TSA broke my flight case, tips?

Old Dominion Flyer

Well-Known Member
I had to check my flight case while jumpseating home the other day. I even tried to put it in the under-seat space across from a shorter passenger, but alas, my case was destined for the land of checked baggage. When I retrieved it from baggage claim the latches had TSA tape on them, with one of the latches broken. The tool marks on the latch indicate a screwdriver may have been used to force open the latch. I found a baggage inspection notice inside my case and contacted the TSA the next day. I asked what I could do in the future to help avoid baggage inspection/damage. I was informed that the TSA has the right to use whatever means necessary to gain access to my bags to perform an inspection, and that I could not be guaranteed an inspection would never happen again. I rephrased my question, but the representative still didn't understand me.

1. When you have no choice but to check your case, how do you make it uninteresting to the TSA?

2. What do you use as a flight case while your case is being repaired?


Well-Known Member
Seems strange that TSA inspected a gate checked bag that had already been looked at during pax screening. Did the TSA say they screen gate bags at that airport? That never happened at EWR. Could have been an above average thief.


From one of my favorite Jeffrey Goldberg stories:
On another occasion, at LaGuardia, in New York, the transportation-security officer in charge of my secondary screening emptied my carry-on bag of nearly everything it contained, including a yellow, three-foot-by-four-foot Hezbollah flag, purchased at a Hezbollah gift shop in south Lebanon. The flag features, as its charming main image, an upraised fist clutching an AK-47 automatic rifle. Atop the rifle is a line of Arabic writing that reads THEN SURELY THE PARTY OF GOD ARE THEY WHO WILL BE TRIUMPHANT. The officer took the flag and spread it out on the inspection table. She finished her inspection, gave me back my flag, and told me I could go. I said, “That’s a Hezbollah flag.” She said, “Uh-huh.” Not “Uh-huh, I’ve been trained to recognize the symbols of anti-American terror groups, but after careful inspection of your physical person, your behavior, and your last name, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are not a Bekaa Valley–trained threat to the United States commercial aviation system,” but “Uh-huh, I’m going on break, why are you talking to me?”

Boris Badenov

It's a work in progress, but, ah, symbols endure
Oh come on. How many Goldbergs belong to Hezbollah? Can't be more than one or two very confused individuals...


No Real Usefulness
They may have every right to use whatever means necessary to gain access to your bags to perform an inspection, but it'll cost them. I would send them the bill. Fight the good fight.


Well-Known Member
This is ridiculous! First of all, if your case was checked planeside, none but airline employees should have touched it. A ramper to throw it (or dropkick it) in the baggage compartment, one at your destination to remove it, put on the bag cart, and subsequently on the belt for the carousel. TSA had no reason to inspect it, because, (1) it had already been inspected, (2) I'm presuming it had a crew tag on it, and (3) WHY THE HECK ARE THEY CHECKING BAGS THAT JUST CAME OFF AN AIRCRAFT! (Hmm, they are Transportation security... I take that back, maybe they wanted to ensure the you didn't blow up your own car on the way home.)

Anyway, to answer your question: When, you get off the flight, ask if you can go down and get your bag off the belt loader, if you can't politely ask one of the flight crewmembers to do so. I've never had this problem, but I have prominent crew tags on my bags. I don't know if that makes a difference... It also probably wouldn't hurt to throw a regional aircraft gate check tag on it as well as the mainline one. (Since you said it went to the carousel, I'm assuming you were on a mainline aircraft.)


Well-Known Member
Id send them a before and after photo of how it looked along with a bill. I wasnt aware they could do that to bags checked plane side.