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Rise in thefts on board passenger planes

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Be extra vigilant when onboard aircraft as there has been a rise in robberies on board passenger planes. So far in 2015, 45 thefts have been reported (flights to HK) and 23 people have been arrested!

As reported by the Sunday Morning Post, In the first 7 months of 2015, 45 in-flight thefts were reported to the police on in-bound planes , which represents a huge rise compared with the same period in 2014.

2011: 21 cases were reported

2012: 71 cases

2013: 37 cases

2014: 48 cases

and in 7 months in 2015: 45 cases (it will be 77 cases in 2015 if it continues at this pace)

In most cases, cash, jewellery, phones/ devices and other valuables are stolen. In 2015 so far, around HK$3m have been stolen.

Don’t forget to also be super careful with security line theft. Worldwide, a study has been done explaining that more items go missing in the security line than from any other place at the airport.

Minimize your chance of theft by following the tips below:

1. Mark your bags
Make your luggage stand out from the rest so that no one can pretend being confused when handling or opening your property.

2. Place carry-on bags upside down
When you place your carry-on bag in the overhead compartment, turn it upside down, so the bag rests on the outer pocket (which often contains valuables) This makes it nearly impossible to un-zip that pocket.

3. Lock your carry-on bag

It’s safer to lock your carry-on bag so that it cannot be accessed while you are sleeping, or when you leave your seat to go to the airplane lavatory. 

4. Walk it through

If there is a long security line, your bags may clear the X-ray scanner before you make it through the metal detector. Wait until you are ready to walk through the machine before releasing your purse, wallet or laptop to the conveyor belt.

5. Stow it nearby
Once you’re on the airplane, keep your carry-on bag nearby. Some back-of-the-plane passengers think it’s smart to stow their bag in an overhead bin up front, for an easy grab during deplaning.

6. Bury your wallet and cash in your carry-on
If you put your billfold or any other valuables in your bag, don’t put them in the outermost compartments.

7. In business class, empty your pocket before hanging your jacket up
If you are in the habit of hanging your jacket or coat in the closet, take all your valuables — especially your wallet — out of the pockets. That’s the first place a thief will look. Both flight attendants and passengers can access the closet.

8. Watch your seat
Be careful when storing your bag under the seat in front of you; don’t face any pockets forward, or the passenger in front of you may walk off with your goods. Also, never leave anything of value on your seat when you leave it to go to the lavatory or to take a stroll.

9. Exercise common sense
Carry your purse in front of you, and keep your wallet out of your back pocket.

10. Speak up
Don’t overreact if you catch someone handling your bag (innocent mistakes do happen), but be firm nonetheless. Similarly, if you witness a theft, tell someone immediately — a flight attendant, gate agent, security guard — anyone. I‘m sure you would want their help if you were the victim.

If you board late, chances are your surrounding overhead compartments will be full, but the flight attendant will probably find space someplace else, or worst case, they take it from you and place it in the belly of the aircraft at the last-minute.   Make sure you take what youneed.

11. Anything You Really Care About, Wear It 

Four things are really important for you to have on the plane: your passport, credit card, cell phone, and essential prescription medications.

Photo credit and tips: www.CorporateTravelSafety.com

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