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High-end perfumes the first items to be sniffed out by airline baggage thieves

1 May 2019 4:06 PM
Consumer journo Wendy Knowler has the latest stats on airline theft and advises packing sought-after items in your hand luggage.

Given the reputation of Joburg's OR Tambo International (OR Tambo) for theft from baggage, it might surprise travellers to know that measured by number of bags per thousand tampered with, the airport comes in below the global average.

And it actually recorded a reduction in luggage tampering last year.

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler spoke to airport general manager Bongiwe Pityi-Vokwana, who said there can be a misconception about the amount of incidents over holiday periods like Christmas and Easter, because this is when people tend to post their experiences on social media.

(That's) when social media starts humming with these reports, especially if it's well-known people such as Anele Mdoda.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Knowler says expensive perfume comes out tops on the list of items coveted by thieves.

If you're into high-end perfumes, whatever you do don't pack them into your check-in luggage when you fly, particularly via or to OR Tambo International in Johannesburg.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Aside from packing valuable items in carry-on baggage, what else can travellers do to to protect themselves from theft?

Options include buying a luggage cover or having your bags wrapped at the airport.

It's R90 to wrap a bag, no matter the size (at OR Tambo).

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Knowler also advises listeners about claiming for losses and the compensation they can expect.

One tip is to take a photograph of your open suitcase once it's packed, for evidence.

For more on airline baggage theft and also follow-up on dodgy hotel booking sites, listen here:


1 May 2019 4:06 PM