Passengers check in their luggage at an airport. Photo credit: Lao Dong
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has ordered enhanced surveillance of staff at airports following many recent complaints about luggage theft.
The media reported that related agencies have to step up both human and electronic supervision of employees who deal with luggage as well as the sites where they do their jobs.
They also have to review procedures and regulations related to forwarding, loading/unloading, transporting, and storing luggage, improve passengers' awareness of regulations and how to file complaints when they lose something.
The CAAV is collaborating with the Ministry of Public Security to investigate the complaints of luggage theft at airports.
Last year passengers had filed at least 214 complaints about luggage being broken and things stolen, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.
One of three suitcases that were allegedly broken into during transit from Bangkok to Hanoi
In the latest case, which has attracted a great deal of public and media attention, three passengers on a Vietjet Air flight from Bangkok to Hanoi complained Sunday that their luggage had been broken into and their brand-name clothes and cosmetics stolen.
One of them said she checked in a 20-kilogram suitcase at Bangkok airport but got back a 13-kilogram one in Noi Bai Airport, adding that her lost goods were worth nearly VND20 million (US$915).
Another said she had lost 6.5 kilograms of things also costing VND20 million, and the final one did not make it clear how much she had lost.
In a press release Tuesday, the CAAV claimed that initial findings show the suitcases’ locks could have been broken while loading in Bangkok.
When the luggage arrived at Noi Bai, Hanoi Ground Services Joint-stock Company staff found the lock on one suitcase broken and recorded this in writing, it said.
But the status of the other two suitcases was not known until their owners complained, it said.
While two suitcases lost a total of 13.5 kilogram in weight, the third one's weight increased by 11.5 kilograms, according to the authority.
There was a chance that their locks had broken in Bangkok and handlers there put everything that fell out into one suitcase and taped it up, it said.
But the agency ordered the budget carrier to cooperate with Thai authorities to investigate further.