Virgin America Anniversary Flight From Hell

virginamericastupidad

Adam is writing in to say that in the year that Virgin America has been operating, he feels that they’ve forgotten how to run their airline. The first time he flew with them, his flight was delayed and his laptop adapter melted. He got a free flight. The second time he flew, about a year later, his flight was delayed, the airline ran out of food, his luggage was ripped open and his valuables disappeared, and the baggage claim rep laughed at his misfortune.

Adam says:

I’ve been mulling this one over for awhile, and by “this one” I mean what I want to do about my experience last week on Virgin America’s anniversary flight from JFK to LAX. I flew out on one of the first last year and had an awful experience, which involved a four hour delay and a MacBook Pro power adapter that melted on me, and received a free flight as an apology. I really didn’t mind the delay or the melted power adapter. Chances are it wasn’t their fault as Apple makes crappy adapters, and they handled the delay very well. One year later it seems they’ve forgotten how to operate as an airline that serves its customers to the point that I’ve decided any compensation on their part would be unsatisfactory. Well, that’s not entirely true, but it would involve cash and lots of it. But really I’d rather they get a bit of bad press and hope they change their ways. They should be the best airline around.

I got on the plane around 11:00am on Friday, August 8th. I didn’t get off the plane for a little more than ten hours later. When we boarded we had a 30-40 minute delay that one should be accustomed to if they’ve ever flown out of JFK before, but by the time it was our turn to leave one of the air conditioning units broke. So, we went back. They figured it would take about half an hour to fix but quickly realized it would take much longer. They informed us we’d be let back into the airport to hang out in comfort but the messages stopped and the pilot went radio silent. The flight crew didn’t know what was going on and no one was let off the plane for a good hour and a half. Those who were finally let off were not let back on. The rest of us, who stayed, ended up waiting well into the afternoon when the plane took off five hours late.

Fine, delays happen. However, you’d think during the delays that someone from the flight crew would have the opportunity to stock the plane with food. Apparently they were only able to grab a few sandwiches and chips. Being a vegetarian I could only have the chips. My fault for my abnormal ethics, I suppose, but they were almost out of sandwiches when they got to my row. I was in row 10. By my estimation, half the plane went without food. To their credit, they did have plenty of water. For ten hours most of us didn’t eat or had very little. I always bring a few snacks on board just in case there isn’t much to eat but nothing to survive for an entire day. Luckily I did bring plenty of entertainment because their entertainment system was down as well. We never got the free movie we were promised. Supposedly we were given a $25 flight credit none of us will ever use, but I haven’t bothered to check.

All of this I can deal with. I had no intention of complaining. The whole event, thus far, was almost a blessing in disguise as I wasn’t looking forward to being in Los Angeles and by the time the flight was over I couldn’t have felt more glad.

Then I got my luggage. One of my bags had been ripped open. It could have easily been unzipped, but it was ripped. I’m not going to speculate as to how it happened but only my Apple TV and some DVDs were missing from the bag. No clothing or other small items fell out, oddly enough, but I wasn’t in the cargo bay of the plane so I can’t say whether or not it was stolen or simply lost via bag damage during the trip. Either way, I wanted someone to check and see if it had fallen out on the plane. I walked into the bag office and Joyce greeted me, before I said anything, with “all I can do is file a courtesy claim.”

Throughout our conversation she continued to tell me there was nothing she could do when all I asked is that she call baggage and make certain they hadn’t found any stray items. After half an hour she finally called, but this was long after her numerous accusations that I was trying to defraud Virgin America by claiming they stole my items. To be fair, those are my words and not hers. What she said to me was that her experience can rule out the TSA and airport employees so the only possible option is that it was my fault.

I asked her why she thought it was okay to accuse me and not them. She said, “you want me to accuse the TSA of stealing from you?” I told her “no, I don’t want you to accuse anyone at all,” at which point she decided to start filling out my claim. Throughout the process she asked me the same questions repeatedly. Given this is the sort of thing you do to a criminal I pretty much assumed she wanted to make sure I remembered my answers, but maybe she was just a complete moron. I feel I should give her the benefit of the doubt there. I could go on endlessly with examples of why this woman was horrible and cruel for no good reason other than what joys one might assume her job can bring, but I would like to mention one more thing. When I let her know which items were missing and how much they cost she laughed at me. She actually laughed at me.

I had a nice cab driver. The cab was cheaper than expected. Those are my silver linings. That and the plane didn’t crash nor was anything else of value stolen or lost. What a great day. Thanks Virgin America.

Hey, why not let the DOT know about your baggage complaint? They keep track of that sort of thing. The TSA has admitted that it has a problem with theft. You should give them a heads up as well. Finally, when your baggage seems tampered with, you should report it to the airport authorities so they can investigate. A spokesperson from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport once said: “We find that people often make a claim for an item to the airline, but never report it to the airport or the police, and then we don’t know that a theft problem is developing.”

(Photo: Maulleigh )

Comments

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  1. Fly Girl says:

    I think a few of those problems can be explained away, but overall, this is a shitty, shitty experience. And that makes me sad, because VA was my new favorite airline. I’ve been rooting for them. Don’t disappoint me, VA. Get it together!

  2. TSA baggage handlers are thieves. Yes, I AM accusing them of being thieves.

    Never pack valuables in checked luggage, btw. I learned the hard way, too.

  3. dorkins says:

    “Being a vegetarian I could only have the chips. My fault for my abnormal ethics, I suppose”

    Being a vegetarian is an ethical choice?

    Well, excuuuuuse me.

    Why is it OK to kill plants and bacteria – highly complex organisms struggling to survive? Some plants even emit chemical “screams” and distress calls when attacked.

  4. GearheadGeek says:

    I wonder if Apple can disable your AppleTV box, or at least prevent it from accessing iTunes. If they can convince a (properly configured) mac to phone home after it’s stolen, perhaps they can at least prevent the thieving scumbags from getting any benefit from your AppleTV box.

  5. 11hawkinst says:

    @Fly Girl: Same Here. I was really hoping that VA would make a difference in the Airline business. I hope they get their act together, because I really think they can make it.

  6. timmus says:

    If history is any indicator, there is no room for a startup airline playing against AA, UA & DL to take on AA, UA & DL’s incompetency and shenanigans. That will inevitably lead to bankruptcy. I wonder what Richard Branson would have to say about this.

  7. loueloui says:

    Yikes, what a nightmare. I would probably argue that it would be the airline’s responsibility to report loss of personal items to the airport. As I understand it, the way things are structured is that the airport provides certain common services to carriers such as fueling, food service, etc.

    I totally agree that the lost luggage counter at most airlines is not a happy place. I have very sturdy cases for specialty electronics I take with me when traveling for business. Very strong. Somehow Continental managed to almost destroy one of them.

    When I went to file a claim, the lady behind the counter argued with me, and then her supervisor walked in from another room, and immediately began shouting at me. They then threatened to call the police, which they did. Thankfully the cop realized it for what it was after many people in line pointed out them as the antagonists.

    I thought calling the police was a very heavy handed tactic, and completely unnecessary. I called the management the next day, and asked them if they thought I would be justified in calling the police to report my case as having been vandalized.

  8. nataku8_e30 says:

    @dorkins: While not a vegetarian myself, I can pretty safely say that picking fruits and vegetables doesn’t necessarily have to kill the plant.

  9. MickeyMoo says:

    @GearheadGeek: you can deauthorize any iTunes enabled devices from within iTunes by clicking on STORE in the left column – then clicking your name in the upper right next to your iTunes balance and changing your password.

  10. Cliff_Donner says:

    I so totally do not want to be seated next to the woman in the photo who is styling her freaking hair! Not a selling point to me, Virgin America.

  11. Etoiles says:

    @Pixelantes Anonymous: Indeed — I know more than one person (and actually know, not “boss’s cousin’s sister-in-law”) who arrived at home to find that their undamaged luggage did not contain some of the valuables it once had, but did contain a TSA search notice.

    My “favorite” was the friend who was flying from LA to O’Hare and, on unpacking in Chicago, found that her entire make-up case was still in her suitcase, but had been completely emptied. Someone felt compelled to steal her used mascara and lipstick. Nice.

    I pack super-carefully and try to put anything more valuable than dirty laundry into my carry-on. Glad I don’t bother with designer clothes or shoes, or I’d probably worry about them going missing, too.

  12. AstroPig7 says:

    @nataku83: Refusal to kill a plant is part of fruitarianism rather than vegetarianism. Vegetarians will freely consume vegetables and fruits, regardless of the effect on the plant (exceptions should be noted for any procedure that causes heavy environmental damage).

  13. AstroPig7 says:

    @dorkins: That’s a fairly bizarre misreading of the OP’s statement. Many people choose vegetarianism for ethical reasons, but this doesn’t imply that vegetarianism is always a more ethical choice. Do you really think that all vegetarians chose to abstain from meat for health reasons?

  14. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    Those f*ck*ing morons are so corrupt. The TSA needs to crack down on this situation before some TSA agent figures out that checked luggage is an easy affordable way to smuggle drugs, like what happened to that girl from australia.

  15. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @AstroPig7: OFF TOPIC ALERT

    Is that like people who will only eat fruit that’s fallen from the tree on there own? Further, if someone gives human qualities to fruit then wouldnt the fruit falling from the tree be suicide? Also, wouldnt the fruit deserve a proper burial? and if it needs a proper burial what do you bury it in.

    Also, does this expand to all plants, fruits and veggies. Because then I wonder if they wear cotton. On another topic, not to be coy, but what’s the difference between an anerexic and someone who refuses to eat because they have found an ethical reason not to eat every food? I would start on drinking water and the ethics of using the bathroom either in a toilet or outdoors but my mind is starting to hurt.

  16. katylostherart says:

    why did he get a free flight because his macbook adaptor melted?

  17. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @katylostherart: Because he obviously has read The Ultimate Consumerist Guide to Fighting Back

    [consumerist.com]

  18. nicemarmot617 says:

    @dorkins: Hahaha, that’s what I always say to vegetarians. Not that I really give two shits what people choose to eat, but pretending that they’re morally superior really annoys me. Hello, we’re all human, and we all kill to eat. Even vegetarians.

    And yes, the majority of TSA employees appear to be thieves. I have solved this problem by never checking my luggage and watching every at the security checkpoint who touches my bag. I don’t believe a single word of their “lost in transit/damaged” bullshit.

  19. AstroPig7 says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: I’ll try not to take the off-topic thread too far. Fruitarianism is generally associated with Jainism, which teaches that all living beings possess a soul. Therefore, Jains try to eat what they can without killing the plant that produces their nourishment. I doubt that they go so far as to ascribe mental qualities to vegetation, since when I asked that same question in a sociology class, I was given a strong glare by the two resident Jains.

    As for the difference between an anorexic and someone who eats so little that they might as well be one, I think it lies in the justification for their actions. Anorexics tend to not have religious justification for their actions; they simply think that they’re fat or ugly. Fruitarians and other borderline ascetics don’t deny themselves food for physical reasons. While an anorexic could theoretically use a religious justification for their behaviour, I have yet to see it.

  20. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @AstroPig7: Thank you.

  21. woot says:

    @GearheadGeek: Apple won’t disable a stolen device – even when you have a police report. I wish they would. It would be a very effective deterrent to theft, plus you’d have the satisfaction of knowing that some criminal isn’t happily enjoying your gear.

  22. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @nicemarmot617: Perhaps you’d like to sponsor a vegetarian?

    [www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net]

  23. angryhippo says:

    Even further off topic- if you really want to reduce your impact on the world find a nice quite place and starve to death. Seriously, you can find a way that every living thing takes from another in some way. It’s just a matter of degree. It’s like some think they are going to have to answer to a bunch of angry plants in the hereafter..?

  24. woot says:

    @MickeyMoo: That only stops the device from using YOUR iTunes account. All the thief has to do is connect it to another iTunes account and they’re in business. They’re probably going to do a factory restore on it anyway.

  25. Gari N. Corp says:

    I loved how people were certain that that shameless bearded tit Richard Branson was going to turn US air travel upside down when Virgin launched here (yes I’m looking at you, Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin). I might have agreed with them based on Virgin Atlantic’s performance earlier this decade. High oil prices are a great leveller, though, and Virgin’s customer service has been rotten for some time.

  26. ZenMasterKel says:

    Always put your valuables in your carry on luggage. If you can’t bring your valuables with you, then have them shipped to your destination. The Apple Tv isn’t that big, and I’m wondering why your bringing on a trip anyways (although the reason for the trip was never explained).

  27. Imaginary_Friend says:

    “I walked into the bag office and Joyce greeted me, before I said anything, with “all I can do is file a courtesy claim.”

    Why do they call it a “courtesy”?

    Dear Hapless Passenger, I claim your shit as my own. Thanks for the gifts!

    XOXOXO,

    Baggage Handler #OU812

  28. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    You know, if we sawed off the hands of thieves, I bet there’d be less theft from checked baggages. Just kidding. But not really.

    The one criticism I have, Mr. OP, is the situation involving the airline representative. I know her mean and condescending attitude caught you off guard, but now you know you have to work on some insults to hurl at her (probably best to avoid insinuating she is a prostitute or saying anything chauvinistic or racist though).

  29. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @angryhippo: I would think a killing spree would be more impact reducing…ironicly.

    @Imaginary_Friend: Because 419 scammers run the TSA now.

  30. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @loueloui: You know, if they shouted at me, I would escalate and complain to their superiors (I can dream can’t I). If someone is berating you and shouting at you while you are being civil and trying to file a simple complaint, that is extremely abuse. You can call me a pussy if you want, but I would have attempted to press charges for assault, especially if it were a smart and sympathetic cop

  31. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @TomCruisesTesticles: Sheesh, I meant abusive. I guess I speak Engrish when sleep deprived

  32. Dustoff says:

    If I’ve learned one thing from being in a family full of pilots, its this: it’s never really the “air conditioner” that’s broken.

    Just a little less worrying to the passengers than hearing that the plane has to turn around because of, say, “engine trouble”.

  33. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @nicemarmot617: I can’t stand any sort of morally superior attitudes. Some people are legitimately vegetarians for health and/or ethical reasons, some people don’t watch TV because they prefer reading/other activities, some especially green people ride bicycles to work and grow their own vegetables, et al, some people really believe in God, or Xenu (ok maybe not). I don’t begrudge anyone their beliefs, but sometimes it seems like people adopt beliefs only for the purpose of shitting on people. I call it pseudo-intellectual syndrome. Don’t watch TV? Good for you, but don’t be smug about it, let me watch my Entourage. Card carrying PETA member? Good for you, but I want my porterhouse. Use reusable grocery bags? Admirable, but stop trying to guilt trip me every time I see you. Anytime I get attitude from these kinds of people, I just have to remind myself, that they’re the philistines, not me. I remind myself that it’s just their inferiority complex speaking, and then I feel sorry for them.

  34. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @AstroPig7: Not trying to be an asshole, but I am seriously curious about the life expectancy of Fruitarians? Is it possible to eat enough calories? Sounds really difficult

  35. Onouris says:

    You see that’s what happens when your company is run by people in the same lines as those who run the other ridiculous US airlines.

    I have to wonder if they just let Branson and his people run it, would it have been the same.

    Also, 10 hours without food isn’t an entire day, unless you sleep for the other 14.

    Also you got your bag (remember that is AFTER it went around the departing airport’s system, and AFTER it then went around the system at the arrival airport) and just assume it happened on the flight? That’s a bit much.

  36. Norislolz says:

    @TomCruisesTesticles: Next time that some PETA person gives you crap for wanting a steak, remind them that they’re breed haters (only cute dogs allowed!), euthanizers, and one of the scummiest organizations allowed.

    Also, please, vegetarians, read bout “Least Harm Principle.” Then at least you can back up your ideas about being ethical when you eat bread and wheat harvesters kill millions of WILD field animals every day.

  37. angelman says:

    One thing about Virgin I found out is that in many US airports the subcontract their airport staff. I called Virgin to see about the possiblity of a free upgrade for my pregnant wife (it’s worth a try isnt it). They were totally charming and helpful. They said it shouldnt be a problem and that the check in staff would almost certainly allow it.
    We get to LAX and the guy there was an absolute prick. He treated us like dirt. When we told him what the phone people said he said absolutely no, no way would they ever do such a thing. I then politely offered to pay for an upgrade. He told me that wouldnt be possible in the rudest way possible. Eventually he relented and allowed me the pleasure of handing over a lot of money to upgrade to business class. I asked him for his name and he refused. I said I wanted to file a complaint (remember I offered to pay for the upgrade and he still treated me like dirt). I asked him for a complaint form which he gave me. Eventually he gave me his first name for the form. I called virgin about it and they apoligised and said that the worked at LAX are contracted out and not virgin staff. At Heathrow that staff are always increibly nice and helpful I have found.

  38. @EtoilePB: Rock, meet hard place. You can’t take most makeup or toiletries on the plane, but when you pack them they get lifted.

  39. ivanthemute says:

    Quote: One year later it seems they’ve forgotten how to operate as an airline…

    Shit, reading that story makes me think they finally learned how to run an airlina, vis-a-vis US Airways, Delta, United, etc etc etc…

  40. RStewie says:

    TSA are theives. I was *deploying* to the desert while in the military, and they stole ALL my jewelery (most of which were small peices with only sentimental value I had just received as Christmas presents), one of my PS2 controllers, and my PS2 keyboard.

    I have *shipped* items to myself to avoid these people STEALING more of my stuff. And the second time I deployed, ALL my jewelery and other valuables rode in my carry-on, WITH me.

    TSA can KMA.

  41. FangDoc says:

    @TomCruisesTesticles: Actually, there can sometimes be a link between obsessive “healthy eating” and health problems. A relatively new disorder term is “orthorexia nervosa,” or an obsession with eating right:

    [en.wikipedia.org]

    Parents and teen counselors are advised to watch vegetarian/ fruitarian teens very carefully; sometimes they use such labels and restrictions as a front for anorexia.

    I was a vegetarian teenager, and not anorexic, but it did provide me with ample opportunity to be an even bigger pain in the ass in any and all social situations.

  42. RStewie says:

    @AstroPig7: wait. doesn’t that mean that they’re eating the souls of the baby plants?

  43. truthbuddy says:

    Virgin lost my bags, agent did nothing, They SUCK!

  44. HogwartsAlum says:

    Yikes.

    I never pack electronics in my checked bag. It doesn’t matter anyway now; I can’t afford to fly any more anyway.

  45. Egg Yolkeo says:

    “you want me to accuse the TSA of stealing from you?”

    Umm…yes?

  46. mythago says:

    @nicemarmot617: Hello, the OP didn’t say he was morally superior. He was explaining why he couldn’t eat the sandwiches on the VA flight. He didn’t get all offended that they did not have vegetarian sandwiches or rant about meat. He did not say that he was a better human being than you and you must hand over your steak immediately. Could you and the other people derailing the thread with “OM NOM NOM MEAT NOM” maybe address the post instead of the imaginary shouting vegetarians in your head? Jesus. I eat meat and you guys are making me want to go slink off and munch on some carrots.

    My work doesn’t permit us to send our laptops through checked-in luggage for these very reasons. It’s not like any of us think this is a bad policy, either.

  47. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    Woah, this comment thread is totally off topic. No more PETA / vegetarianism comments – keep it in line with the article.

  48. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @FangDoc: My sister is actually a partial vegetarian (she eats meat sometimes, and that’s her prerogative). But she always did well, as she ate dairy, and also plenty of high protein foods such as lentils and soy. But fruitarian I can’t even begin to imagine. I think there is such a thing as taking something too far

  49. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: OK I totes only read that after I posted my last comment.

  50. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @nicemarmot617: Yeah, and who gives a shit about the fucking marmot? /lebowski

  51. Snakeophelia says:

    Delayed-release exploding dye packs, people. That’s what we need. Disguised to look like cell phones, jewelry cases, digital cameras, and PSPs. We need these dye packs and we need people willing to fly with a decoy suitcase and these inside. The dye packs go off two, maybe three days later, unless a special code is activated.

  52. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    @dorkins: They’re his ethics. They’re not most people’s ethics. Therefore, they’re “abnormal ethics”.

    I eat as much meat as the next guy, mind, and I hate preachy vegetarians, but this guy isn’t preaching at you. In fact, he seemed rather upset by the idea that half the plane would have to go without sandwiches, whereas the average preachy vegetarian would probably be happy that no cows, pigs, or turkeys would have to be killed for the passengers.

    I think what I’m saying here is, these are not the droids you’re looking for. Move along.

  53. shufflemoomin says:

    I always worry about valuables in my suitcase too. It may sound overly stereotypical but I would say people in low paid jobs with regular opportunity to steal are more likely to do so than others. I don’t like leaving valuables in checked luggage or in a hotel room when it’s being cleaned. You have to remember that in these cases you’re putting your trust in strangers who are working jobs where pretty much anyone can get them. It’s no surprise things ‘disappear’. Anyone is capable of stealing, but some areas you’ll find more than others.

  54. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @shufflemoomin: The problem is that these people have “sticky fingers.” The solution? Remove the fingers.

    No, really.

  55. goodkitty says:

    @Snakeophelia: You know, that’s brilliant! Imagine catching thieves literally either red-faced or red-handed, or both. But, it’ll never happen since there is no economic incentive for anyone to clean up theft issues.

  56. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    @Snakeophelia: Yes, definitely not while they are searching through the bags. Good grief, I can see the next morning’s headline “Ted Kaczynski Escapes from Prison.”

  57. Roy Hobbs says:

    @shufflemoomin: I wonder how hard it is to search all of the TSA employees when they are leaving after their shift. It sounds like they are taking out shopping-cart loads of stuff every day.

  58. jdmba says:

    Look – even when you could lock your luggage, it was very clear you shouldn’t check anything of interest. Now that locks are illegal (or, if you buy a TSA approved lock, easily bypassed and requiring you to go to a separate line), I can’t imagine what would go through someone’s head as far as leaving the valuables in the unlocked luggage. I mean, how many expose’s do you need to see on TV about baggage handlers being caught going thru people’s luggage. I mean – wow.

    As for JFK – amen. I was on a flight that was delayed and we sat on it for 45 minutes waiting for a take-off window slot. Then as soon as we pushed back, the plane went dead. They had to get a tow to pull us the 6 feet back to the gangway. We sat there for an hour (no one allowed off). Then they pushed us back and drove for 20 minutes to one of the far off plane parking lots, where we sat for 45 minutes before driving back for 20 minutes to take off. The fun part was learning, much later from an aviation expert, that the parking lot time was to leave the plane in idle to see if it would shut off or not, before getting airborne. Nice system-test … sit there on the ground for an hour to see if it stalls again.

  59. golfinggiraffe says:

    Just a bit more of a thing that’s offtopic – @Wormfather is Wormfather: It’s because what we consider fruit is actually in many cases meant to be eaten. The intent is for animals to eat them and then poop out the seeds somewhere else.

    In any event, most of the time you can eat the fruit without killing the plant it grew from.

  60. ochobit says:

    Brace yourselves, this may be something that you don’t want to hear…

    I bet you guys will try to gang up on me but the TSA doesn’t actually steal, and if their is theft it’s REALLY hard to do.

    Hard to believe, huh?

    The problem is people don’t know how the system work and wrongfully assume it’s the TSA.

    Here is how it works, the TSA baggage officers only have the bags for about 10% of the bags journey to the plane, and the officers only handle the bags if they need to do a bag check. It’s not like the TSA officers ARE THE BAGGAGE HANDLERS…

    So the 10% the bag’s journey is the security process (the TSA’s part)… is heavily packed with cameras…

    The other 90% of the bags’ journey has NO cameras (which is sadly a HUGE security issue), and the airline company brings it to their plane and can basically steal WHATEVER THEY WANT with out too much of a problem since the airline can just easily blame the TSA.

    Look, just do the following, if you don’t believe me, try this out, you don’t need to be a detective to pull this off… just a little human tact: if you ever see a TSA baggage officer (they wear the redish polos) just ask them if they ever heard of anybody who has ever robbed something from a bag, and look at them and see if they seem sincere… even vets who have been there for more than 6 years MAY have heard of 1 or 2 thefts at best… mostly to a quick termination.

    On the same side, if you know anybody that works as the airlines baggage handlers, just ask them, most of them will admit it as long as they trust you won’t turn them in…

    I know this will blow a lot of people away… but it’s the truth.

    The funny thing is a lot of people at the TSA quit just after they start working, because they find out that you can’t actually go around robbing stuff… since it’s “common knowledge”.

  61. croeso says:

    At the risk of getting back on topic, I travel monthly and NEVER EVER pack valuables in my checked luggage. It’s never worth the risk. But because I usually have a lot of jars and cans of regional food specialties in my suitcase it’s almost always certain the metal will show up on the scanners and the bags will be checked. I have a collection of the little printed notices they put in your bags after they’ve been checked. I fan them out and cover the inside top of the suitcase with them. Meanwhile, my laptop, camera, ect, are in the cabin with me at all times.

  62. wtrwlkr says:

    @jdmba:

    Yikes! that’s one of the scariest things i’ve ever read in regards to air travel. Thank god the plane shut off when it did instead of a couple hours later.

    Did they put you back on the same plane after it passed it’s “system test” or did they put you on another plane?

    I wouldn’t get back on the same plane after that even if they offered the flight to me for free!

  63. christinielsen says:

    ochobit is correct. I used to be a flight attendant. There is very little security when your bags are being delivered to the plane. I’ve seen them fall off the little trucks and not make it on the plane, I’ve seen them run over by the trucks, etc.

    We all associate our misfortunes with the particular airline we flew when they happen, but the truth is that this stuff happens all the time on all airlines. And yes, it’s shitty.

    When tempers flare, it becomes a never ending circle. Unfortunately you’re usually at the mercy of the gate agent or other employees, which at times can make it difficult for you to stand up for yourself without fearing bad service or the worst seat!

    Kudos for not throwing a fit regarding the lack of food choice. Flight attendants get the passengers after they’ve been through all the problems while flying. It’s not fun to get that wrath. Most people forget that they’re on a plane, not in a restaurant or stocked bar.

    Also – just FYI. The flight crew has nothing to do with catering. I had a few pilots call and request extra food and stuff, but it all depends on if catering can do it.

  64. kaleberg says:

    Where can we buy the stuff that the TSA steals? Do they have a web site? We might as well make lemonade what with this licensed theft ring.