Gongol.com Archives: June 2024

Brian Gongol

June 8, 2024

Aviation News Throw the book at 'em

An employee at an airport shop in Fort Lauderdale is charged with grand theft after a passenger tracked her luggage to his house after it went missing from the baggage carousel. This incident would be an excellent one out of which to make a very big example: Throw the book at the thief, and make sure that airport employees nationwide hear about it. ■ In particular, the victim's method of tracking down the luggage needs to be part of the story. She tracked an Apple Watch that was inside the suitcase. ■ Deterrence needs to be credible in order to be effective. Appropriate deterrence in this case requires that airport employees know and believe that there is both (a) a significant chance that anything they steal can and will be tracked, and (b) a high probability that they will face extremely unpleasant penalties if caught stealing. ■ The odds that the accused thief was working alone seem slim. Travelers are stripped of many of their normal defense mechanisms when they enter airports -- having to trust any number of unseen baggage handlers, security screeners, and other individuals along the way, all while themselves having to jump through many hoops to accommodate what oftentimes feels like little more than security theater. A single stolen suitcase may not seem like much, but if the authorities don't drop the hammer on all of the culprits involved, they risk undermining the essential trust that travelers must have in their handlers.

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