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stolen item from checked-in luggage

One of my lens was stolen from my checked in luggage during my flight from Nairobi-Mumbai by Kenya Air. I didn’t noticed it until I got home and opened my bag. The airline said that they are not liable because I didn’t report it before I left airport. I am wondering if there are anything I can do. Does anyone have similar experience or know how to deal with cases like this? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

by [a former member] at 2010-05-10 09:54:34 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Things like that we all fear :(

by Ali André Nabulsi | 10 May 2010 10:05 | Copenhagen, Denmark | | Report spam→
sorry to hear this, i try to keep my kit in my carry on bag…



by John Robinson | 10 May 2010 11:05 | Durban, South Africa | | Report spam→
never let your gear out of your sight.

by David Lauer | 10 May 2010 12:05 | Chihuahua, Mexico | | Report spam→
The only thing I can think of is to report to your insurance company. Since anything can happen to your luggage at the airport and during the flight, I was told that when I purchased a new piece of luggage in Austria, the luggage warranty would not cover any damage sustained by flight/at the airport.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 10 May 2010 13:05 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
Yeah, you’re boned.

I second what David Lauer said, and add an emphatic “especially in Kenya.” I know more people that have lost equipment on Kenyan airlines and at the airport in Nairobi than just about anywhere else.

Not slamming the airlines or Kenya itself, but, since the airport is largely the gateway to east Africa, it attracts thieves like crazy.

by Will Seberger | 10 May 2010 17:05 | Tucson, Arizona, United States | | Report spam→
Sorry to hear about this but sticky fingers is a common problem in the airline – or any – industry, especially ones where penalties appear to be nonexistent. My best advice is to never check anything you don’t consider expendable and obtain a backpack big enough for all gear plus computer that is regulation size. I had a camera stolen (by a “colleague” in the loosest of quotations – may he see this and tremble with fear or at the very least know he did a very, very bad thing to a young freelancer and it cost me not a penny) on the Hill on inauguration day and hopefully insurance will cover the hard lesson as it did for me. If not or if you don’t have insurance, send me a personal message and I’m happy to refer you to my salesman, a good, Chicago guy…

by Amanda Rivkin | 10 May 2010 19:05 | Washington, United States | | Report spam→
Sorry to hear that Kuni. Guess you know you can’t check anything anymore. Carry it all on a hassle but only solution. Too many airports around world have organized gangs working with or sometimes as airport security and baggage handlers. When they screen you bags at Xray they can see what’s in them and plenty of time to go through contents before bags put on plane. I’m just wondering about gear on U.S. domestic flights. I’ve been overseas for 16 years where you can still lock your checked in bags and haven’t worked in the States much but my wife just got a Knight fellowship at Stanford and we’ll be off to the States for 9 months at end of summer. Not looking forward to all the hoops domestic carriers make you jump through with gear. Again sorry for loss but eventually everyone losses gear somehow. Not that it makes you feel any better.

by Christopher Brown | 11 May 2010 03:05 | bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
Thanks for the response, friends. It was 24-70 which I don’t usually use so I brought it as a backup. That’s why I put it in check-in bag. I can carry 2 bodies, 2 lenses and a laptop in my Lowpro backpack which I carry on but I have to check in all backups and other gear. Obviously nobody can carry “all” gear with you in a plane and something has to be checked in. I never had problem before but I guess I was just lucky.

by [former member] | 11 May 2010 05:05 (ed. May 11 2010) | Mumbai, India | | Report spam→
Sorry to hear your loss, never under any circumstances check gears with airlines, I rather cancel my flight then check-in.Good luck with your insurance company…

by Raffi Kirdi | 11 May 2010 10:05 | | Report spam→
sad news! we all learn! i take my kit on board!

by Musa | 11 May 2010 14:05 | Pristina, Kosovo | | Report spam→
To reemphasize Will Seberger’s and David Lauer’s point, keep it on you. Unfortunately, you have to assume your checked luggage will be foraged through. Everybody here seems to have stories about being ripped off. Joburg’s particularly notorious if you’re ever going through there. I had enough head’s up about Kenya to be cautious only to have a camera stolen in London. Go figure.

It’s a pisser. There’s really not a damn thing you can do about it other than complain. Insurance on your gear’s a possibility.

by Michael Barrientos | 11 May 2010 14:05 | maputo, Mozambique | | Report spam→
“Obviously nobody can carry “all” gear with you in a plane”

You can if you invest in something from Think Tank (www.thinktankphoto.com) to hold your gear.

In one of their Airport Ultralights I carry 3 Canon 5D bodies, 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 1.4x, 2x, two 580EX flashes, Minolta Autometer IV, off-camera flash cord, nine CF cards, lots of photo bits and pieces and a 15 inch MacBook Pro with accessories.

It’s small enough to fit in the overhead bin of an Embraer ERJ145 (with the laptop under the seat in front) and will easily fit in US domestic and international overheads.

by James Colburn | 13 May 2010 21:05 | McAllen, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Am sorry man. I never leave my kit out of sight and carry that on board as hand luggage. Truly sorry i was not able to touch base with you before you left Nairobi. Keep your head up Kuni, it could have been worse.

by Njue Murimi | 15 May 2010 03:05 | Nairobi, Kenya | | Report spam→
“You can if you invest in something from Think Tank (www.thinktankphoto.com) to hold your gear.”

I’m not so sure about that. I have a TT Airport International roller. Great bag. But loaded with my Nikon equivalent it weighs about 17KG.

The carry on limit is 7kg (unless you fly business and I don’t know many who do!) and many airlines are getting very rigid about checking.

I have this exact dilemma coming for a trip to India and have spoken at length to Singapore Airlines about it. The suggest declaring the value (about NZ$30,000) and paying the extra insurance levy . This will (apparently) mean that my bag will be handled completely differently from ordinary luggage. It will be hand collected at check-in, hand carried and stowed securely in board and then the reverse on arrival.

I’ve never done that before and only the fact that it is Singapore Airlines makes me consider it even remotely. I don’t yet know the cost either. I’ll post it here when they tell me which they said they would do soon.

On the one hand at least they are then aware that they have accepted a hugely expensive risk and can’t so easily weasel out of it if the bag goes missing or the gear is broken in transit. On the other, even if they pay up should it go walkabout, I’m still stuck without gear until I buy more so I am loath to let go of my gear. But if they won’t let me carry the weight on, what do I do then?

Has anyone else used this approach?

by Marcus Adams | 26 May 2010 12:05 | Wellington, New Zealand | | Report spam→
“Has anyone else used this approach? "

I haven’t tried this myself, but I’ve heard it often enough to bet that it would work. You can offer to remove gear from the bag and wear it on you onto the plane, so the weight of the bag is reduced to the required 7kg. Then repack the bag once you’re onboard. They can’t count the weight of gear that you’re wearing on your body, so your bag comes in under the limit and your gear gets on with you. Just keep an eye on that bag in flight…

by T.J. Kirkpatrick | 27 May 2010 14:05 | New York, NY, United States | | Report spam→
Well I work part time for the airlines so I thought I would chime in on this. As far as the original post, I am not sure what the laws are in Kenya but in the USA if you notice something missing from your bag when you get home, you can go back and make a claim. That being said if you know you are checking something expensive take a quick peek when you retrieve your bag. It will save you the hassle of going back. Every airline is different but most of the major airlines will cover up to about 2500 dollars for loss or damage. They won’t cover things like broken zippers, handles, and wheels. You can lock your bags. You need a TSA approved lock. You can by them at any travel store or probably even Walmart. Even with a lock though I would never put anything fragile like a computer or lens in my checked bags. I can promise you your bags are not treated kindly. As far as theft, yes it does happen and even with a lock it can happen but a lock will help keep the honest people honest and of course will make sure your bag doesn’t open accidentally. Even if it’s just your dirty laundry put a lock on it.

by Rustin Gudim | 30 May 2010 21:05 | Colorado, United States | | Report spam→

by Barry Milyovsky | 31 May 2010 01:05 | lost in the, United States | | Report spam→
Ha – Barry, that is hilarious.

And so true.

by Marcus Adams | 31 May 2010 01:05 | Wellington, New Zealand | | Report spam→
yeah, that is great, Barry, especially the pared down list at the end!!!

On a more serious note, I just got asked at an airport if I was carrying any expensive electronic equipment (no, not the dildo) like cameras in my baggage. The woman apologetically replied to my quandary that unfortunately people other than airline representatives handled the baggage, and that they could not be held responsible. I thought, Oh, shit, my bottle of Mescal!!!!

by David Lauer | 01 Jun 2010 01:06 | Chihuahua, Mexico | | Report spam→
How do ENG crews manage this?

Big video cameras and so on surely won’t be allowed as carry on? Yet they manage to get to where they have to be without loosing their kit – at least I assume they do since we see the footage on the news.

by Marcus Adams | 01 Jun 2010 03:06 | Wellington, New Zealand | | Report spam→
either fly private, or on commercial with locked pelican cases…

by Ethan Knight | 01 Jun 2010 08:06 | christchurch, New Zealand | | Report spam→
Fly BA & you might lose the lot.

by L--T | 04 Jun 2010 04:06 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→

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Ali André Nabulsi, Photographer Ali André Nabulsi
(Kongens Lyngby)
Copenhagen , Denmark ( CPH )
John Robinson, Photographer John Robinson
(works with light)
Pigeon Club , South Africa
David Lauer, photographer, translator David Lauer
photographer, translator
Chihuahua , Mexico
Tomoko Yamamoto, Multimedia Artist Tomoko Yamamoto
Multimedia Artist
Vienna , Austria
Will Seberger, Photojournalist Will Seberger
(Freelance Visual Journalist)
Tucson, Arizona , United States ( TUS )
Amanda Rivkin, Amanda Rivkin
Baku , Azerbaijan
Christopher Brown, photographer Christopher Brown
Cape Cod , United States
Raffi  Kirdi, Photojournalist Raffi Kirdi
Naples , Italy
Musa, Photojournalist Musa
Aleppo , Syria
Michael Barrientos, Photojournalist Michael Barrientos
Guayaquil , Ecuador
James Colburn, Photographer/Photo Editor James Colburn
Photographer/Photo Editor
Omaha, Nebraska , United States ( OMA )
Njue Murimi, Photojournalist & Fixer Njue Murimi
Photojournalist & Fixer
Nairobi , Kenya ( NBO )
Marcus Adams, Photographer & Guide Marcus Adams
Photographer & Guide
(Guide, Photographer & Fixer)
Singapore , Singapore
T.J. Kirkpatrick, photojournalist T.J. Kirkpatrick
New York, Ny , United States
Rustin Gudim, Photographer Rustin Gudim
Colorado , United States
Barry Milyovsky, totally unprofessional Barry Milyovsky
totally unprofessional
(emperor of ice cream )
New York , United States
Ethan Knight, Documentary Photographer Ethan Knight
Documentary Photographer
Bangkok , Thailand
L--T, Helipilot ATPL(H)CPL/IR L--T
Helipilot ATPL(H)CPL/IR
(Hokkaido. Japan)
Hokkaido , Japan


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