Huazong urges Airlines to pay serious attention to “in-flight theft” to prevent passengers’ financial losses

Huazong urges Airlines to pay serious attention to “in-flight theft” to prevent passengers’ financial losses

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri T.C GOh, the President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) urged airlines to pay attention to and strengthen security onboard aircraft.

He suggested setting up surveillance cameras in the cabin’s overhead luggage area and other necessary precautions to prevent “in-flight theft”.

Goh said this is necessary in order to prevent passengers facing financial losses and unnecessary inconvenience.He was responding to the recent media reports of passengers experiencing “in-flight theft” cases, and the said incident was filmed by other passengers for evidence.

Nothing that such an incident is nothing new and it has become rampant in the recent years, he thus opined that it warrants the urgent attention of global airlines and airport authorities, including those in Malaysia.

He noted that media reports on various cases have reported that similar incidents mainly occur on long-haul flights and at night.

The perpetrators often take advantage of passengers sleeping to open the overhead luggage compartments, pretending to retrieve their personal belongings, and take the opportunity to open other passengers’ luggage, especially handbags, and steal items.

While he believes and hopes that these incidents were isolated cases, he does not rule out the possibility that it could be the modus operandi of a rogue syndicate.”If it involves organized and professional means, the consequences will be unimaginable!” he said.

He warned that while such incidents could occur abroad or on foreign airlines’ aircraft, if precautions are not taken promptly, they could also occur on domestic airlines in Malaysia.

In statement issued today, Goh who is also is also the President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS), and a frequent passenger on both international and domestic flights, said that although the media did not mention the affected airlines in its recent reports, the reported cases also included flights from Kuala Lumpur.

“This matter certainly warrants the urgent attention of the Malaysian government, airport authorities, and all airlines, and they should take necessary precautionary and preventive measures to promptly address it,” he said.

He went on to assert that, as the country struggles for economic recovery post-pandemic era and embraces the Visit Malaysia Year, such unpleasant incidents must be promptly and seriously addressed.In line with this, he thus made the following suggestions:1: Airlines should install surveillance camera systems in the cabin’s overhead luggage area to observe the movement of carry-on luggage throughout the flight (not aiming to “track” passengers or to capture their appearances).2: To ensure that passengers’ carry-on luggage is placed in the overhead compartments above their seats or, in the case of compartments overloaded, to place them as close to the passenger and within their sight as possible.3: Any carry-on luggage, including handbags and laptop bags, should be locked.4: Passengers should stay vigilant and adopt the spirit of “neighborhood watch”, especially on long-haul and nighttime flights.5: Passengers and flight attendants (especially on long-haul and nighttime flights) should take necessary action against the behavior of “suspicious passengers,” such as those who frequently “getting up” (or opening overhead luggage compartments far from their seating area), to increase vigilance and awareness, as well as necessary monitoring, against potential “in-flight theft”.


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