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A cautionary tale about items that went missing from our TSA inspected baggage

TSA at work
TSA at work
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

This is cautionary tale, something your LA Travel Diva Examiner should have known, but didn’t. Don’t make the same mistake.

Patti Pietschmann

We checked our bags for a recent flight to Maui. We flew from Los Angeles Airport on United, checked in at Terminal 7. When we arrived at our hotel and unpacked our bags we found a notice from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that one bag had been inspected. It had the time and date of the search written on it in ink. We didn’t think much of it as this is par for the course of travel these days. That was until we couldn’t find a flash drive and portable hard drive we had packed that contained valuable information and copy we had written.

We literally turned our bags upside down, shook them out and looked everywhere to no avail. We suspected one of three possibilities, that the objects fell out during the search, was stolen, or we left it home by mistake.

We arrived home last night and searched everywhere but it isn’t here. This is only the second time in all the years we’ve been traveling that something went missing from a bag—mostly because we rarely check bags. Since this was a 20-day trip it was necessary to pack extra and alter the routine. The last thing that disappeared from a checked bag was a gorgeous silver belt which I assumed I lost and didn’t do anything about it. This time we are sure that the flash drive and portable storage drive had been packed and went missing directly from our bag. So I called TSA.

There are two telephone numbers listed to call on the ‘notice of security inspection’ 1-866-289-9673 and 571-227-2900, along with an email: I called both numbers and waited through a very long menu before being being directed to call the airport at which the problem occurred and go through another menu. The number, 310-242-9073 led me to Yamin who took a report and said someone would get back to us in 72-hours or less and that if we didn’t hear we should call back. I will keep you posted.

Experienced travelers, we should have known better than to pack such valuable tools in our checked bag, so do learn from our experience and always carry your important or expensive item on the plane with you when you can.

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