Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

One Bag

TSA agents may steal your belongings

Airlines, Airport, Holidays, Money, One Bag, Security, Travelling, iPadEdward KiledjianComment

Would you be surprised if I told you that some TSA agents have been caught stealing from passengers?  The TSA is reporting that  an agent at JFK may have stolen up to $5,000 in cash from passengers as their personal affects rolled down the screening conveyor belt.

Another TSA employee, this time in Dallas, has been put on administrative leave because he may have stolen up to 8 iPads from passengers. MSNBC interviewed (Nico Melendez ) a TSA spokesperson who made some interesting recommendations for travellers:

  • He recommends putting all your valuable items (cash, watch, wallet, phone, etc.) in a zippered pocket in a briefcase. I couldn’t agree more. Never drop valuables in a plastic bin where a good thief can steal it in the blink of an eye. Make is as difficult for them to steal as possible. Personally I put my valuables inside one of the many inside pockets of my Scottevest jacket, then zip the pocket and zip the jacket.
  • He recommended never checking in valuables. He says that in addition to TSA screening, a checked luggage may be handled four or five times by airlines (by up to 10 different people). I read this and wonder why people still check in luggage.
  • He says that sometimes passengers pick up the wrong luggage (from the carousel) and therefore lost luggage may not have actually been stolen but rather taken by mistake. 
  • He also highlights the fact that items often get forgotten in “resolution rooms” after a more detailed inspection. So double check to ensure you packed up all your belongings if you get sent to secondary screening.
  • He recommends adding clear identification to all your belongings to ensure your items can find their way back to you if misplaced. I agree with this recommendation but with one caveat, never list your address.  If a thief knows you are heaving to Cancun on vacation and picks up your address from your luggage tag then he can more comfortably rob your house while you are away. I recommend listing your name and a cell phone number.

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Canada's WestJet to charge more service fees

Air Canada, Airlines, Airport, Holidays, Money, One Bag, Travelling, WestjetEdward KiledjianComment

Westjet is Canada’s second largest airline and it recently announced that it has found opportunities to double “ancillary revenue”. Ancillary revenue is income derived from non-ticket sources. One of the possible sources of new income “could be” checked baggage.

The Westjet CEO said more specifically (according to Reuters) that they are carefully watching airline industry practice of charging passengers a fee as of the first checked bag (Air Canada charges $25 as of the first checked bag).

This provides more motivation to be a onebag traveller. I will be travelling to Asia next month using only a carry on and some Scottevest clothes with lots of pockets. Stay tuned as I will be blogging product reviews, tips and tricks.

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How to travel light with only a carry-on

Airlines, Blog, One Bag,, Red Oxx, ReviewEdward Kiledjian1 Comment

Travelling is usually an amazing adventure full of wonderful memories and experiences you will cherish for life. Only one thing stands in the way of your trip: air travel. Airlines seem to be charging more for less and nothing seems to exemplify this better than checked in luggage fees. Many airlines now charge fees from the first check-in bag. Add to that the fact that your luggage gets treated like a football, subject to theft by shady baggage handlers, usually takes 20-30 minutes to find its way on the conveyor belt and sometimes sent to the wrong destination.

One packing expert, Doug Dyment, says he has a solution for all of our luggage frustrations, travel with a carry-on bag. He shares his years of experience on his blog.

The packing list is dedicated to the art and science of travelling light. The secret is creating minimalist travel lists, finding the right piece of luggage and using efficient packing techniques.  

Most travellers tend to over pack because they try to cover every possible eventuality that may occur during their trip. The fact is, most of the clothes you take with you likely go unused. Be honest and think of your last couple of trips. stresses the importance of creating realistic lists and then sticking to it when packing. The site also provides a series of lists that Doug created based on his years of travel experience.

How to pack

Once your list is created, prepare all your clothes and pack them using a method called bundle packing. This method uses space efficiently and minimizes wrinkling (it is even better than rolling). If carrying shoes, use them to store socks, underwear, etc.

Packing template created by for Red Oxx. Click to see original


Where to pack

The third secret to efficient packing is using the right luggage. He spends lots of time explaining what well designed luggage should look like (depending on the reason for your trip business, leisure or a mix). In summary, he recommends rectilinear luggage (anything else wastes space) without wheels (wheels take packing space and add weight).

I will be taking a business trip to China in March and decided to buy a piece of luggage called the Air Boss by Red Oxx. This piece of luggage not only meets all of Doug’s recommendations but was actually designed in consultation with him so you know it’s good. I will write a review of the Air Boss as soon as I get back from my trip (with pictures and videos).