Beware Of In Flight Theft {On Your Next Flight}

Post Last Modified – October 29, 2020

Beware In Flight Theft Is Definitely On The Rise

This is something that most of us really don’t think much about, but you should always beware of in – flight theft on airplanes. This, especially true on those long – haul flights on larger aircraft and with the dramatic increase in carry – on luggage and not opting to check their bags to save money.

In all the years we have been traveling, it really wasn’t something I thought about, until our last flight when my carry-on luggage had to be placed 7 rows back from where I was seated. The bins above my seats were already full when I boarded the aircraft for our 8 hour flight home. It occurred to me that anyone could open the bin and check out what may be inside some of my zipper compartments.

So as result when I got home, I started researching this topic and yes, theft committed on-board airplanes is definitely on the rise.

How Safe Is Your Carry On Baggage?

Airline Crew

Well, not very safe these days it seems! As commercial airliners get larger and larger, holding more and more people, it’s very easy for your carry -on luggage to get away from you as mine on our latest flight.

With these larger planes and more people, it ultimately leaves the door open for most anyone to open up your bag and have look.  In most cases, without others even giving it a second thought.

So the moral of the story here is, if you have valuables in your bags that you do not want to lose, then lock them up or carry them on your person.

Five Tips To Prevent Cabin Theft

Airplane Theft

📸   Lock those bags if you have valuables you do not want to lose;

📸   Never let your Passport, Important Documents and Cash out of your site;

📸   Keep zippers or other baggage openings facing inside the wall of the overhead bins to prevent easy access;

📸   Do not leave anything valuable unattended in the seat pocket in front of you;

📸   If placing items on the floor make sure they are in front of you and visible.


In Flight Thieves Are Everywhere

Beware of In Flight Theft
Here are just a few examples of recent thefts that people have been victims of on their flights.

“ Traveling alone, I was seated next to another lady and had my bag with a money purse on the floor next to me. As soon as we reached cruising altitude, I went to use the washroom. When I returned and ordered a drink with dinner, my money was all gone from my change purse.”

“ On a recent flight, I stuffed my wallet and a few belongings in the seat pouch in front of me to have a nap. I did not know the 2 others seated beside me. After the flight, I discovered my money and credit cards missing from my wallet.”

“ I travel with carry on only and on this overnight flight, I had my bag and expensive jacket stowed in the overhead bin a few rows back. After the flight, it was discovered that my jacket was gone! No one had seen anything as most were sleeping during the flight.”


How many times have you taken flights without even thinking that this could ever happen? I know we have, and have taken several long haul flights over the years.  But now after this rude awakening, things certainly are going to be different when we travel by air and how we manage our carry on bags.

Beware of In Flight Theft – A Few Things to Remember

Flight Attendant Closing Overhead Bin

Some people mistakenly think crew members are responsible for the safe keeping of your baggage in overhead bins or elsewhere.   Wrong! It’s not the flight attendants responsibility to look after your bags anywhere, anytime!

Even though you are in a confined space when flying, there are amateur and professional thieves out there just waiting for the opportunity to strike. If the opportunity presents itself, they will steal from you, no matter how little the theft may be.  I was a police officer for 30 years and I know that people will befriend you and at the right moment, will steal from you in heart beat!

Always remember that person seated next to you is a stranger. Would you leave your wallet or purse unattended in a restaurant or bar and go use the washroom? It really is no different on an airplane.

Never Leave Your Valuables Unattended

air travel theft

Never let your guard down with your valuables on an airplane or anywhere else for that matter. Be diligent and aware of your surroundings and those around you, especially when traveling.

Professionals often work in pairs even on airplanes, so again, do not leave your precious valuables or items unattended or in unlocked baggage. This is especially the case on overnight long haul flights.



In finishing up here, if you do travel with expensive items such as laptops, cameras, cell phones and other items, consider purchasing travel insurance to cover loss or theft.

Safe and Healthy Travels! 🙂

signature of author and owner Robert Tellier at

Did You Know …

“Qantas Airways is the world’s 2nd oldest airline, established in 1920.”

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