Luggage thief has gotten bad enough in the Santo Domingo airport – Las Americas (SDQ) that two of the air lines have made a formal complaint. Air France and Jet Blue have both asked the Las Americas International Airport to halt the thief of their passenger’s luggage.

Although apparently this has gotten much worse over the last few weeks, this is a constant problem with DR airports. During my travels back and forth I have had many things stolen from my checked in bags. Having items that I have carefully packed to keep from breaking are unwrapped and put back in the luggage bag haphazardly so they will break is also common.

There are also the carryon luggage checks where items that have passed though several other checks are now considered too dangerous as you are heading into the DR. Very common complaints on that one are hair curling irons and Hair Straightener Irons or flat irons. Usually that means they confiscate the item.

Unfortunately there is no good way around this problem. Until the airlines get into this strong enough that the airports decide that allowing their employees to choose their Christmas gifts from passengers bags is bad for business all you can do is try to hide the most easily taken items from quick view.

On some items I have found it affective to find ways to lock the more expense (and easiest to pocket) items in your bag. Small chains around the item with locks make it so your bag can be searched, but additional steps are required to remove the item from your bag.

It is also best to put your computer items, phones, electronic equipment in your carryon baggage. Al least they are going to have to justify why they are taking it to your face before they take it. That’s a little harder to do with electronic equipment and you can always call for a manager if they try.

Personally I’ve had some of the oddest things stolen. One of the more confusing items was a suit. I needed on for giving speeches in the Dominican Republic. It was packed when I left the US and wasn’t there when I opened my bag in the DR. Suits are pretty expensive here but I can’t image how the airline employee managed to get away without being noticed.

Needless to say, don’t bring anything here that you can’t afford to lose. While this is no doubt a problem with travel into many countries it is well known to be a problem here.

Feel free to leave a comment with any tricks you have used to ensure your items make it to your destination!