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Author: judithfabris

Joined: 7/19/2012
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2012

July 19, 2012

Watch your passport- mine was stolen in secuity in Amsterdam, according to the American Embassy.  It was in my passport holder, stuck way down, with my boarding passes. I was told to remove the holder and put it in one of the trays.  I didn't check when it came out, but my boarding pass was a little rumpled.  My 18 hours of isolation and detention in Romania was no fun.  I felt like I was treated like a terrorist. I was held in an ice cold section of the airport, with only a metal chair to sit on.  I walked most of the night in the area to try and stay warm.  I wasn't allowed to call the Embassy.  When they did call it was after hours, someone answered the phone, I gave them my name, told them my passport had been stolen, and I was meeting my tour group in Bucharest to go up the Danube. Less than 30 seconds on the phone, and it was torn from my hand, and hung up. I had to sign deportation papers. It was a scary 18 hours, and I wound up with acute bronchitis.  Now on the nice side, the trip was fabulous, even though I was a zombie the first two days. Our tour directors were wonderful, the staff absolutely fabulous, the masseuse a dream, the captain delightful.  I can't say enough about the MS River Concerto.  Even with the terrifying moments in captivity- I shall never forget the incredible journey up the Danube.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 255
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

July 19, 2012

What a horrid experience you had!  I'm trying to imagine how your passport could have been stolen in security and what you could have done to prevent it.  So you have any ideas on this?

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2007

July 19, 2012

 Judith's experience is indeed horrid, but we're not surprised.  We have experienced thefts from the TSA and other security agencies stealing suitcase locks, so we're not surprised that now those security agents have moved onto bigger items.  

Janice asked for suggestions.  We remove all our valuables and papers prior to going through security and place them in a closed knapsack, which has to be handles and opened.  We watch until the knapsack goes into the X-ray and we are right there when it comes out the other end.  Of course, nothing is foolproof, but it's the best we can offer.  Hope it helps. 

Author: avalarue

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 63
Trips Taken: 7
Traveler Since: 2008

July 19, 2012

Would this have been one of those times when a copy of your passport would suffice? I always keep copies in my bags, but never have come across this problem. We will fly out of Bucharest next summer and I will take extra care with my passport in security!

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 884
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 19, 2012

No, the copy wouldn't suffice.  Any border official wants to see the official original passport with all the necessary signatures and the official seal of the United States.  I do the same as 7C; my papers are in a closed bag, and I try to keep my eyes on it as much as I can when going through security.  And I do check everything once I have all my stuff, even before I put my shoes back on.

That was a terrible experience, Judith, and I'm glad the rest of your trip was better.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 442
Trips Taken: 15
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

July 19, 2012

 Unfortunaely, if there is collusion among the security staff, and I don't how there couldn't be in this case, they can distract you in various ways, such as puting you through the scanner multiple times, doing at pat down, etc. The only long term solution is to upgrade the security staff, both in standards and pay. which, in the long run, we cost us more to fly. High turnover low paid employees are too great a risk. Even if you discover the theft immediately upon getting your property back, and report it, your property has probably already been handed of, but the sooner you know, the better your chances.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2007

July 19, 2012

 We won't disagree with nanaandpapa that collusion is a factor in thefts by security agenciy personnel.  We read about such 'pnside jobs' almost daily in our local papers, which transcend a number of procedures.   However, we won't say that thefts are due primarily due to the low pay and training.  Think Bernie Madoff, Peregrine Investments, and of course Barclay's Bank and their LIBOR scam.  What happens at the airport is merely a bit more direct.  But it's still disheartening.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 467
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

July 20, 2012

I do what others have suggested, put passport, watch and any other valuables in a zipper compartment in my purse and try to keep an eye on it. But, as nanapapa wrote, I have been pulled out for pat-downs and questions a few times and could not watch the process. The best solution is to check to see if your valuables are there before leaving the security area.

Having a copy wouldn't help entering a country, but would be proof that she actually had a passport and perhaps shortened the waiting time.

Author: nytony

Joined: 10/16/2010
Posts: 5
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2003

August 14, 2012

The theft of possessions whie going thrugh security is something that I have feared for some time. Both my husband and I have medical metals-he a pacemaker and I a hip. We are both pulled aside for a pat down while our possessions go merrily through the exray machine. Often neither of us is available to pick up our possessions as they exit the exray and the TSA people are sometims slow to pick up our stuff. The best solutipon that we have devised is for us to split up...one going b efore the other so that one of us is available to retrieve our possessions while the other one is being screened.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 216
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

August 14, 2012

My  husband and I have the same problem as nytony going through security; we both have knee replacements and I may have plastic or metal screws in my toes. 

First, night before we  leave we stay at the hotel and the next morning , we take off all of our medic alert bracelets, watches and don't wear any jewelry.     I have a personal bag like a satchel; in that I put a purse that is lightweight and that has my medications in, and I'll use this on the trip .   After checking in at the Ariline desk for boarding passes/baggage check-in, I take my boarding pass/passport case off my neck and put it in the satchel or purse, mostly a zipperd compartment.  I keep the passport and boarding pass in my hand.  The purse zipper is left open, the satchel zipper partially open.    I go through the preliminary desk where the guard looks at the passport and boarding pass. I ask if I need the passport to go through the screening.  I am always told NO, so I quickly put my passport in the purse, zip it up.  If I have time, there is a lock on the purse and I will lock it, but not always possible, and zip the satchel as well.   I have already taken off my jacket (it's warm here anyway), and put it on top of my purse in the satchel. Then when I get to the trays and take off my shoes, I don't  have anything in my hand except my paper boarding pass.  The satchel and my wheeled carry on are the only bags on the conveyor plus the gray box with my shoes.    So, anyone going through my bags has to work at it.  I am always screened and patted down, sometimes our handcarries are sitting at the end of the belt  at least 10 minutes while we are being wanded.  Yes, I worry, but I keep my eye on them as much as I can.  Sometimes they want to see something in my satchel or my husband's small duffle with cameras/netbook.  They wait for us to finish being wanded.  But the guards are always laughing and talking, so that doubly worries me about the bags.

We did try doing what nytony said, one going through first.  That means the second person has to have all the bags/wheeled cases for both of us going through the belt.  Then the second person gets screened, the first person picks up all the bags.  Sometimes Security is confused and thinking we are taking someone elses bag, but it hasn't been a problem when we did that.  But, we haven't done that in a long while.  Most of our flights are early in the morning when we depart on vacation, so there aren't a lot of people around and security goes fast then.

In May when we were going to Ireland, my husband, being sometimes harried,, forgot to put his passport in  his small duffle after the initial security check , carried it in his hand, they made him put it in a box, luckily his box with shoes was not yet through the screening; he put the passport in there, but when he got his shoes, he forgot to pick up the passport.  I realized right away and rushed to the belt end and asked the guard.  It could have been pretty bad had we not noticed it.  I now try to keep an eye on all of our stuff.  That's what I meant in another thread that we may have to re-think traveling due to medical reasons.

Each person/couple has to do what works best for them.  I traveled for my job about every 4-6 weeks by plane for 5+ years;, so I tried a lot of ways, and the way we do it now works best for us.

Author: gmechoc

Joined: 5/19/2011
Posts: 27
Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2011

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 442
Trips Taken: 15
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

August 28, 2012

 In general TSA will not allow you to put it in either your hand or pocket and will not allow neck wallets, etc.. It will have to go in a bin, Hopefully you can put it in a clothing item or carryon in the bin, so that it is out of sight, and make sure that you retrieve and check it as soon as possible, A shoe might be a suitable place, as you will have to remove it to put the shoe on, as long as you do not travel in in open shoes, such as sandals.

Author: franniepat

Joined: 3/11/2010
Posts: 42
Trips Taken: 9
Countries Visited:

Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, Western US parks.

Traveler Since: 2008

August 28, 2012

I have always carried my passport and walked with it through the scanner. Never had any problems.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 884
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 29, 2012

They always make me empty my pockets, even of dirty kleenex.  And hold nothing in my hands.  You must look much more honest than I do.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 467
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

August 29, 2012

"I have always carried my passport and walked with it through the scanner. Never had any problems."

I have. I had it my hand once and the agent took it and put it in a bin. Unfortunately, it was the wrong one and someone walked off with it, but brouight it back when he realized the mistake. 

I don't understand why you can't hold your passport going through the scanner but many airports do not allow it. I now put it into my zipped purse. 

Author: gibbsgirl

Joined: 6/4/2012
Posts: 11
Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2011

August 29, 2012

Judith,

I was wondering how you finally resolved the passport problem.  Was the US Embassy able to help you?

What a terrible situation -- thank goodness the remainder of the trip was good.

 

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 216
Trips Taken: 11
Traveler Since: 1995

August 29, 2012

Going back to today's post from gmechoc (love the handle), nanaandpapa answered the question of NOT holding the passport.  Just after showing the first security officer the passport and h/she looks at it, enters numbers, etc. and  hands it back to me.  At that point I put the passport away preferably in a zippered compartment in my satchel/purse.  They do require you to show the boarding pass when going through the security "door", and it is permitted to hold the boarding pass then, or if we need to be wanded, which we do. 

franniepat must fly from a very small airport to be able to hold the passport.  In all my 23 years of constant travel, we were never allowed to hold the passport in our hand.  I can't figure out what is in that passport that would be a security problem, unless the metallic stripes that have things embedded would be compromised from the scaners. 

More than once, early on in my travels, I used to hold my passport, too.  But in the last 20 years, they would always take it from me and sometimes have to put it in a bin by itself.  Once I forgot to take off my secure belly pack with jewelry,  money, and credit cards I wear around my waist under my slacks, and I had to put that in a bin by itself.  Never again.  That's why we get our stuff secured at the hotel before we get to the airport so we are ready for security.  At our age, we invariably forget something that is around our neck, waist, money in socks, etc.  After security I head for the first rest room and find my stuff in my bag and reassemble stuff on my neck, my ears, waist pack,etc.  Then I relax until time to board. We try to be methodical so as not to forget something; repetition for us seniors (me and my spouse) helps.

 

 

Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 97
Trips Taken: 16
Countries Visited:

Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Traveler Since: 2000

August 30, 2012

Several times - since they've been using the new "xray scanners" (rather than the old metal detectors) - I've "held" my wallet in my hand (have not tried it with a passport) - as I raised my hands over my head for the scan.  This is at DFW Airport - certainly a "major" airport.  I'm not saying that I wasn't just "lucky" -  but I have done it at least twice - if not three times - and they never had a problem at all.  They just "looked" thru my wallet after I came out of the scanner.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 884
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 30, 2012

I wouldn't take the chance.  If they take it from you, as Singsling has posted, they'll just toss it in a bin.  Once my passport has been screened for the final time before Security, it goes into a zipped-closed compartment in my zipped-closed handbag.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 255
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

August 30, 2012

Pauline, I agree with you. Procedures vary among airports so I'm never quite sure what's allowed. Rather than try to carry anything as I walk through the scanner, I put my passport, boarding pass and everything else, except shoes, jacket or coat and bag of liquids and gels, in my carry-on bag before it goes through the scanner. If they want to see my passport or boarding pass after I have walked through, they just have to wait for me to get them out.

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