Help, Baggage Screeners Stole My Underwear!

Careful travelers, there’s a panty-stealing baggage screener lurking in San Francisco’s international airport, according to reader Ari, whose girlfriend lost eight days worth of underwear on a recent trip.

Ari writes:

I recently flew out of SFO with my girlfriend for a weeklong vacation. We had checked in one suitcase with a bunch of her clothes and a makeup case.

When we arrived at our destination, we found a notice from our TSA screener indicating they had opened the suitcase. The makeup case, which had been nicely packed before, was bulging at the seams, and when we opened it we were greeted with pieces of glass from the mirror which had been seemingly jammed down to close the makeup case.

My girlfriend was understandably a bit peeved at this, but we still had the receipts from the purchase of that case, so it didn’t seem *too* bad. Later that evening she went to go take a shower and took out a bag from the suitcase containing her underwear/bras/socks. There was one problem… all the underwear was gone (8 nights)! (Including one pair of socks)

Looks like our vacation will include a trip to the local Walmart…

Are there any tips from Consumerist readers on how to make a claim for this? We’ve been calling Covenant Claims for the last couple of days, but no one has answered, and the website requires us to print out a form and mail/fax it in. Oh, that’s not including the photographic evidence and receipts that they want us to mail in. (Who keeps receipts or takes photos of underwear they’ve purchased???)

The TSA has complaint forms for lost and damaged items, but they don’t cover the ten airports using private security screeners. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask the TSA for help. The folks from the TSA Blog left a comment on a reader’s website suggesting that they use the TSA’s feedback system to reach the customer support manager at San Francisco International. Since Covenant has an abysmal record responding to complaints, it’s certainly worth a shot.

Got Feedback? [Transportation Security Administration]
Claims Management Branch [Transportation Security Administration]
(Photo: kaibara87)