What prevents people from just taking random suitcases from the baggage claim area in airports and keeping what’s inside?

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What prevents people from just taking random suitcases from the baggage claim area in airports and keeping what’s inside?

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Nothing, other than you are committing a federal crime to have a good chance at stealing someone’s dirty shirts and the razor they use to shave their balls.

Also keep in mind, quite often the person who’s suitcase you would be taking is also avidly watching for their suitcase, so it would likely make a big scene. Not something most criminals want.

Nothing really.

There’s security cameras everywhere though, and the carousel is in full view of everyone so you’ll likely spot if someone grabs yours. Then you can simply call out and the ample witnesses may well ensure that the culprit doesn’t get away with it. Plus the airport security generally stationed at the exits would notice the commotion and prevent people from leaving until the issue is resolved.

All of this just acts as a deterrent though. It’s not 100% foolproof and there’s no guaranteed prevention method currently in place.

We are all warned never to put valuables in checked luggage, so all anyone stealing my case would get would be dirty laundry, worn out sneakers, some books and no-name shower products.
I have had a case go missing and the insurance valuation pretty much fits the above list.

As a frequent cruiser I live in fear of loosing my luggage so from this experience I have learned to always cross pack (half clothes in one case, half in the other). Plus we always make an excel checklist and a digital photo.

I’ve never *not* been stopped by a security guard when leaving the claim area and asked to prove the bags I have match the tags issued when I checked them in — everybody has to do that at every airport I’ve gone through.