My IPOD was stolen by Airport Homeland Security Officials!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Delthalaz, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. Delthalaz, Oct 25, 2004
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2004
    Hey, this is my first post and I have no idea what to do.. sorry if I sound upset, but I am.

    It was a 40 GB Ipod that I got only in February as a birthday present.. this is very distressing for me.

    I flew from JFK to Cleveland yesterday and (stupidly) had my ipod in my luggage. I realized today when I unpacked that my IPOD was not there! I noticed that there is a "US Department of Homeland Security TSA-JFK Cleared" sticker on my luggage which means the bastards at JFK went through my luggage.

    This means my IPOD was stolen by the bastard TSA homeland security officials at JFK! What do I do? Who do I contact? (i.e. call the police? which police?)

    I suppose the airlines and the airport wave all responsibility for lost or stolen items.. is there any chance I'll get my ipod back or get reimbursed or something by anyone?
  2. macrumors 601


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Dude, that totally sucks. I had a similar thing happen to me, except it was my medicine (nothing serious, Claritan and Sudafed). I packed them in little plastic baggies and I guess they may have looked like illegal drugs.

    If I were you, I would call the airline and get contact numbers for the correct people to talk to. I would think that you'd get directed to Airport Police or someone.

    Good luck on getting your iPod back.

    BTW, if you don't get it back, you might want to check with your homeowner's insurance policy to see if they'll re-imburse you. Or maybe your credit card company will replace it (although this would be a longshot).
  3. macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Luggage handlers have an extremely horrific reputation for theft. There was a recent story on the news here in Los Angeles about luggage handlers caught on camera taking stuff.

    I would expect the airport management to give you the benefit of the doubt given this history, but they may pass you off with an, "At your own risk" type disclaimer. Check to see if the airport really has any sort of stipulation that dissolves them of any risk, or if they have a insurance clause. If they get hardline with you, I suppose you could resort to implying a lawsuit when talking with them, because this is extremely troubling when one cannot trust government sanctioned workers to have some sort of integrity.
  4. macrumors 601


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    I'm not a lawyer or anything, but I wouldn't think that the "at your own risk" defense would not work. First of all, the person at the check in never says "at your own risk". There's nothing in writing anywhere to that effect. Plus, if you locked your luggage, they will ask you to remove the locks, otherwise, you'll be called by security to unlock your bags.

    The more I think about it, the more I think the airlines should be responsible. If you can't trust the security workers with theft, how can you trust them with their Homeland Security duties.

    Maybe you should call the local newsstation. In Philly, they have an "on your side" guy that loves to do exposé pieces. If the airlines don't give you satisfaction, maybe you can take that route.
  5. macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Wow.... That bites the big one :( I've never been in this predicament, or have even flown before, so I can't give you any first-hand advice. I would suggest certainly calling the airport and telling them what happened. Did you actually see the people who went through your bag? The airport will most likely ask for the flight number, destination, time, etc. upon your explanation of the situation, so it might save some stress to have that information handy. Good luck, keep us updated!
  6. macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    I would say it's more the airport than the airlines that are responsible. However, since these security workers are now government employees, I imagine they probably answer to a "higher" authority. I would call the airport and see if they can point you in the right direction. I like the idea about calling the local news station. It's always fun to see the looks on these people's faces when cameras and reporters show up asking them difficult questions.
    Good luck!
  7. Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Save yourself a lot of time and heartache and get over it.

    It's gone for good, like it or not.

    Sorry it happened to you, but the sooner you move on the better.

    You're not getting it or compensation for it.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Why do you say that? How do you know?

    And sorry to hear about you 'pod. :( :mad: (btw, it's iPod, not IPOD)
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004

    That may work for you, but bending over and taking it does not work for me! If it were me I would follow it right through the the top of the airline, the top of the airport, the airport police, the local police, if they are government employees (state or federal?) your government representative, the local news papers, the local radio stations, the local tv stations, etc.

    Be firm, but polite. Put things in writing so you have copies, and provide copies of these and the responses to them to the media if you chose to go that route.

    Personally, I would start out with the airline, and the airport, at the same time. Find out who is in charge, and contact them in writing, with a phone call follow up. Whatever they say, if you are not happy with it, ask them to place their response in writing, and then ask who their superior is. Be firm, but polite. Yelling and swearing get you no where.

    At the same time, make a stolem property report with the police in charge of the location so there is a police number (you should probably do this first). Quote this police file number to the airport/airline people each time you write and speak with them as you work your way up the food chain.

    Always let them know that if they cannot find it, a replacement will do fine.

    Finally, after being firm and polite with them and getting everything in writing, inform them that you will now be cc'ing copies of your entire file and their responses to every media outlet you can, as well as to the better business bureau and whatever overseeing body looks over the airport.

    Whether you get it back or not, at least you know you fought it too the best of your ability. Nothing I have stated above costs you anything but time and energy. It is really up to you though.

    Good luck!

  10. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Daytona Beach
    Agreed. Remember if they think you might take legal action you are much more likely to get a replacement.
  11. macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Squeaky wheel gets the grease. Complain until you are hoarse. But be nice about it. Catch more flies with honey and all.
  12. macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    Did he break up with his girlfriend or something, sooner you move on the better :rolleyes:. If some f***er took my iPod I would be making some phone calls, not getting over it.

  13. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2003
    The good old paranoiac US of A ;-)

    maybe they thought you had a bomb in your iPod, a Bomb of music that is :p

    well well here in belgium we're all looking what will happen at election day... Huge Bush or Kerry Ketchup, porn lovers will vote for the Huge Bush not knowing that it's not a Website :p

    sorry about my sarcasm... I don't hate the USA, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's like the president likes to over-react on some things...

    We took your iPod for your own security!!!

    anyway its a shame it happened and I hope we'll see a happy ending on your iPod story!

    the best of luck

  14. macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    i know your sentiment, but i have to agree that he/she should just get over it. yeah, should call/write, etc., but don't get your hopes up. airports handle millions of passengers a day and there's only so much stink you can raise about a $500 iPod. (yeah, it's a lot for us, but it's nothing compared to the volume of luggage they go through and things that can go missing. good luck getting media involved - it's nothing compelling or shocking. they are very unlikely to do much. same for trying to sue them - court/lawyer fees will pile up way over the price of the iPod before you get anywhere. and to make the matter worse, how would you go about proving that the iPod was in there to begin with?)

    sorry to say, but i doubt there's much you can do.

    i am not sure if you implicitly sign something, but you aren't supposed to put anything valuable in the checked luggage. i know this will sound really bad and sucky, but they do tell you somewhere to take all the important stuff with you on to the plane.

    by the way, security will not call you or try to get in touch with you if you lock your luggage. they have the right to break the lock and inspect what's inside. it's illogical to expect them to call on every passenger who locks their luggage - they don't have the time or the means to do such a thing. they are just going to pry open the luggage, period. this is why they tell you not to lock the checked luggage.

    sorry to hear about it and sorry to sound so pessimistic, but i'd hate to get your hopes up.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 19, 2004
    I'll chime in with my deepest sympathies as well. :(

    However, I doubt you'll get it back. I really, really doubt it. You might stand a chance if whoever took it brags to another co-worker or something, but chances are, it's gone.

    That said, don't give up. You could still get reimbursement for it, I don't know. Just be gruff without being rude about it.

    If you want to play detective, keep your eye on Craigslist to see if it shows up on the New York page. You could also try keeping an eye out on eBay. (See if someone's selling an iPod like yours with little / no accessories ... ask them lots of questions about it, etc., see where that goes.)

    Anyway, just remember it could have been worse. At least it wasn't a laptop. Also, hey -- bright side -- you can upgrade to a fourth gen iPod now! :eek:
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Mar 19, 2004
    A series of tubes
    That really pisses me off. I used to lock my luggage (pre-9/11) to prevent an accidental opening due to those luggage goons who toss it about like a football.

    TSA is joke anyway. They aren't fooling me with their inefficient, feel-good "security" crap. :mad:
  17. macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    What I don't understand is why he didn't carry it with him on the plane. Isn't a great purpose for the iPod is to listen to it while on the plane, walking the terminals, waiting for the plane. I've traveled a ton this past year and would have gone insane without it.

  18. macrumors 65816


    Jun 14, 2002
    You cant prove without a doubt that the iPod was even in the luggage so I think youre S.O.L.
  19. macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2003
    San Jose, California
    The whole world will be watching this election, I'm not sure if people really know how important this election is. 8 days guys, 8 days.

    Good luck with this Delthalaz, I hope you get it back, or at least get compensation for it. :)
  20. macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2004
    seriously, F these playerhaters. Don't give up.
    Contact the TSA.

    they have a contact and claim center. if your claim is reputable you should be compensated.

    From the website:

    TSA Service Commitment
    Our common-sense approach borrows and adapts the best ideas from business and industry. The goal is not just to make people feel safe but to ensure that they really are safe.
    The Ability to Listen
    If you have questions, please call the Contact Center toll-free at 1-866-289-9673 during the following hours of operation (All times are Eastern Standard Time):
    Monday thru Friday 8 am - 10 pm
    Saturday, Sunday, Holidays 10 am - 6 pm
    You may also e-mail us (

    laims Management Office Operations

    If you have a complaint about missing baggage:
    Contact the airline. Most airlines recommend reporting missing bags at the airport within 24 hours and filling out an Air Carrier Claim Report within 30 to 45 days.

    If you have a lost or missing item which you believe was left at a TSA Screening or Baggage Checkpoint:

    Please call the TSA Contact Center at: 1-866-289-9673 or call the appropriate Lost & Found Department.

    For all other incidents involving damages:
    Please download and complete the following:
    SF-95 Form (PDF 224 KB)
    SF-95 Supplemental Information (PDF 99 KB
    SF-95 Instructions (PDF 88 KB)
    Locking Your Checked Baggage

    If the incident happened at one of the following five airports, choose the appropriate airport.
    San Francisco CA
    Kansas City, MO,
    Rochester, NY
    Tupalo, MI
    Jackson Hole, W
    For all other airports
    Submit the forms by mail to
    TSA Claims Management Office
    601 S. 12th Street - TSA 9
    Arlington, VA 22202
  21. macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2004
    Actually, maybe not the whole world. I can only speak for myself (abviously), and well, frankly, I couldn't care less :p
  22. macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    I NEVER transport my ipod, or powerbook or any other important electronic item in checked in carry on backpack is stuffed with my powerbook, ipod, 2 firewire drives (!!) , necessary cables etc..and one little toothbrush. It does suck because at every airport's security checkpoint I have to take my laptop out, and ask them to be careful with my backpack and not throw it around..but hey, atleast I am watching it. There's no way I could travel in peace with stuff like that in my checked in baggage.

    I don't think you will get your ipod back..first, you cannot prove that you had it in the bag in the first place. Secondly, even if they believe you, you really think they are going to check the recorded tapes for the time of arrival, the belt at which your bags arrived, etc. And what if the guys who stole it..did it from a spot where the camera couldnt record anything?
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2003
    Richmond, VA
    Hey Hobo, I'm one of those people who you so kindly refer to as a "luggage goon." I work for an express carrier in a medium-sized regional airport, and quite frankly I truly don't appreciate your classist comment. That being said, I may be able to help with the iPod problem.
    This kind of thing does happen from time to time (from my experience it has occured mostly with passengers traveling from poor island nations, but I'm sure it occurs all over the US too). Your airline most likely has a policy which should reimburse you for your stolen property. I would contact them first. The main potential problem you could face is your airline trying to pass the buck to TSA, and vice-versa. If this occurs, definetly be persistent, but also be very courteous with whom you speak (remember, the person you are speaking with 1. deals with this type of problem all of the time and even though it is very traumatic to you, it is routine for them 2. he/she was not the one who stole your iPod). This is a good rule for any airline problem you face: the person you are speaking to is trying to help you solve a problem that someone they've never met created in some other city, so treat them with respect.
    As for why bags get tossed around "like footballs," you must remeber that a baggage handler must lift, sort and organize hundreds of bags a day, and often times this must happen in a very short period of time. Furthermore, the cargo bins that you have to work in are often very small and do not afford the worker much room to manuver in very well (i.e. it's not possible to use proper lifting techniques) and as such, gently tossing bags around is a necessity. This is why you should always pack your baggage very carefully, and NEVER, EVER pack something that you cannot go without for several days in your checked baggage. (If you pack your car keys in your checked bag, and it gets lost, the airline will not rent you a car for the week, nor will they buy you medication if you packed it away in a checked bag). If it's important, always carry it on with you.
    Ok, I'll stop preaching the airline stuff now. But anyways, your airline should replace your iPod for you, Best of luck.
  24. macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
  25. macrumors 601


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast

    Good call about not packing stuff you can't live without. I was the one with the medicine. Luckily, I kept my Lactaid with me (since I was thinking about getting some pizza at the airport). Honestly, I thought that keeping my medicine with me might be more of a hassle if I had gotten checked at the x-ray machines. Then I would have to explain what these "unidentified" pills were. So I just packed them without thinking much about it.

    Anyways, do you work at Charlottesville for US Air Express? I used to take the flight to/from Philly every other week for about 2 years or so. All the people involved with UAExpress there were top notch. I really enjoyed that little airport. The atmosphere at the Philly airport is not quite as nice. Just can't beat the small(er) town attitude.


Share This Page