The following is an email reponse from the TSA concerning the story: 'Hundreds of complaints filed with TSA over lost items at Atlanta airport'
A couple of points I want to make in response to the story you’re airing based on Scott MacFarlane’s piece on channel 2 last night:
TSA at Atlanta operates an automated checked baggage screening system. The majority of bags that go through the explosive detection system machines do not alarm and thus are never touched by TSA (they are routed by automated belts to the airlines). For those small portion of bags that we do open for inspection, there is extensive camera coverage in all baggage inspection areas at ATL. Local reporters with channel 2 have seen and reported on these inspection areas. If we receive a claim that involves a bag that we opened, we review the video to determine whether the item that was the subject of a claim was impacted. We receive many claims for bags that are screened through automation and that we never touch.
There are many other reasons why claims are denied. In some instances airlines will settle claims. A number of passengers later find items they initially reported missing. Some passengers will stop pursuing a claim once we ask for information to validate the claim (such as a notice of inspection, a copy of the boarding pass, etc.).
The best advice is to not place valuables in checked baggage (which gets touched by many hands outside TSA). Items of value should be placed in carry-on bags which are in passenger site at all times.
Transportation Security Administration
Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs