My Friend Was Robbed On A JetBlue Flight — What Do I Do?

Robert says his friend, Y, believes she was robbed of $50 and an iPad on a JetBlue flight, and that the airline and authorities haven’t much helped her in her quest to recover the property. Neither Robert nor Y knows what to do.

Take a look at their story:

I am writing on behalf of my friend Y. Today, Y took a JetBlue flight. Y carried her iPad on the plane, as well as some cash and other valuables in her purse. Being the good traveler that she is, when the stewardesses said that it was time to turn off of her electronic devices, she turned off her iPad and stowed it in her purse and placed the purse under the seat in front of her, as commanded. She then fell asleep on the plane for a few hours.

After landing, exiting the plane and taking a taxi home, Y began to unpack and realized that her iPad was missing, as well as $50 in cash from her wallet (although they left a British 10 pound note for some reason). Unfortunately, the iPad did not have the tracking technology that most new iPads have installed, so she is out of luck for locating it that way. After searching through the rest of her bags just to be sure she didn’t just misplace it, she called the JetBlue customer service line to report the stolen items, who told her to call the police and that they couldn’t help other than to suggest that she post on “SpeakUp”, JetBlue’s online customer service system.

The police were predictably useless, saying that they didn’t know which precinct to report the crime to and that it was the airline’s responsibility for something that happened in mid-air. So Y called back the JetBlue customer service line and asked if they could investigate the people sitting directly around her (specifically directly in front and directly next to her, since those seem the most likely suspects), and they said that they couldn’t investigate anything because they were unable to contact the people in the seats around her due to airline policy. They also lectured her and said that she shouldn’t put her purse under the seat in front of her. This is obviously a stupid thing to say, as FAA rules mandate that she stores her purse “under the seat in front” of her. Had she not done this, a stewardess would have certainly told her that she would have to do so or the plane couldn’t take off.

So JetBlue basically told her that there is no way to guarantee the safety of your belongings on their planes without violating federal law.

I feel that at the very least, JetBlue should make a reasonable effort to investigate the situation and make a good faith effort to recover the stolen items. While I know by law they cannot be held liable for the stolen goods and I understand that things get stolen periodically on planes just as they do everywhere, but the fact that an airline has no policy to deal with stolen items other than to make the customer eat the cost and give them a lecture about not stowing valuables under the seat is just unbelievable. You would think that an airline would be interested to know if one of their passengers was stealing items, but Young just received a brush-off and was offered no form of compensation whatsoever. As frequent JetBlue customers, we look elsewhere when we book our flights unless JetBlue does something to make this right.

Could you provide any advice for what to do in this situation?

If you’ve had something stolen during a flight, how did you go about trying to find justice?

Comments

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  1. RandomHookup says:

    How would JetBlue go about conducting a criminal investigation? Last time I checked, there is no connection between JetBlue and NYPD Blue.

  2. jim says:

    she messed up. nothing to be done about it. get over it and move on.

    • pdj79 says:

      And when you lose your $500 gadget and $50 cash mid-flight I’ll be sure to extend the same advice to you to.

      • spamtasticus says:

        As a frequent traveler with a vivid imagination I often thought of this very scenario. What could be done. The answer is absolutely nothing. People don’t realize that the world is not like they see on TV. In the real world it is not as simple and police are not as motivated to get justice for you as they are on ze TV. Bottom line is, after going over every single possibility I realized that even if the cops, the FBI and the Airline was completely motivated to find my belongings the task would be next to impossible. In my mental simulation I even discovered the item missing before the flight landed. This did not help in the least. The airline would not have the authority to ask each and every passenger, or even one passenger, to empty their carry on “just in case” they stole it. Moral of the story, you, and you alone are responsible for your personal belongings while they are in your possession.

  3. rpm773 says:

    This is obviously a stupid thing to say, as FAA rules mandate that she stores her purse “under the seat in front” of her. Had she not done this, a stewardess would have certainly told her that she would have to do so or the plane couldn’t take off.

    What about the “falling asleep for a few hours” part of the story?

  4. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Don’t expect the police to do anything over $50 when the criminal act has no witnesses. I couldn’t get them off their duffs when the suspected thieves were just across the road from the police station. (Mother-in-law put her purse down in a not busy fast food restaurant, it disappeared, and we saw the guys at the table next to us running out the door – but we didn’t see them take it).

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      That’s an entirely different situation. What jurisdiction do the police have to a crime that occurred on a plane during a flight? What is the local police going to do, call JetBlue to get a passenger list? They probably don’t even have the authority to do that.

  5. thompson says:

    “Unfortunately, the iPad did not have the tracking technology that most new iPads have installed, so she is out of luck for locating it that way”

    Huh? There’s only one version of the iPad that has ever been released… for at least another couple of months.

    • CPENinja says:

      Two: The WiFi and the WiFi+3G version. Not sure if the latter has tracking, though.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Isn’t tracking done through MobileMe or another app?

        • Madaline_7 says:

          It is done through Moblie Me. I know that I am paying the $15 a month (or how ever much it is, I forget) to have the location thingy on my iPad.

          • ThinkerTDM says:

            Well, you should update, and get it for free.

            • TheWraithL98 says:

              find my iphone/ipad is FREE and does not require mobile me on all ipads and iphone 4′s, as of the last month or two. as soon as i was able, i activated both my iphone and my ipad. shame on the OP’s friend for not doing the same, she would have a trackable ipad if she had.

              • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

                and at the very least, she could have bricked the iPad as soon as the culprit turned on Wifi/3G, or tried to sync it. The moment IOS 4.2 came out, I turned it on my iPod touch. If the day comes when I lose it, at least I know whoever tries to enjoy it won’t get much enjoyment out of it.

    • ReaperRob says:

      You have to install the tracking app yourself.

  6. RandomHookup says:

    I’m a little surprised that JetBlue didn’t know a little more about which police department to report the crime to. Seems that would be a good piece of information to have for their CSRs since these things do happen and customers must be confused about where to report them.

  7. backbroken says:

    Something is very wrong about this. A thief would not risk the time it would take to put a 10 pound note in the purse. No reason for it really…just adds risk to the endeavor. Especially in a crowded space where it would be hard to hide that you were taking a sizable object out of someone else’s purse.

    Is she sure that she didn’t switch purses with someone accidentally? Perhaps there is a fellow traveler out there who is looking for the lady who accidentally took her bag and left her with the iPad.

    • c!tizen says:

      I think maybe the 10 pounds was already in the purse, but they didn’t take it in addition to the $50?

      • TerpBE says:

        That’s how I read it. But I assumed he didn’t take the 10 pound note because that’s pretty heavy!

      • packcamera says:

        With the rapid decline in the dollar, that 10£ bill can buy her 4 iPads!

        • DH405 says:

          What are you even talking about? The USD has been making gains in the last couple months. Before that, the losses were minor.

          I’m gonna guess that you aren’t exactly an economist. More like a… guy who says whatever facts pus his political points forward, regardless of truth.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      So someone with the exact same purse, same name, driver license #, and credit cards but happened to have $50 less dollars and no iPad.

      Right….

    • jessjj347 says:

      It’s also possible it got stolen in the airport after landing or while waiting for a taxi…lots of possibilities.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I wonder if maybe the bag tipped over and things slid out. The iPad (and the iPhone since it has the same backing) is pretty slippery on carpet, and planes aren’t level all the time. My rule with carry on luggage is that it closes with a zipper, and not clasps or buckles. It’s a lot harder for things to slide out when the bag is closed with a zipper. And it’s harder for a thief to take stuff out, too.

      • nodaybuttoday says:

        agreed. I don’t know how you could not notice someone stealing such a large item from your purse. Those seats are so small, I can barely fit my purse and feet down there. And how do you not notice the weight difference in your purse? I can even tell when my iPhone is not in my purse, nevermind an iPad. I think it’s more likely it was stolen landing or it slid out as another commenter said.

        Also, how exactly is JetBlue suppose to investigate the passengers seated around her? Unless they searched them when they left the airport, there is no way to prove they stole anything.

  8. c!tizen says:

    This is why we need the TSA and body scanners!

    /sarcasm … it’s sad I have to do this.

  9. bhr says:

    What exactly could JetBlue do to “investigate the passengers around her”? Pull up their credit reports and criminal records? Break in to their house and search for an Ipad? There is no way to track who took it, even if it happened on the plane. Also, stealing $50 bucks out of her purse? pretty ballsy to actually go through the wallet to pick out bills when in public.

    Much like anything of value this days, if you let it out of your sight/hands you risk it being stolen, Consider this a life lesson.

    • BluePlastic says:

      I know! Jet Blue could get BofA to foreclose on the other passengers’ homes, break in and confiscate everything, then check through all the stuff to see if Y’s iPad is in there. /Hee.

    • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

      I think her expectations of what JetBlue should do are odd. “I feel that at the very least, JetBlue should make a reasonable effort to investigate the situation and make a good faith effort to recover the stolen items”

      Really? How would you feel if JetBlue called you up and accused you of stealing something from someone who sat next to you? They have no proof that you did it, or that it was even stolen while on the plane, but they’re going to harass you anyway and accuse their customers of being thieves.

      Plus, she had already left the airport, took a taxi, and made it home before she noticed it was missing. It’s possible her things went missing during one of those points, rather than on the plane.

  10. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I wish I could think of anything that JetBlue or the police could do. If she has the iPad’s serial number, give that to the authorities.

    Beyond that, this is a lesson to check your belongings before you land. If you informed a flight attendent of the theft to begin with, police could have been at the gate when you arrived and the passengers could be questioned/searched/detained/etc.

    • Beeker26 says:

      This. I admit it’s pretty ballsy to steal stuff out of someone’s purse in the middle of a flight, but if it was a red eye I could definitely see it being possible.

      And while she was required to put her purse under the seat for takeoff and landing she’s NOT required to keep it there the whole flight. When I put stuff under my seat I always make sure the opening faces me and that it’s fully zipped up.

      If she had discovered the iPad was missing before the flight landed she might have had some recourse. But after the facts it’s too late.

      Not that it’s much comfort but the situation wouldn’t have been much different if this had happened someplace else. With no witnesses and no evidence to indicate a particular suspect the police would just take a report and be done with it.

  11. FireJayPa says:

    This is why they should check receipts when getting off the plane.

  12. detox98 says:

    When you check your bags you take a chance at your stuff being stolen. If it’s important to you then take it on board with you in a smaller case.

  13. chucklebuck says:

    She might be better off reporting it stolen Apple, assuming they or she can get the serial number of the device somehow. If somebody tries to buy or download apps, sync it with iTunes, etc, they may be able to figure out who’s doing it. Not saying they would or would share the info if they did, but it’s something else to try anyway.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      If she has AppleCare, she would have needed the serial number to register the warranty with Apple. I bet Apple could flag the serial number in case someone calls in with it.

    • kylere1 says:

      Apple has no ability to allow you to report a stolen device, pad or touch.

      i keep hearing people post about this, but I have actually talked to Apple.

      • stevenpdx says:

        Absolutely true. Apple has no recording or reporting system for stolen items. They will not take stolen-item calls beyond referring you to your local police department.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Yep, she should figure out who has jurisdiction (some big airports actually have their own police substations and would know what’s what) and report the theft. A quick Google search makes it look like jurisdiction belongs to the destination. She should be able to get the SN if she kept some of the packaging material.

  14. s25843 says:

    Why would she not think of filing a police report with the airport police? When I had a bag stolen at Boston Logan, I had to go to the state police station at the airport to file a police report for my insurance company

  15. slyabney says:

    Someone else I knew had their iPad go missing on a plane. They reported it as lost to Apple and two months later someone was in an Apple store trying to activate it under their Apple ID instead. Apple busted them and my friend eventually got their iPad back.

    So report it to Apple at least.

  16. Negative says:

    There was a crime committed. It has to fall under someone’s jurisdiction. Once it’s given to the proper authorities they would be able to get to the records of who was sitting around her. It would most likely fall under the destination airport’s jurisdiction. It would help if we knew which airport that was but I guess we’ll just have to go with what we have. She could always try contacting the airport’s administration or the TSA to find out the responsible agency or she may be able to file her complaint with them.

    Jetblue isn’t going to be much help since they’re just an airline. Would you call Greyhound if someone stole your stuff off the bus? No, you’d call the local police. (Well, some people might in an attempt at getting comps or something but they wouldn’t have anything to do with handling the actual crime.)

  17. LeonardoLeonardo says:

    “but Young just received a brush-off”

    Whoops. :)

  18. MeOhMy says:

    This person feels that JetBlue should make a reasonable effort to treat the people around her as suspects on the grounds that they had the misfortune to be stuck sitting near her? You think *those* customers are ever going to come back after JetBlue accuses them of a crime based on pretty much zero evidence?

    Come on…it really sucks that this happened but you have to take a step back and try to be a little rational.

  19. ARP says:

    Interesting jurisdictional issues. Federal? The state they were flying above?

    BOT- I feel bad for you, but I think you’re kind of stuck. It would be like leaving your bag in a stadium. They could investigate, but they’re not going to send people to fellow ticket-owners homes.

    • RandomHookup says:

      A quick online read indicates it’s probably where she landed.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Airport police at the landing airport… but don’t expect them not to do nothing. Nothing they can do unless some kind soul turns it in to lost-and-found.

  20. SonarTech52 says:

    My Friend Was Robbed On A JetBlue Flight — What Do I Do?

    No one was Robbed, it was allegedly taken while she was sleeping…which means there is nothing the Airlines can do.

    …Unless, they call Chief Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard. So they can subpoena the flight list and investigate everyone that was on the plane…Maybe they’ll find a man with a prostetic arm did it, or find that a bald black man was framed for doing it…

    • coren says:

      Yeah, when someone takes my stuff I’m not being robbed either.

      • SonarTech52 says:

        Im not sure if you are being sarcastic or what… but robbery and larceny are two different things…

        • Eyeheartpie says:

          In layman’s terms, robbery is when something is stolen from you. Legally, robbery implies use of force or intimidation. However, you imply there is some difference between the 2 by saying that since no one was robbed, the airline can’t do anything. This implies that if someone was actually, legally, robbed (vs had grand larceny committed against them), the airline could do something.

          So while you are technically right, your comment doesn’t really mean anything, since it’s true whether someone was robbed or had grand larceny committed against them. Grats on posting to show you know the difference between robbery and larceny.

          [Insert slow clap animated gif here]

          • SonarTech52 says:

            Thanks for dissecting my comment and trying to belittle me. Feel better about yourself?

            [Insert slow clap animated gif here]

        • coren says:

          And you think that if it were larceny (which it probably is, although I doubt that she or Phil was trying to use the correct legal term for what happened) that the airline couldn’t do anything v their ability to do something if it were robbery?

  21. outoftheblew says:

    I’m pretty sure she would know if she was robbed, since that involves taking by force or threat of harm.

    Frustrating situation, but I’m not sure what they expect to reasonably be done. She wasn’t watching her stuff. But it’d be nice if the airline had a more believable standard response. Something along the lines of “We’re taking this seriously.”

  22. danmac says:

    As frequent JetBlue customers, we look elsewhere when we book our flights unless JetBlue does something to make this right.

    Losing your business will cost JetBlue less money than the Law-and-Order-sized investigation you want them to launch. What do you expect from them? Should they hire ninjas to sneak into all the other passengers’ houses and steal back the ipad? Maybe super hackers to track them down on the world wide interweb? Perhaps they could employ CSI employees to go through airport footage, using advanced software to determine which passengers’ bags may have changed weight to compensate for the stolen device?

    Or do you actually want the airline to buy Sleeping Beauty a new iPad? Yeah, that’s what I think you really want. And that is not their responsibility. At all.

    • greggen says:

      JetBlue says call the police, police says talk to JetBlue..

      I would expect JetBlue to help with getting a police report for something that happened on one of their flights. It is something that the airline should do.

      • danmac says:

        The police were unwilling or able to even determine the precinct in which the crime was allegedly committed. So who was JetBlue supposed to talk to, exactly?

  23. Rachacha says:

    Just a couple of important points that the OP needs to fix if he wants this complaint taken seriously:

    “This is obviously a stupid thing to say, as FAA rules mandate that she stores her purse “under the seat in front” of her.”
    >>> Actually, you are only required to stow your belongings during take-off and landing. Once you are in the air you and keep all of your stuff on your lap if you desire.

    What proof or evidence does “Y” have to demonstrate to JetBlue that 1) she actually owned an iPad and $50 and 2) actually brought them with her on the plane and 3) had them stolen on the plane. I suspect none. If she had woken up in mid flight and noticed her things were missing and could describe some distinguishing features of the missing items, then perhaps the airline could have intervened, but waiting until she got home and unpacked to report missing items it is now simply her word.

    Assuming that Jet Blue was able to find a way to investigate nearby passengers, the most they could likely do is call up and ask if they happened to steal an iPad and $50 and when every passenger said “NO” there would not be much more they could do.

    I am afraid that “Y” is out of luck.
    I am afraid that “Y” is out of luck

    • RandomHookup says:

      I’m sure she has some proof that she bought an iPod. Most crimes are one person’s word against another. She doesn’t have to prove anything to report a crime, though it’s unlikely she will recover her property. She might have to prove ownership to her insurance company or credit card (if she has buyer’s protection).

      Yet, she is still SOL as far as JetBlue is concerned.

    • Sneeje says:

      And lap and under the seat are only two of three options. You can also stow the purse in the overhead bins.

  24. seamer says:

    1) Apple can track the iPad’s serial number. She’d have had to register it before it could be used.

    2) JetBlue knows who was supposed to sit behind her and next to her. Those would be the obvious starting points when passing the complaint on to the police.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Right, but JetBlue is not about to start accusing customers of stealing. Plus, there’s probably a legal reasons why JetBlue won’t call customers for something like this.

      • RandomHookup says:

        That’s for the police to do.

        • seamer says:

          That’s like saying the police won’t investigate ANY accusations of theft, regardless of what was stolen or how. It’s now safe to burgle houses just because the police won’t do anything without proof of prior ownership?

          • euroae says:

            The best jetblue in anycase can do is call the customers and ask if they found an iPad and 50$ on the plane. What do you think the thief will say? Voluntarily confess to the crime and turn himself in? No, he’s not.

            And the airline can’t also submit the passenger information to the police and tell them one of these people ALLEGEDLY MAY of stolen an iPad and/or 50$.

            First they don’t even have proof a crime ever was commited on the plane, it a passengers suspicious at best and she may of lost it at anytime between leaving the plane and getting home (Did she maybe leave her purse unattended after leaving the plane? turn her back for a minute while her purse was on a luggage cart perhaps?).

            And secondly, if the police showed up at your place because Jetblue reported a stolen ipad and volunteered your information without your consent because you were named as a possible thief by a random third party (passenger), what would you do? Likely be looking to sue for giving your information to the police without proof you even committed a crime.

          • euroae says:

            I’d also like to point out that if a thief managed to rob your house without leaving any sign of entry (i.e. lock bumping) then you’d be pretty much SOL.

            No sign of force entry = either a crime never occurred or if it did, it was due to negligence’s (i.e. left door unlocked and/or opened). In short, there was no proof of a crime so police won’t investigate and insurance company won’t pay out as well.

            for your reading pleasure:

            http://peterhgregory.wordpress.com/2007/07/14/most-residential-locks-susceptible-to-lock-bumping/

            • RandomHookup says:

              But that shouldn’t stop you from filing a police report anyway. Lack of evidence doesn’t mean there wasn’t a crime committed.

    • travel_nut says:

      And what, pray tell, would JetBlue do with this information? Hire a private investigator? Assemble a team of ninjas?

  25. Ichabod says:

    File under stupid. IF you don’t want your things stolen a little due diligence goes a long way.

  26. njack says:

    Person wasn’t robbed, they had stuff stolen. Robbed by definition implies threat of violence or use of force…ok enough nitpicking, time to blame the OP!

  27. KishuT says:

    She obviously forgot her ipad when she exited the plane and now wants the airline to pay for her mistake. I have a strong suspicion that the claim of missing $50 was to make the story sound more like a theft when she reported it, after getting home and remembering she left her ipad on the aircraft.

  28. Destra says:

    I think the limit of the airline’s responsibility here is to give the names and contact info to any investigating police. Anything else is beyond their call of duty.

  29. mblitch says:

    The tracking isn’t a featuer for newer iPads at all. Apple simply opened the MobileMe feature to the public for free. Just install the Apple (not a third party) app ‘Find iPhone’ on your devides and set up a MobileMe account (just using your apple login info). It works well and I in fact use it pretty often just at home to tell either my iPhone or iPad to make a sound when I lose one of them inside the home so I can easily locate it.

  30. daemonaquila says:

    Here’s the once-in-a-blue-moon situation where I’ll blame the OP when it comes to a problem on an airline. Seriously, you have to learn to be paranoid and check everything around you when you get off the plane. She didn’t have the items stolen on the flight, she forgot to take them out of the seat pocket. Her fault. Someone on the next flight, or a cleaner, or even a flight attendant, may have taken the valuables out and walked out with them. Sadly, there are more dishonest people than honest ones when tempted like that. What is the airline supposed to do? Put cameras on every seat so that people who forget their stuff will be able to trace who took it out? Suddenly sprout police powers and interrogate every staff person and every passenger on the plane after she left it? That’s ridiculous. She did the equivalent of leaving her iPad on a table at a crowded Starbucks and walking out, and only the next day realizing she didn’t have it. Her dumb move, her tough luck.

  31. cjnewbs says:

    The only thing that can be done is find out what the last IP address that accessed her email is. Depending on your email provider this may be displayed on your inbox page(Gmail), or will require a data protection act request (The process in the UK for example), or whatever the process is for your jurisdiction, or possibly file a subpoena for the data. With this information you are able to preform a reverse DNS lookup to find the domain owner, and then file a subpoena with the ISP for the allocated user of that IP at the date and time listed in the email provider logfile.

  32. michelsondl says:

    Why don’t people take responsibility for their own stupid actions anymore?

    Yea it would be nice if everyone in the world were honest enough to not steal, but if you live here on Earth with the rest of us, then the reality is that people do steal and you have the responsibility of protecting your stuff as much as possible.

    This reminds me of being back in grade school when some dumb kid would bring a cd player to school and it would get stolen or broken when they left it unattended. Then they would go whine to the principals office about it. In the end they always had to learn the hard lesson that their irresponsibility led to the whole problem.

    Suck it up, buy a new one of those overpriced devices, and move on. If you’re the type to leave a $500+ electronic device unattended for hours, then you must have enough $$ to get a new one with no problem.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      I feel older than my years when posters talk about kids with cd players way back in grade school.

  33. nautox says:

    I found a ipad on the floor in a jet blue airplane. Should I tell anybody?

  34. stevied says:

    Unfortunately, in these types of situations, for every legitimate claim of theft there are 2-3 highly irregular claims.

    Just today one of the regional newspapers is reporting a crime. Guy claims he met an attractive woman at a local casino, took her to his room at another casino, fell asleep and when he was awoke he was missing $150,000 in cash and jewelry.

    Everybody knows the hookers working that particular casino are amoung the ugliest women on the face of the planet. So the guy is lying when he says the woman was attractive. And who the hell takes a stranger into their hotel room… if you are staying at a hotel you go get another farking room so when you are done screwing around you can leave. Oh, and then there is the matter of $150,000 in cash and jewelry. If you are carrying around that much stuff then you might also be in a casino hotel that offers an inroom safe… use it next time.

    Which brings us back to the OP. How do we know the incident happened on the airplane, and for that matter how do we know for sure that the items really existed much less were stolen. The police didn’t believe her. The airline is highly suspicious. Next time don’t flaunt your high value goods and you won’t get ripped off.

    • stevenpdx says:

      Was it Charlie Sheen?

    • RandomHookup says:

      I’m sorry, people get a different room when they hook-up on a trip? Now most the guy’s story is BS, but I highly doubt folks are getting another room if they meet a random (unpaid) stranger when traveling.

  35. ThatsWhatSheSaid says:

    get over it, the ipad is gone forever, the odds of you finding it are slim to none, being that a british pound or whatever was left in her purse, i would say its safe to assume your ipad is probally in another country….if you bring electronics on a plane, lock it up if u leave your seat, or fall asleep….if it gets stolen oh well

  36. ckspores says:

    Honestly, this is why I check to make sure I have everything I got on the plane with before getting off. If someone waits until they get home to make sure they have all their stuff what do you honestly expect the airline to do?

    It sucks, but “Y” will never see the stuff again. This is a lesson learned. When getting off a plane make sure you have everything you boarded with. At least if you are diligent enough to check before you get off there is a shot that someone can actually do something.

    FYI, Jet Blue doesn’t care about losing a few customers. It is nothing compared to the bad press and loss of customers they’d get if they started interrogating all the passengers in proximity without cause. This isn’t Jet Blue’s fault so stop blaming them for it. They are an airline, not the police.

  37. failurate says:

    Probably should buy travel insurance if you are going to travel with electronics and other expensive items.

  38. gman863 says:

    Unless the thief got on the PA, swore at the passengers and grabbed a few beers before sliding down the emergency exit I doubt anyone either saw the theft or will do anything about it.

    On a more serious note, I have LoJack for Laptops (CompuTrace) installed on my Windows 7 notebook. If reported stolen, Lojack can track it based on IP addresses and send a signal to delete any files on the hard drive.

    Not sure if it’s available for Macs or iBooks, though.

  39. fauxrage says:

    “I feel that at the very least, JetBlue should make a reasonable effort to investigate the situation and make a good faith effort to recover the stolen items. “

    If I were a passenger on JetBlue and they contacted me after the flight to investigate a theft, I’d be furious and consider legal action. Why on earth does this woman think that the airline is going to spend time and money and alienate their other customers over 50 bucks and an IPod? It’s not exactly the crown jewels of England.

  40. dealbreaker says:

    The best chance of recovering a stolen item on a plane is to check your belongings before it reaches the gate. I had a colleague discover his laptop missing from under his seat after waking up at the end of his flight, similar to the OP. He quickly called his assistant while taxiing, who smartly called the airport police, which were at the gate before the plane arrived. The police required a quick bag check as people de-planed, which would have quickly discovered the suspect holding the stolen laptop. The thief however was very smart, as he removed the laptop mid-flight, brought it to the back of the plane and placed it in the overhead, where he would pretend to have forgotten after the plane was emptied in order to avoid obvious blame as the person in front or back of the victim. Luckily the laptop was noticed after all of the bags were checked by police and recovered successfully. The thief, though suspected to be behind the victim, could not be accused.

  41. gopena says:

    “Unfortunately, the iPad did not have the tracking technology that most new iPads have installed”

    … What? There’s only been one generation of iPad… Right?

  42. FatLynn says:

    I am late on this, but if you are still reading: tell Y to contact her insurance co, if she has renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. She may be covered.

  43. AI says:

    Wait wait wait, so the police have no way of determining jurisdiction? I bet if you assaulted the pilot mid-flight, they’d quickly find a jurisdiction.

  44. johnrhoward says:

    So JetBlue is supposed to piss off at least one, and possibly two innocent customers in order to investigate this? And even supposing they would do that, then what? The guilty person is going to confess and give the stuff back? I don’t understand what is supposed to happen here. It sucks that someone stole the woman’s stuff, but I don’t understand what she wants JetBlue to do about it. Even if they could somehow (by magic?) determine who the guilty party is, I don’t see how they have the power to do anything about it.

  45. SweetJustice says:

    This is the flyer’s fault. Why is JetBlue responsible? Rule #1 of traveling is keep an eye on your stuff.

  46. common_sense84 says:

    She is fucked. JetBlue doesn’t have to lift a finger. And the police between the destination and take off cities will pass the buck.

    Even if the police were going to help, they could do nothing. They cannot just harass the people sitting around her. They could at most call them and ask if they saw anything. If not, the case is done.

  47. JustaMe says:

    I have never had to tuck my purse under the seat in front of me. In this case, perhaps her purse was more of a piece of luggage (stretching the term purse to its extreme ends)…something that could not remain on your lap or hook around your ankle while on the flight. That’s the first thing that does not make sense. Secondly, why would she feel comfy napping without her valuable, cash and iPad on her person? We must act responsibly with our own possession.

  48. Generally_Agitated says:

    Junk post. On to real problems please…. tell your friend to stay awake or put her purse on her lap in flight

  49. herzzreh says:

    Airplane is just as much public transportation as a city bus. One reasonably expects that there is a possibility of getting robbed on the bus and there is nothing anyone could really do about it. Why does this not exist when traveling by an airplane?

  50. jenesaisrien says:

    prevention: Don’t trust anyone esp on a plane…consider not using or displaying your electronics during a flight at all…wear a (so what if its dorky) waist/lumbar pack w/ wallet,smaller valuables. Stay awake during landing and take off. When allowed, remove laptop,ipad etc from under seat, sit on it- padding it w sweater perhaps or place inside a pillow, or what have you and place next to you very close where it is unlikely to be removed while you are napping,;take with you said items while up to bathroom.I’ve successfully done all those things but haven’t tried: take a cable lock designed for such things and secure to someother heavier item in your seating area. Low tech -maybe some noisy items things,celophane bag with half open chips in it with crumbs everywhere that would cause people to notice……other ideas?

  51. OhWoW says:

    Sorry to hear about the loss….however, when i’m flying and have to stow my bag under the seat in front, i turn the bag so the zipper/drawcord is facing me and put my feet through the handles. That way if i go to sleep it’s gotta be one ballsy person that tries to pilfer anything inside.