OR Tambo baggage theft down, says Acsa

2010-08-16 14:55

Johannesburg - Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) said on Monday it has managed to reduce baggage pilferage to 0.2 incidents per thousand bags at OR Tambo International Airport.

The group said the reduction is a result of a number of initiatives, including the implementation of a R333m baggage handling system.

"Baggage handling has been an area of concern for Acsa for some time, especially at OR Tambo International, where the volumes are by far the highest, with an average of 25 000 bags handled daily," it said.

"The globally accepted benchmark for mishandled baggage is one bag per 1 000 handled. An average of 25 00 bags is screened daily at OR Tambo International Airport and in 2006, 40 bags a day were reported as having been pilfered, equivalent to 1.6 bags per every thousand handled," Acsa said.

The group said that as a result of a number of initiatives, pilferage was reduced to 0.7 per thousand bags handled by the end of 2007, to 0.5 in 2008 and, "through continued diligence, the ratio has improved to 0.2 during the period under review. Despite these successes the fight against baggage pilferage will continue."

The group noted the installation of the final components of the baggage handling system between April and December 2009, coinciding with the completion of the overall infrastructure programme.

The system comprises conveyors, sorters, carousels and control systems and cost R333m.
Additional initiatives included the employment of managers with local and international experience in baggage security management as well as the appointment of new ground handling companies governed by stringent service level agreements, compelling them to introduce measures to reduce pilferage.

A new permit system controlling staff access to the baggage make-up area was also installed, along with the appointment of a dedicated bagage pilferage unit and a private security company to focus exclusively on baggage security.

"This inclusive approach allowed for an integrated strategy to weed out people with dishonest intentions within the baggage environment, as well as the refinement of policies and procedures," Acsa said.

  • richard - 2010-08-16 15:28

    The reason that theft is down is because it now cost the public R30.00 to plastic wrap their luggage or they carry it on to the plain themselves.Can i claim the plastic wrap back from ACSA as I am paying all these ''airport taxes'' for what as their parking charges is a disgrace aswell

  • BL - 2010-08-16 15:35

    I don't believe these statistics for a minute. I travelled through OR Tambo Airport within the last week, and from a group of 7 of us 2 of our bags were pilfered. (Not quite the 0,2 per 1000 statistic quoted!!)

  • Richard - 2010-08-16 15:37

    What a lie. On two occassions within a month, my luggage was tampered with and items stolen. On Saturday I was at the baggage service in Cape Town and found people there to lodge complains about their luggages being damaged from OR Tambo.

  • Yem Yem - 2010-08-16 15:43

    Very interesting news...I don't believe a word from Acsa. I think the opposite is true here: THEFT VICTIMS ARE NO LONGER INTERESTED IN LODGING COMPLAINTS, BECAUSE EVEN IF THEY DO, NOBODY TAKES THEM SERIOUSLY. THE RED HERRING IS GETTING THE BETTER OF THEM. So, in short, theft is not down as reported; but might even be higher comparatively to the last figures!

  • Yvonne johnston - 2010-08-16 15:51

    What amuses me about this positive press release is that when something does get stolen from ones bag, ACSA accepts no accountability at all. They refeer one to the airline. Now we know that in fact, it is their responsibility to keep our luggage intact.

  • Bullpeanut - 2010-08-16 15:51

    Big difference between mishandled and pilfered baggage. Mishandled implies baggage damage or incorrect labeling/channeling. The target for mishandled baggage should be as low as possible, but for pilfered/stolen baggage should be zero. Anything more is unacceptable.

  • Shane - 2010-08-16 15:53

    RUBISH, flew to Australia in July and had all 3 of our bags broken into!!! Its disgusting and it happens everytime our baggage goes through OR Tambo.

  • LTM - 2010-08-16 15:55

    South Africa doesn't need to feel at all bad about such a common problem that happens all over the world at major airports. My bag was badly damages and opened with items missing en route from Shanghai to Johannesburg via the fancy Dubai airport (DXB)

  • Barry M - 2010-08-16 15:58

    Now that they’ve got Jan Smuts sorted when will they get D. F. Malan sorted?

  • Phelo - 2010-08-16 16:00

    There's no such.I flew with Mango Airlines to Cape Town recently. They opened my bag and stole my precious digital camera

  • Graham - 2010-08-16 16:01

    Unfortunately the criminals just move on to the next opportunity. ORTIA is at present a very unpleasant experience for the elderly and for unaccompanied woman who are likely to be aggressively harassed by unofficial "baggage porters" who won't take "NO" for an answer. If the targeted victim is weak enough to give in the chances are that they will find that their bags have been rifled during the period of "care". I k now of several victims who have lost mobile 'phones, wallets and watches in this way. If the targeted victim refuses help he or she is harangued all the way to the check-in desk where a tip is demanded regardless of whether any service has been rendered. This is a deplorable and unacceptable state of affairs in an international airport.

  • CraigE - 2010-08-16 16:08

    The problem is that pilfered stuff is paid out at a standard 20 USD per kilo. I lost a shaver and some other electronics with value of thousands and was paid out R140 because it was not heavy!!! This is a disgrace.

  • vanaardtcallie - 2010-08-16 16:16

    ACSA try again to side-step the truth!!!

  • SAA no more - 2010-08-16 16:26

    ACSA - its best that an independent authority validate your findings! I've hand my luggage pilfered recently at OR Tambo. Neither ACSA nor the airline would accept responsibiity for the incident and the latter only offered a generic, pathethic apology. Again, why do we as South Africans dismiss these acts as 'petty crimes'. Easy solution - monitor baggage controllers. How hard can that be???

  • Marietjie - 2010-08-16 16:27

    Suggestion: Fly from Lanseria to Durban & Capetown with Kulula. Cheaper, extremely user-friendly and I'm not aware of any luggage pilfering happening to any of my friends/family using Lanseria. Service is excellent and it's a much more pleasant experience to use parking or do direct pickup from Lanseria, than from OR Tambo.

  • Cameron - 2010-08-16 16:36

    I agree that the reason theft is down is just because people have given up reporting it. I had several things stolen out of my bags this past weekend and when I called the airline and ACSA they just tell you there's nothing they can do about it. Why bother reporting it if they're not going to do anything about it?

  • Fiona - 2010-08-16 16:52

    This article is such a laugh! My entire suitcase just disappeared last week between Polokwane and Durban! Apart from the frustration and stress that arises from this, the complete disregard for your plight has to make one wonder...

  • Van - 2010-08-16 16:53

    if i can't fly from cape town i don't fly. our family of four fly several times a year internationally. bags NEVER tampered with when flying from cape town. we refuse to fly from or tambo.

  • Ink - 2010-08-16 16:55

    Not a well spent R333m. Flew SAA on Friday CT to OR Tambo: two cable ties neatly clipped off and some sticky fingers went through my luggage. However, it might be an SAA problem: I fly Kulula often and no problems; 1st flight on SAA my baggage get tampered with...

  • Keith - 2010-08-16 17:01

    Also had my bags tampered with enroute ORTIA to Heathrow in July. Nothing of real value was taken (nothing much of value in the case) and did not report it as had a similar incident in May and it was such a hassle (nearly 2-hours) trying to report the incident and got nothing for it anyway. Lesson learn't - dont put items of value in checked-in baggage. [BTW plastic wrapping now R 50].

  • warbird - 2010-08-16 17:10

    What a load of nonsense. I travel very frequently and have had my bags pilfered a number of times. (Whether they were wrapped or not makes no differecnce) My family travelled from SA this week and of the 4 bags going with them, two were stripped of their wrapping and cable ties with electronic goods removed. The thieves did us the courtesy of leaving the removed shrinkwrap inside the suitcases!!! I fully agree, the people have given up on reporting these crimes, as it is a completly fruitless excercise! Mkaing it worse is that you pay 50 ZAR per bag to be wrapped!!!

  • koos koornneef - 2010-08-16 17:13

    Who are they trying to fool ? Only Friday evening a week ago I arrived in Durban to find my bag broken into, together with 3 other passengers of the same SAA flight enjoying a similar experience. On enquiry ( in Durban ) at Senior level I am being told that there would be a Management meeting that Tuesday in Johannesburg, to be attended by the 3 Companies at ORT involved with Luggage handling / security, as well as SAA Diectors etc since according to my sources the situation is and I quote "OUT OF CONTROL" with Syndicates, involving handlers / SAPS etc, having the upper hand. Managers sent to investigate are threatened with ( personal ) violence unless they back of. This is the short version. ACSA is mis-leading the Public !!!!!!!!

  • Quinton - 2010-08-16 17:18

    I changed all my bags to hard cases and I have never had any problems since.

  • mandy - 2010-08-16 17:25

    I think its happening more and people are just not reporting it....Too much of a hassle and waste of time, and nothing happens in any case. Plastic wrap....ACSA should pay for this!!!!!!!

  • Shorts - 2010-08-16 17:55

    What a load of garbage. We flew to George the other week and upon arrival waited for my suitcase to arrive off the plane. As it happened it came through last. The lock was gone and upon opening the zips, I found that someone had been through it because all the contents that had been packed very neatly were all jumbled up inside. The broken lock, which had been cut open, was found inside the case. Fortunately all my valuable stuff went on the plane in my hand luggage. ACSA has no idea!!

  • david - 2010-08-16 18:06

    Good for ACSA. I travel through SA fortnightly, and UK/Australia monthly. All my grief takes place at Australian airports and Heathrow. Theft at Syndey is rampant, plus you have to pay for a trolley !! Third World bus transfer between terminals is a joke. ORT and CPT is just heaven. Modern facilities and attentive service. As, for Heathrow, dont get me started. You guys in SA have it all. I cant believe what wingers you all are.

  • Andrew - 2010-08-16 18:25

    Now make a news article out of these responses. Title: ACSA issues misleading data....

  • Anon - 2010-08-16 18:32

    Yeah just like other crime stats its all in the interpretation... obviously if people aren't getting any results from reporting a crime they stop reporting it... but that doesn't mean the crime never occured... unless its South Africa that is...

  • Steve H - 2010-08-16 19:13

    0.2 per 1000 !! whos doing the 'sums' family of 3 flew into JHB earlier this year of the six checked bags 2 went ''missing'' Fortunately had taken out max. insurance the (private) insurance company settled in 1 week SAA's small portion of the claim took 6 months and numerious reminders calls of inquiry. AND HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON ? The post office theft equally bad; also been ongoing for years also

  • Mr Bean - 2010-08-16 19:55

    Aren't you the same guys that said that the world cup would be a failure!?!? Any reason the moan hey!

  • frequent flyer - 2010-08-16 20:19

    what a laugh. my bags have had the locks removed so many times, and on trying to claim everything listed is "non claimable". if our baggage is a few kg's over we have to pay in so much, but when they are tampered with we receive peanuts. ACSA catch a wake up

  • Smondza - 2010-08-16 21:17

    What a concidence!Its a world joke day and ACSA has just shared a joke of the year.Congratulations guyz.I was also travelling from Queensland to Dbn and was told that my bag was heavy and had to to be checked in.Guess what,my laptop was stolen,zip broken and padlock left intact.Proffessional thieves.It took me two hours to realise that my suitcase was tampered with.It took me two moinths to get a response from Acsa only to be told how sorry they were,but they wouldnt pay.Acsa go and tell your lies next door.Your service is digusting!!!

  • MJ - 2010-08-17 07:22

    airport baggage theft happens everywhere, you cannot stop it. i frequently travel in and out of SA and around the world and never had a problem becuase all valuables are hand carried, no one is going to steel my smelly underwear and dirty socks in the main bags, if they do they are welcome to it. make sure you have insurance. people who leave valuables in there checked in bags are just plain dumb and inviting theft. you might as well also leave your house and cars unlocked and open when you are away as well.

  • Ross - 2010-08-17 07:55

    Utter nonsense. I flew back from overseas a week ago, and counted the number of backs with broken locks on them. It was nearly 30%. Some were still open. Both our bags had been gone through, but nothing removed, thankfully.

  • Peter - 2010-08-17 08:15

    Family of 4 arrived Wednesday from Durban every bag had the lock broken off. I arrived back from Dubai 4 weeks ago bag did not. People just dont bother reporting anymore thats all. Reporting pilferage or tampering just highlights another inefficient department so instead of dealing with the theft you then deal with the theft and an incompetent investigation. Everything takes so long and is so ineficient. Cover tampered bagage with a R 1 000 penalty on proof of tampering and see how quickly it will stop. Hurt the pocket of the department and they will fix the problem quickly. AND IT COSTS R50 To WRAP A BAG!!!!! Did it yesterday.

  • GKJ - 2010-08-17 08:45

    Funny ACSA are boasting about this "development" I had my bag broken into on when I reported they blamed it on contracted companies which they have no control over! so why take the credit. Baggage pilferage at OT Tambo is still the highest in the world if you ask me.

  • Philaine - 2010-10-13 18:53

    This is a joke. My daughter has just returned from working on her gap year in Europe and her luggage was 'lost' for 5 days at OR Tambo. On it being 'found', we collected the bag to find all the presents she had bought the family to be missing and the locks broken. The bag weighed 22.8kg on leaving and on arrival it weighed 16kg. She was carrying the maximum weight allowed for hand luggage. SAP reckon they can do nothing about it because we do not know exactly when it happened. What about all the new security camera's?

  • Trevor Phillips - 2010-11-01 09:15

    On arriving in Cape Town, on BA 6417 on 29/10/10, I found my case had been rifled and the lock stolen. I am sick and tired of my bags and those of my family being regularly tampered with. It doesnt make any impression on me when you claim thefts are 'down'. Every time I am robbed by ACSA it is 100% frequency for me. I travel all over the world and the only time I ever experience thieving, is at OT Int. Is it so hard to stop bags being tampered with? To ask you what is being done to stop this scurge is pointless; all I'll be told is that you have a new 'ten point plan' or a new system in operation which is going to drastically reduce bag theft; and everything will continue as before. Also', to be asked, 'Do you have anything valuable in your case?' Is both pointless (everything in my bag is valuable) and an admission that your case is very likely going to be tampered with. This is not an isolated complaint; every person I speak to has had similar experiences. Your incompetance is spectacular!

  • Iyer - 2011-01-18 08:01

    I would like you to highlight the theft that is taking place at O.R. Tambo International Airport. I boarded a Mango JE 267 flight on 12 January 2011 at 14h10 after handing in my luggage at 13h45, and receiving my boarding pass. I arrived at King Shaka Int. Airport in Durban at 15h40. When I collected my bag from the carousel, I immediately noticed that the combination lock from my bag was removed and the loop mechanism that enables the bag to be zipped and locked was cut open. I took my bag immediately to the Mango help desk and notified the assistant about the damage to my bag. On opening my bag, I noticed my jewellery boxes were missing. It was an oversight on my part, for leaving my jewellery in my bag and not carrying it on myself, but that does not give the employees of the right to cut open the bags and help themselves to the travellers’ possessions. If they had trustworthy employees, working as scanners and luggage handlers, we would not have any theft, irrespective of what was in the bag. By disclaiming responsibility, the airlines are perpetuating crime, and encouraging these criminals, working as baggage handlers, to continue pilfering. While I was at King Shaka Int. Airport, several other people had the same complaint as myself on the 7pm flight arrival. I reported the theft immediately to the police and opened a case. My daughter also contacted O.R. Tambo airport immediately and spoke to Kagiso from Mango lost properties. Please make enquiries of the security at the O.R. Tambo airport regarding the handling of luggage. This is giving our country a bad name.

  • LF - 2011-01-20 09:52

    It is totally unacceptable to report theft and then be told that it happens, I don't believe the stats, everyone in my family had had an incidence, on the 12 Jan 2011 from OT to CPT my bag was ransacked and a very valueable pen stolen, yes my oversight, but it was inside a folder packed well away, so someone had to go through all my stuff in great detail to find this item. All my combination locks were broken and conveniently put back in the bag, and the zippers totally ripped out, when will the airport company actually take responsibility for these acts of theft as the airlines promote this practice by brushing most of the incidents aside, and throw policies at you, so while I check in I am going to go through all the small print and cross out the sections where they are not liable for valuable items, and if I don't accept I can't get on the plane, please don't insult us!!!

  • raja.rufi.9 - 2012-10-03 12:57

    this is totaly lie as iam frequent traveller just 2 days back lost my both bags in or tambo which defintly arrived from dubai including this one this is a 4th case within a year when i lost my bags

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