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Consumer Law

Unhappy Holidays May Await Flyers Who Put Valuable Items in Checked Bags

Posted Dec 17, 2009 8:20 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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If you're thinking about putting jewelry or a laptop computer in a checked bag when taking a holiday flight, you might want to think again.

Theft of valuables from luggage—often by airline employees or other airport workers—has gone up a lot lately. And airlines routinely deny passenger claims for reimbursement for such thefts, because the standard "contract of carriage" included in airline tickets excludes liability for lost or stolen valuables including laptop computers, cameras, other electronic equipment and art, reports the Wall Street Journal.

"There's been a tremendous increase in the last five years," says an unidentified prosecutor at the Queens County district attorney's office in New York of the luggage thefts. "It's pretty bad—a lot is getting stolen every day."

If you can't carry a valuable item with you on board, you're better off shipping it to your destination, insured, the newspaper advises.

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