After a fantastic 2 day business trip to Hong Kong on Sunday, my happiness became anger and disappointment when I landed back home in Phnom Penh; shortly into my taxi ride home, I checked my credit card/cash wallet which was zipped up inside my backpack, to find that $650 had been stolen from my wallet whilst it was in the over-head carry on luggage compartment.
Travelling from Hong Kong to Phnom Penh on board Hong Kong Airlines flight HK721, I had placed my small backpack in the carry on luggage compartment above and slightly behind my head at the request of the air hostess who would not allow me to place my backpack at my feet.
Stolen from my wallet was 4 x $100 usd notes and 4 x $500 HKD notes, equating to approximately $650 usd in cash. However the thieves, showing that they are experienced in this kind of theft, did not steal, a $10 HKD note, a $20 HKD note, 7 x $1 usd notes, 2 x $10 usd notes and $2 x $20 notes or any of my credit cards or passport – obviously knowing that I would not be alarmed if I checked my bag and could feel cash still in my wallet.
I have been flying around the world for 30 years, travelling on numerous airlines on 100’s of flights and I have never ever had anything stolen from my carry on luggage. To say that I am extremely angry and disappointed is an under statement.
But what irks me more is that Hong Kong Airlines have not bothered to acknowledge my complaints that I sent via numerous emails nor have they replied to any of my emails.
I have this morning done some Google research and found numerous articles relating to people having their belongings stolen from the over head luggage on flights out of Hong Kong. Article Article Article
As and an ex police detective, I hate thieves and my stomach is churning because someone has stolen from me whilst I am sitting less than a metre from my bag. As a CEO who runs risk management company I am concerned that this activity is brazenly occurring on day time flights and the airline is not acknowledging the complaints. Perhaps this is happening far too much and their non-response is a sign that they are hoping that the complainant goes away. either way, its terrible customer service and all people considering using Hong Kong Airlines should be made aware of the threats.
Its a unsavoury lesson to learn – but if airlines cant guarantee the security of your belongings on a flight then don’t allow them to force you to put your belongings in the over head luggage compartment. Demand that you keep your personal belongings in your possession at all times!