Not since the Wright brothers took off at Kitty Hawk more than one hundred years ago has flying been such an act of faith.
How many baggage handlers are less than trustworthy?
From my personal experience, I’d have to say none. I have had the note or two mixed in with my belongings indicating my luggage was searched They’re always welcome to my dirty
underwear! I pack all real valuables in my carryon.
Given Jimmy and I currently have more miles on the ground than in the air I’m not exactly the best source when it comes to airport thefts, but there is ABC News. Armed with the Freedom of Information Act, this media mogul recently gained access to TSA’s records, specifically the number of employees fired for theft related infractions at major airports. Almost 400 have hit the road (for some that meant jail time) in the 9 year period from 2002 to 2011. According to TSA, that number represents only half of 1% of their total employees.
Miami International ranks twelfth in passenger volume, but is number one in TSA theft firings with 29 fired in the aforementioned 9-year period. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, second in the traffic that passes through this Midwest hub, ranks 20th in theft firings for the same period with 5 employees terminated. That sounds like America’s Heartland.
You can see the entire ABC News Report via this link as well as an extended interview with former TSA Screener, Pythias Brown, who suggested the TSA culture of indifference made his $800,000 crime spree over a 4-year period easy. It’s never easy taking responsibility for our own poor choices. Mr. Brown was convicted to three years in prison in 2009 for the hundreds if not thousands of cameras and laptops he pilfered from passengers’ checked luggage at New Jersey’s Newark Airport.
It was reassuring to note that the ABC News Investigation entitled, ‘The Case of the Missing iPad’, found all but one of the 10 iPads deliberately “left” in those airports with a history of theft were returned. You can also watch the ABC News interview of the Orlando TSA Screener at his home where the trail via a tracking device led the news team to the single lost iPad. That was investigative reporting at its finest.
I’m not holding my breath my friend Dave will recover his camera and computer, but you never know. Faith can move mountains; prayers can and do work miracles.