Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Airport security, broken lock and my missing articles

On Tuesday evening I returned from New York to Montreal. I took the flight from La Guardia city airport in New York and landed at the Pierre Elliott Trudea International Airport, Montreal. After clearing the immigration while collecting my baggage I noticed that there were hardly any baggage at the check-in point. I suppose New York-Montreal being just a 75-minute flight from city airport, most passengers travel with hand luggage.
After reaching my place of stay in Montreal, I suddenly realized that the lock on my baggage was missing and the clip that held the lock was ripped apart. I first thought it must be due to mishandling of the baggage at the airport. No one would have the guts to do such a thing in a flight that originated from a high security New York Airport and at the backdrop of the Osama incident when security is already on a high alert.
On looking closely at the bad it seemed like a handiwork for which some kind of plier was used to tear out the lock. On opening the bag I found that the items not in the original order and my pair of Prada shoes and Mont Blanc sunglasses were missing. I was shocked and realized that someone had forced open the baggage by breaking the lock, sifted through the belongings and taken away two expensive branded items.
All this happened during the security check and by someone in line of duty and at the New York-Montreal route which is one of the world's leading flight routes with most elaborate security infrastructure and protocols.
There is nothing much I can do about it. As per the rules, I should have informed the airport authorities or to the airlines before coming out of the airport premises. Never in my wildest dream could I imagine such a thing could happen. I have travelled to almost all the continents in the world and nothing had ever gone missing from my baggage at the airports.
Due to heightened security at airports in the US, all checked luggage can be inspected by airport security and may need to be opened for inspection if need be. The Airport security is so determined to gain access to inspect that they will break the luggage lock if the lock isn't TSA certified. The outcome of this luggage inspection is clipped locks and cut locks for travelers. But my bag had a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) security-compliant lock approved by the US customs.
I am still trying to fathom as to how could this happen and that too an airport with heightened security. Let me mention that while boarding at the Montreal airport, passengers are shown their baggage at the gate of the aircraft for verification and confirmation that it belongs to them.
I intend to write to the Airlines to at least keep them posted of what is going on under their very nose. I would have overlooked had something small gone missing but expensive branded shoes and sunglasses sure alludes to an active well-organised racket.
ess bee

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