"This Person Ruined a Family's Vacation" — Search for Passport Thief Delays Flight

Police were brought on an airplane to search for a passport thief on a flight before take-off. The flight was delayed by an hour due to the search.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Aug. 2 2023, Published 2:23 p.m. ET

Among all the stressors that already come with air travel, the one thing we all worry about when we're about to go on a plane is making sure we've packed everything. There are lots of things to keep track of, including your devices and respective chargers, making sure you have the right amount of clothes for your vacation or stay, your wallet, your bag, and an assortment of snacks just in case. But of all the things you want to make sure you have with you on your flight, your passport is one of the most important.

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If you're traveling internationally, your passport should be your top priority. You can't travel without it. Most folks keep a close grip on their passports whenever they're about to travel by plane and the thought of losing their passport is unimaginable for frequent fliers.

Unfortunately, that unthinkable nightmare became a reality for one family when a passport thief struck on their flight. Lindsay Brooke Thomas on TikTok (@lindsaybthomas) captured the drama as an onlooker.

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A passport thief on a flight ruined a family vacation, according to one TikToker.

Although Lindsay was thankfully not part of the family who lost their passports to a thief, she "felt so bad" for the family as she observed their search from afar.

"I've never experienced anything like this on a flight before," Lindsay admitted in her video.

She went on to secretly capture as much of the search as she could. As Lindsay tells it, take-off for her flight was held up after a flight attendant announced that some passports were missing. All passengers were asked to look around their seats for any sign of them.

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From what Lindsay overheard, a mother holding a baby stated that she put her bag (which presumably held her family's passports) on her seat when she went to the bathroom. When she came back, "it was gone."

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According to Lindsay, the flight was held up "for over an hour" while flight staff searched for the passports. Police even arrived on the scene to aid with the search. Unfortunately, the passports were never located and the family had to get off the plane. As if that weren't bad enough, Lindsay found out where they went mid-flight.

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As Lindsay recalls, when the lights were turned off in the middle of the night during the flight, somebody dropped the passports in the aisle while they went to the bathroom. Of course, it was too late to do anything for the family at that point.

"Literally shocked this actually happened," Lindsay wrote in her caption. "This person ruined a family's vacation." Why would someone take passports that don't belong to them?

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Commenters think that police should have searched harder for the passports.

While folks shared Lindsay's sympathy for the family, some think that the police could have exercised more scrutiny when looking for something as important as passports.

"Why didn't they just search everyone's bags?" one person asked. Unfortunately, even TSA requires a search warrant for anything that constitutes theft.

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"The police should have searched every person and the luggage in the bins," another person commented.

Most folks have taken this as a cautionary tale, reaffirming their habits of closely guarding their passports when flying.

You never know when a passport thief might be on your flight. By that same measure, you can absolutely never be too careful when traveling with something as vital as a passport.

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