Advice On Hand Baggage Security Measures

By: Victor Epand

Of all the types of baggage, carryon hand baggage is certainly the most secure, simply because it usually stays with you, or at least it should stay with you, at all times. Therefore, you can give it your own personal attention.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that thieves are very aware that of all the types of luggage to be most likely to contain items worth stealing, it is this same carryon hand luggage. Wallets, purses, tickets, passports and other small expensive items are usually the ones to be found in this type of luggage.

It is well worth knowing not only the sorts of techniques thieves use to acquire either your bag or the items in it, but also methods you can use to guard against such theft.

The most obvious method of stealing a bag is to remove the entire bag from your possession. This can only be possible if your attention is distracted, and you are not physically holding the bag. This seems an unlikely situation to find yourself in, and yet remarkably, is all too common.

Sliding your bag under your chair while you sit down on the chair may seem reasonably secure, perhaps allowing you the opportunity to enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of other tired tourists, or watching the departure board. But this also allows any would-be thief the opportunity to slide your bag backwards under your seat and calmly walk off with it unnoticed.

Perhaps you have wisely thought ahead and considered such a possibility, and lifted your chair, sliding the handle of your bag under the leg, to prevent someone from sliding your bag away. However, in truth, this does very little to stop all but the most casual of thieves who will simply use scissors or a knife to cut the strap that is hooked under you chair leg, and then remove the bag jut as easily.

There are manufacturers who produce bags with slash proof handles. Although not entirely cut proof, because the handles have woven into them a metal mesh, they do prove far more durable and much harder to cut through without it being extremely obvious what you are doing. A bag that has these handles could be looped under chair leg and be considered reasonably secure.

Of course, would be thieves have a number of other tricks up their slips, especially focusing on sagging zips. Clearly a zip is very easy to undo, relatively unnoticed, and if the bag is over your shoulder in a crowd, it is easy to slide the zip open and remove the contents. Perhaps, again, you have thought ahead to this eventuality and bought a small padlock which will loop through the zip hasp and lock it at the closed end. There are ways, however, of undoing any zip from the opposite end to the hasp.

Where the zip joins the material there will be a weak spot, and poking a ball point pen or other sharp object between the teeth of the zip will pop it open, and allow the whole zip to pop open its full length, allowing easy extraction of the items with no regard to the lock.

Again, manufacturers have addressed this problem, and today it is possible to purchase bags which have zips built in such a way as to prevent this method of forcing open a zip. It is true that these bags are more expensive, but the peace of mind they bring would be considered worth every penny should you have been unfortunate enough to have experienced a theft yourself.

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