Items stolen from checked in SQ baggage & terrible follo

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Feb 12, 2006
:x I'm interested in knowing if anyone has had similiar experiences?

I flew economy with Singapore Air from Tokyo to Singapore to Sydney leaving Jan 24th arriving back in OZ on the evening of the 25th. I had an approx. 8hr stopover in Changi airport but all my checked in straight through to Sydney. When I got home and was unpacking the next day I discovered my mobile phone and watch had been taken from inside a vanity case inside a bag and my camera had been taken (bag and all) from the same bag. The bag wasn't locked because a) I'd been in Japan where there isn't the need and b) I'd read about problems with locking bags and then having them opened forcibly during security checks and c) I guess I though Singapore Air could be trusted.

When I realised what occured at midday the next day (I didn't get home until 1.30am) I rang Singapore Air's 13 no. as it was Australia Day and they gave me Qanta Baggage Handling Services. After a 20 minute wait they informed me they haven't handled SQ's baggage for 6 mths.

The edited version of what happened for there goes like this:

- get right no.

- Call Aerocare. As I'm alledging theft, they advise my claim will by emailed to Singapore and they expect it will be looked at the next day. As my greatest concern, is maximising any hope of getting photos off my camera, this isn't good enough. They suggest I call SQ at the airport direct.

- Call SQ at airport and explain situation. They advise I have to lodge claim with Aerocare but due to circumstances, can have it email straight over. They stress nothing can be done without this.

(Both Aerocare and SQ immediately ask whether the bag was locked - I feel like saying 'I didn't THINK I HAD too').

- It then takes 24 hrs to reach Aerocare again. Two answering machine and one email message later, I finally make a claim. This is Friday lunchtime. Aerocare did apolguise for the delay in the email and say they had had a lot of problems on this particular day ?!?

- I call Singapore Air at the airport late Friday to check they have recieved the claim from Aerocare. Speak to 'the' staff member handling lost and other problem baggage who advises she doesn't have time to talk to me as she was due to go home and hour and a half a go. She briefly outlines the claim process, promises to send a claim letter the next day (near recieved) and disputes my problems contacting Aerocare (I live in a different STD Area Code and am happy to provide my phone bill showing 15 plus attempts to reach them!). The pinacle is when she complains she can't reach me directly at work and asks for a mobile. Why do you think on that Friday I didn't have a mobile number??? Nobody can answer how they might look for my belongings.

- No contact until Wednesday. I ring the 13 no. and complain about the service I've recieved and am advised the customer service manager will call me.

- One week later, no call from the customer service manager. I ring her again and she remembers the message and says she asked the person who normally does the problem baggage job to call. She definately get her to call she doesn't deal with baggage. She did say that January had been a terrible month for baggage (This is my problem how?).

- Two days later, totally fed up. Ring the airport office and request to speak to the airport manager. When I first leave a message I get told me MAY get back to me today and I had some strong words to say about that. When I called him back and finally got to speak to him, he apolguises, says he doesn't dispute what I'm saying (ie item being stolen) but.....and.....this is the killer......SQ won't honor a claim for any of the items as apparently they are all classed as valuables in their baggage policy. He politely suggested I make a claim under my travel insurance ($250 excess thanks). He did honour his promise to fax a claim letter within an hour but I'm still a very, very unhappy camper all round.

So the message I got here was not nearly as a) concerned or b) shocked
about something which hey was only entrusted in their care. The fact they kept asking whether I locked my bag implied to me people who worked for the airline felt you needed to.

As far as I can tell they made 0 effort to look into it and overall the experience is what I what I would expect from the most budget of airlines, not an airline of Singapore's Air image. Apparently flying economy means being treated like a pleb long after you've landed..

Also, can anyone recommend who to contact to take this further as you'll understand my frustation and lack of confidence in SQ's Australian based representatives.
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Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
Sep 24, 2004
Welcome to AFF Maude :)

You should never leave valuables in checked luggage.

It sounds like you have fallen victim to the abomination that is Sydney baggage handling.

That said, you have a right to be treated reasonably by SQ. If you can try to arrange a visit in person to their Sydney office. Ask to speak to the Australian manager.


Aug 27, 2004
LT Gold
Very sorry to read about your ordeal. Lets hope people will learn from you unfortunate experience and take the necessary actions to minimise the possibility of it happening again and to minimise the impact if it does happen.

My recommendations to this end:
  • Find a travel insurance policy that has a low excess for baggage-related problems (delayed, lost and stolen), and ensure you are willing to accept this amount if you need to claim. Shop around to find the right policy for your travel needs.
  • Make the luggage difficult to open so an opportunistic thief will skip your bag and move on to an easier target. This may mean using a lock (note issues with locks and travel to the LOTFAP) or a single-use mechanism such as cable ties or personalised/serialised ties.
  • If you suspect theft, it is usually necessary to include a police report with any insurance claim, so make an official police report regarding the incident. This show all involved (insurance company, airline, baggage handling company etc) that you are serious about your claim.
  • Ensure all correspondence with the airline is in writing so you have a record to show to all involved if necessary. This includes a follow-up factual (try to leave the emotion out) letter to the airline's Customer Relations Department at their head office (in Singapore for SQ).
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