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  1. #1

    Default Anyone Else Had Their Suitcase Broken Into and Gone Through?

    We just returned from a two week CN/CSA split and as usual it was great! We flew Sunwing from Calgary, Alberta and were quite late departing MBJ so lots of sitting around the airport. Anyway, an awful flight home: strong headwinds so had to divert to Winnipeg to refuel; took over an hour to do that; bad snowstorm blew in and had to have the runway plowed so we could take off (very scary). Landed in Calgary around 3 a.m. (should have landed at 10:15 p.m. earlier) and finally got home after 3:30 a.m., only to find that my bag had been broken into and gone through!! Zippered compartments and my toiletries case unzipped and searched, souvenir bags etc. opened to check contents and clothing tossed around. Any drugs I had were in my carry on so I don't think they actually took anything. I first noticed because the lock wasn't broken but it was zipped around the other side of the suitcase, not where I'd put it. I've seen Youtube videos of people just inserting a pen tip into the zipper teeth and sliding it along and, poof, your suitcase is open! Then after searching the bag they just move the zippers back around and you can't tell the bag's been broken into until you open it. So what's the point of even using a lock in the first place?! I guess locks are for honest people!

  2. #2


    I have not locked my suitcase for about 5 years. Never had an issue.

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    They just had a story on the news in the US about that same issue. It's the baggage handlers at the major airports. I bet they are doing the same things in Canada.

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    The new rule (2001) is that you do not lock your bags unless you use TSA locks they can unlock. If you lock your bags, they assume you are hiding something and they will look at your bags even closer.

    Just put your clothes and liquids in your checked bags and anything of value carry with you.
    Irie Mon

  5. #5


    I'm so sorry to hear about your experience! But I've been there! I talk about in in the board in my CSA review...Bad Start, Great Ending.

    We flew out of Orlando in Julywith Airtran and had a 2 hour delay. Plenty of time for someone to rummage through our bags. Arrived at CSA and hubby knew immediately somebody had been in it. I had hidden $150 in cash in an envelope inside an evening bag for a surprise dinner...gone. Hubby's shaving kit had been opened and my costume jewelry was strewn all over. Horrible way to begin a vacation. Also inside the bag was a TSA card informing us our bag had been inspected! I notified TSA, and Orlando Airport. Got a nice response from OIA. She suggested I contact Orlando Police. As she said...many hands touch your suitcases..very true. My guess it was a baggage handler along the way. And TSA has the right to open locked cases. I learned my lesson...

    So sorry you had to experience this...the times we live in I guess. We still managed to have wonderful week at CSA nonetheless.

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    Usually if it is TSA that checked/went through your bag they leave a letter telling you it was done. Never put anything of value in your checked bag!!!!

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    We got to CN a few years ago and found somones fancy empty watch box in our checked bag when we unpacked.

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    In 2009 we had booked our room and flight separate. We traveled American Airlines. When we arrived to our room and I unpacked, I couldn't find my 'brand new bottle of perfume (Obsession)'. I had left it in the box for extra protection from breaking. I thought that maybe I had forgotten to pack it. You know how you replay packing and I do remember putting it in the suit case, down on the side.........but then again maybe I didn't. It drove me crazy ! A couple weeks after returning I saw a news report that airline baggage handlers in Atlanta had been caught stealing from luggage. Ah, we had a lay over in Atlanta. I made a theft report to the airline, and was reimbursed for the full amount of my 'brand new bottle of perfume'. Just saw another report on TV the other day that this is happening again. But I said to my husband that we can't lock our suit we are still vulnerable to theft anywhere. I didn't consider my perfume a 'valuable item to carry on'. This January I will be very aware of what is packed, and if something is not there when I arrive to my room and unpack, I'll make another report. Haven't had any problems since 2009.

    Where do you get the TSA locks?

  9. #9


    We were told by TSA once "If it make you feel better puting a lock on". We still put the locks on anyway.

    Life is good

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    I DID have a brand new TSA lock on my brand new suitcase (Samsonite), but we had a direct flight and didn't touch down in the USA at all, so TSA didn't enter into the equation. That's only in the USA. This is the first time this has happened to us, and although I don't think anything is missing (I specifically do not leave anything of any value in my checked baggage), it's still so upsetting that all my things were pawed over. I'm guessing that it happened in Montego as we had such a long wait there and hardly any wait when we returned to Calgary. Why can't the manufacturers of those expensive suitcases make something that isn't so darn easy to get into?? I'd pay extra to have them install a zipper that takes more than a pen nib to open it!

    Oh, we just got an email from Sunwing asking for our feedback....and they're surely going to be hearing from us!! :-(

  11. #11


    So sorry to hear this, but glad you didn't have anything go missing. We have often had TSA go through our dive gear bag when we go through the USA, and I don't like it. They never pack things back as carefully as we do. Can't always pack it all in carry-on. We do put our dive computers in carry-on.
    Disconcerting that it's so easy to break in even with locks.
    In your case, if it happened during your wait in MBJ, it could happen with any airline. Unsettling.

  12. #12


    Ever since 9/11, all baggage is subject to check. It's posted all over every airport I've ever been in, as well as on airline websites, ticketing info, etc.

    Personally, if given a choice between a slightly messy bag or someone's bag containing a bomb NOT being searched, I choose the former.

    With all the loonies in this world, I say the more security, the better.

  13. #13


    Yes, just about every time we fly international we have to go through an extra security process. On our honeymoon in 2009 my husbands luggage had been ransacked to point of destroying the inner lining of his checked bag. I always get stopped before hand for the random baggage check. I'm beginning to think how random can this be? It's just now a running joke between the two of us that we need to show up to the airport a little bit earlier because we just expect it now.
    Matt has a really common name so he is on a no fly list, they have to call the FBI every time before our international flights to check him in. And like I said I get stopped every time to check my carry on bags.
    So this happening once I wouldn't worry to much about. I was at first really concerned about these issues but I've just learned that it happens and everything is going to be fine.

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    One year our luggage missed our connection in Atlanta. When it arrived the next day it looked ok but I found a ladies straw hat in it that wasn't mine. Later in the trip I realized was missing several pairs of underwear because I ran out on our 6th day even though I always pack more than needed. Still slightly weirded out about it.

  15. #15


    Sorry to hear this happened to you. It's sad that this is what the world has come to but also agree with a previous poster, I'd rather be safe than sorry. The good old days are gone forever. It's just all the more reason we just go carry on only now. After a few trips you figure out how to travel with only the necessities.

    CSA Aug. 2011, July 2012, July 2013, July 2014, Oct. 2015
    CSS Aug. 2011, Aug. 2014

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