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TSA theft?
Rich Pilling, Photographer
Jackson | NJ | U.S.A. | Posted: 9:25 AM on 02.23.13
->> It appears that my Nikon 1.4X tele-extender went missing from a bag which I had checked at Newark Airport. I was flying on United Airlines. Who is responsible for this? Me? TSA? United? Do I have any chance of recouping the money for this lost item? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks, RP
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 9:53 AM on 02.23.13
->> TSA dropped my old 120-300 SIgma when they inspected my Pelican case a couple years back, a $400 repair, and miraculously, their "investigation" proved TSA didn't do it. They are 100% crooked. Good luck getting any response, especially if the sequester goes through, because all the administrators you would need to yell at will be furloughed.

In all seriousness, if you know it was in there when you checked it, and it wasn't in there immediately after the flight...and it is a locked case...file a theft report first. It will let them know you are serious. Once you have a theft report on file, it is a little harder for them to make it go away.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 10:00 AM on 02.23.13
->> From the United website:
"Missing items

Missing items from baggage should be reported to the airport Baggage Service Office immediately after the arrival of your flight, but must be reported to United Airlines in writing no later than four hours after discovery. Missing items may be reported to the United Airlines Baggage Resolution Service Center at its 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, toll-free number: 1-800-335-BAGS ( 1-800-335-2247 ). If the toll-free number is not available in your area, please call 1-281-821-3526 .

Claim form for checked baggage that is missing items

For your convenience, the claim form is available for download in Adobe PDF format in English (230 KB), French (245 KB), Spanish (246 KB) and Portuguese (243 KB).

Documents may require the Adobe Acrobat reader, available for free from Adobe for Windows, Macintosh, UNIX and other platforms."
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Gene Boyars, Photographer
Matawan | NJ | United States | Posted: 11:53 AM on 02.23.13
->> The bad news is they don't cover anything of value like camera gear, electronics or jewelry. You should file a claim anyway because that is your proof for your own insurance. TSA is a horror show, plain and simple, baggage handlers are even worst.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 2:52 PM on 02.23.13
->> Why are you checking equipment?

If you have to ship, an alternative which some photographers do is to purchase a cheap starter's pistol and put the unloaded weapon in with your gear and declare its presense. With the gun inside you can padlock the case and it will subject to a higher level of security during transit -- like sending a registered letter in the mail.
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Steven Limentani, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | United States | Posted: 8:35 PM on 02.23.13
->> I have used Doug's approach routinely with Pelican cases. You can lock with non-TSA locks. They must allow you to be present if they want to look inside. I have had TSA ask for the key so that they could unlock the case in the TSA area. I refused and told them they had to bring the case out so that they could do it in my presence. Good thing, the guy who looked at everything was ready to stick his fingers inside the lens. Lately, I have not had them ask to look inside the case. Make sure that if you do this that you are in a place where you can hear an overhead page. I also give them my cell phone number.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 9:36 PM on 02.23.13
->> Steven, Why the reference to being able to hear an overhead page?

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Jamie Sabau, Photographer
Columbus | OH | US | Posted: 10:46 PM on 02.23.13
->> Mark,

"Paging Mr. Limentani. Please report to the TSA counter," or something like that.
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James Durbin, Photographer
Midland | Texas | USA | Posted: 12:32 AM on 02.24.13
->> VERY interesting idea with the starter pistol. But why not just use a real gun?? I kid. Texas has been rubbing off on me.

But back on topic, unfortunately the airlines and TSA seem to be quite good at managing to avoid liability for stolen electronics. I had a fairly expensive radar detector stolen out of a checked bag once and found out that really nobody but myself was liable for it being missing according to their policies. Its just a crooked system.
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Steven Limentani, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | United States | Posted: 1:48 AM on 02.24.13
->> Mark, you have to be available to unlock your case for inspection. Usually they contact you by overhead page.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 11:15 AM on 02.24.13
->> Before you run out and buy a starter pistol, you might want to check the laws of not only where you live, but where you might be traveling and in possession of said firearm - particularly New York City. The following is a correction published by the New York Times about a story discussing using starter pistols to secure your luggage. Note the statement at the end that a NYPD spokesman stated that they require a permit. It would really suck to get arrested in the airport when you declare your starter pistol.


The cover article this weekend about travel advice from frequent travelers in Silicon Valley refers incompletely to the legal issues surrounding one such tip, by the author Tim Ferriss, who discussed packing a starter pistol and declaring it at check-in as a way to insure that a checked bag is not lost. While Transportation Security Administration rules allow such items if properly declared and locked, some local jurisdictions, including New York City, have stricter rules. (A spokesman for the New York Police Department said starter pistols are illegal without a permit.)"
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Thread Title: TSA theft?
Thread Started By: Rich Pilling
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