A viral TikTok posted by user @xsir22, who has since deleted their account, has been re-uploaded by another user on the platform by @RealityEye. The clip apparently delineates how airport employees, like baggage handlers, could potentially break into your luggage to pilfer items from them undetected.
A text overlay in the popular clip reads: "How baggage handlers steal from suitcases at the airport...Without any sign that your bag was broken into"
A voice-over in the TikTok says that "Moving zips can be breached and re-sealed without leaving a trace. This video is to demonstrate how quickly and easily a zip breach and tampering can occur."
The narrator continues, "Let us demonstrate. Take a standard ballpoint pen and place the tip between the two zips." The man in the video begins to do just that on the closed suitcase featured in the video. He pushes the pen into the zipper of the suitcase which opens with ease. "Push gently and the zip will open."
The man guides the pen with his hand through the zips and begins opening the suitcase using this method: "Run the pen along the inside of the zips, to open the suitcase."
You're probably thinking at this point that doing this to someone's luggage would ultimately damage the suitcase, and that there's no way you'd be able to close after essentially prying it open with a ballpoint pen. However, the narrator in the video demonstrates how to do exactly that.
"To close the suitcase, simply drag the zip pullers back over the open zip," he closes the suitcase, adding it leaves it "undamaged and without evidence of tampering. Please keep in mind that you are legally responsible for the content of your luggage even if you are a victim of luggage tampering, the content of your suitcase is your own responsibility."
The clip closes out with an ominous message, "And the blame for any illicit content regardless of how it got there, will lie with you." This means that whoever is voicing over the clip suggests that if someone wanted to slip something in your bag, they could easily do so, with nothing but a pen.
According to CNBC, there are a staggering number of "mishandled" luggage claims from US airline customers. In April of 2022 alone, there were reports of 220,000 plus bags that were either "lost, damaged, delayed, or stolen" the US Department of Transportation states.
While the previous year in April of 2021 showed far less cases of this occurring, that's more than likely attributed to the effect COVID-19 had on air travel in general; in April of 2019 (pre-pandemic) these statistics were consistent with April 2022's numbers.
TikTokers who saw the post had a litany of different reactions. Some thought that a video like this shouldn't be posted on the internet as thieves were just given a lesson in how to break into someone's luggage. Others expressed they thought it was wrong for customers to be on the hook for any type of "wrongdoing" that they had no part in when it came to the contents of their luggage.
"I'm not too worried of what they might take out. I'm more worried of what they might put in."
"You just showed a whole lot of thieves a new trick"
"HOW ABOUT PUTTING MORE CAMERAS TO WATCH CARGO HANDLERS MORE"
"I use a security zip tie on the zipper and attach it to the handle. Can’t move zip to close."
What do you think about publishing this kind of demonstration on the internet for everyone to see? Do you think it's important for folks to know that this could potentially happen to their luggage? Or have you never had an experience like this and believe that some people are making it out to be a bigger problem than it is?