), I put my coat over it because sticky fingers might be other travelers.

Posted by
24849 posts

This thread is three months old - woken by a spammer, I expect.

There's a chance that the poster has had a resolution, or no resolution now 3 months on. The last time that our retired bicycle mechanic posted was back in June, on the day of the original post.

Posted by
3 posts

I accidentally left the flashlight in my pants pocket. My bin had already been hustled off. So Security had me put my cool-looking little flashlight into a bin all by itself. It was the work of an instant for someone to grab it. Security dis-avowed all responsibility. I’ll be more careful next time. I bought a new flashlight. The best ones are costly. It makes a good lesson.

Posted by
3151 posts

FYI on portable flash lights: I bought this incredibly bright flash light last year from Amazon and it came as a pack of 4 for $19.99. They are perfect for travel and at home plus they're cheap.

Posted by
996 posts

If you purchased the item recently and have a receipt for it, your credit card may offer some compensation. We were able to avail ourselves of that feature when we purchased something that didn't make it home with us from an overseas trip. We had to document the purchase, of course, but it fell within their x number of months clause. It might also be covered under trip insurance, depending on the terms of your policy.

Otherwise, I doubt you have many options outside of frustration. I'm sorry that it happened to you.

Posted by
24849 posts

It has been 3 months since the incident. I would be astonished if any claim made this late were successful.