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Theft at airport security?

I wondered about this a few years ago when my home airport opened its new international terminal. The new security machinery means my stuff can make it through the xray long before I get through, leaving my phone, laptop, etc. exposed to anyone. I haven't heard of any local theft stories yet, but a coworker that I was travelling with a couple of years ago arrived in New York before he realized he'd left his laptop behind because he'd been separated from it for a few minutes, and it had been set aside. Luckily he got it back on our arrival home a couple of days later.

https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/tsa-security-checkpoint-stolen-shoe-airport

Posted by
14263 posts

Well, that brings up a lot of things in my mind!

First, I got a 404 on your link so here is another one:

https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/tsa-security-checkpoint-stolen-shoe-airport

I have Global Entry but this summer I will turn the "magic age" where you supposedly don't have to remove your shoes any more, lol so none of that nonsense of "we don't have GE here"! It also brings up the frequent discussion here about packing a 2nd pr of shoes. After reading this, uhhh, yes, a 2nd pr of shoes in case one is stolen at TSA!!

I do make sure I put my watch, phone, belt, jewelry, etc in a separate ziplock bag and place it in my zipped up personal item. I do this before I approach the TSA desk except for my phone which has my boarding pass on it. I quickly stash it as soon as the officer has checked that and my passport.

Also...good to know you can ask for security camera footage to be reviewed. All of us who have watched the 13 seasons of Vera know the first thing to do is review the CC footage, lol! Now we know to ask for it at the TSA lanes.

Thanks for posting Allan!

Posted by
8648 posts

Pam, what is this magic age, thing with shoes? I've never heard of that. My friends who are in their 70s with whom I recently traveled all had to remove shoes. I have a TTN through GE, but had to take mine off recently (late 60s) when it was omitted from my ticket.

Posted by
15694 posts

Stan....if it is ever left off your ticket again, go to your airline's check in desk and ask them to rerun your boarding pass. It might show up.'

It happened to me a few years ago while traveling with BA. I asked them to reissue me a boarding pass and it said "TSA Precheck."

Posted by
2494 posts

All of us who have watched the 13 seasons of Vera know the first thing to do is review the CC footage, lol!

:-D Pam!! My husband is convinced they're required to say "CCTV" a certain amount of times per episode on the British crime dramas I watch. Somehow he always enters the room right when they're saying it.

Posted by
4174 posts

I was so excited in 2022 when I could keep my shoes on while going through security in Seattle. I walked through the system and the bells went off. TSA wanded me and discovered it was my boots that set off the alarm. They sat me down in a chair right next to where people walk through and had me remove my boots so they could send them through the X-ray machine.

I waited and waited and waited. Meanwhile all my stuff had already gone through with no problems. Traveling solo, I was a bit concerned about my bags waiting for me at the end of the belt. Finally I asked what happened to my boots and expressed my concern about my bags.

The agent who had wanded me gave me a startled look and apologized for forgetting me. How that was possible since I was literally in the way of people coming through was a mystery to me. Then she had no idea where my boots had gone and had to find them. It turned out that they had gone through the machine adjacent to the one where I was waiting.

By now I was recognized as being in the way, so I had to walk in my socks to one belt to get the boots and to the one next door to get the rest of my stuff, then take it all to the closest bench to get my boots on and get the rest together to head toward my gate. Needless to say, I checked the bin very carefully to be sure that nothing had disappeared during the 10+ minutes it sat there.

Oh, in case you're wondering why my boots set off the alarm, it was the metal hooks just above the ankle for the laces. They are my primary footwear on any trip and I always wear them. So I guess I'll have to continue to remove them no matter how old I am. :-(

Posted by
2765 posts

I have no idea how the earlier poster got "separated" from his bags/shoes... Generally you take off whatever they tell you to, go back through the scanner and wait on everything to come out the other end.

Of course about once a month "Mr know it all" yells at me at precheck that "you don't have to take you shoes off" Hmmm... let's see I can take my shoes off and quickly clear security or I can leave them on and set the alarm off and delay you while I go back to take them off. Last time this happened "Mr know it all" managed to set off the alarm TWICE because apparently "empty your pockets" was beneath him. He saw me just smiling at him after his "lecture" to me LOL! (I know which shoes will set it off by now)

But if you really want to "not worry" fly out of Atlanta. Our "advanced' screening machines are so slow that you will be standing there for several minutes after you clear security waiting on your items...

Posted by
494 posts

I also frequently travel in Ariat paddock boots with metal hooks for the laces. I call them my combat boots because they closely resemble my husband’s boots back when he was active duty. I hit 75 next June but I think those shoes will always have to come off. Leather knee boots with the long zipper always gets attention too.