Theft From Airline Passenger Baggage

Gao ID: OSI-94-18R April 28, 1994

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) property theft from checked airline passenger baggage at selected major U.S. airports; and (2) preemployment screening of baggage-handling personnel. GAO found that: (1) the ratio of theft from baggage to the number of passengers is low, but does demonstrate the vulnerability of baggage to unauthorized access; (2) airlines tend to handle theft complaints themselves and often do not report the thefts to the police; (3) some passengers make fraudulent theft claims; (4) some enforcement authorities believe the theft problems are due more to contractor personnel than airline direct-hire employees because contractor personnel receive lower wages and lack employment benefits; (5) airline employees and contractor personnel working on domestic flights are subject to an employment history check, while international flight personnel are subject to employment and criminal background checks; and (6) the Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of requiring criminal history background checks for air carrier and airport operations employees.

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.