Posted by: sabrina | June 2, 2010

Terrible Travel (II): “Snakes” on a plane

VANISHING passports, stolen digital cameras, lost cash – and the holidays are literally over.

NEW ZEALAND HERALD: Jim Eagles’ story tells of people who have become victims of yet another form of holiday scams: in-flight thieves.

An overseas holiday without a passport is almost impossible. Stolen cash or expensive itmes such as cameras is almost as devastating for a traveler.

DANGER ZONE: Secure your luggage in the overhead locker and give in-flight thieves no chance to steal. (pic:

In-flight thieves often operate according to the book, airline staff and industry bloggers know:

“There is a false sense of security on a plane,” says industry blogger Steven Frischling when talking to the NZ HERALD.

He says people felt save because of being “confined in a metal tube”.

At, a collection of blogs gives advice on how to travel smarter. Flying With Fish gives you an overview on how in-flight thieves operate and how you protect yourself. – read more

What to do about in-flight thieves: Tipps and recommendations from airline staff and flyingfish

  • Watch your baggage/keep it close to your seat
  • Keep passports, money and other travel documents close to your body, e. g. in a carrier that goes around your neck or in a secure bag at your feet
  • Make sure your bags in the overhead locker are rather hard for thieves to get their hand into (lock them with a little lock, turn the bag around, so that the zipper doesn’t face the front,…)
  • If you witness someone looking through bags in an overhead locker, call the stewardess

COMMENT: Yes, in-flight thieves are a danger travelers should be aware of. And yes, it is somehow a topic that could be seen as “always current”. And yet, this is not an excuse for news papers or media agencies to use “old” news to fill space.
While researching in-flight burglary statistics, I found this article from February – telling exactly the same story as the NZ Herald story from yesterday. It’s about a man from Washington, Gregory Hendricks, and his wife, who is missing her passport after a flight to France. But, please, read yourselves:, February 17, 2010:

And then we have the NZ Herald, June 1, 2010:

Coincidence? I doubt it. Promising “new” news, but delivering old news… sorry, NZ HERALD, but that concept and those work ethics are some I don’t like. At least some attribution to globalpost (or whoever published it first) would have been nice.



  1. I really interested in your post. Actually I posted a similar related article in my blog regarding this issue.


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