Most of the folks I meet who haul suitcases, car seats, strollers, your golf clubs, etc… for a living, are nice people. Some of them have saved me time, missed flights, and damaged luggage. I am deeply and profoundly grateful to all the men and women who perform this Sisyphean task every day for everyone who wants to board a plane and go someplace new.
When I was first starting out on the road, I made the mistake of putting a small plastic fishing tackle box (about 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 3″ deep) filled with various items of jewelry in an OUTSIDE pocket of a suitcase that I wound up checking at the last minute. Not only was this not in a locked compartment of a suitcase, it was in the most easily accessible pocket possible. In short, I was young, naive, and thoughtless. Someone handling my suitcase was unable to resist the temptation I placed in his or her path. As a result, I lost an unusual 18k gold signet ring (a family heirloom), and a one of a kind pearl and diamond pendant necklace I’d purchased as a special gift to myself at the Laguna Beach, CA art festival. All told I lost a couple grand worth of STUFF. That was a hit. I lost irreplaceable shiny bits I wore almost daily. I lost memories and a connection to my great-grandfather. I also lost a bit of naivete. It was a painful, but valuable lesson.
Learn from my mistake. These folks don’t get paid a great deal of money. I hope this is not news to you. As a result they may find themselves in difficult predicaments, the sort of situations that most lower income Americans encounter on a depressingly frequent basis.
So for the love of all that is good, don’t test them. Do not place your laptop, ipad, telephone, jewelry or other high value items in your checked baggage. Especially in an unlocked suitcase. That’s just mean.
Honesty is something you can take for granted when your parents are healthy, the children are getting a good education, the family is all together (as much as they want to be), no one has gone hungry in recent memory (unless they have an eating disorder,) and you are feeling safe and optimistic. In these United States, this is not a consistent state of affairs… a fact which I personally feel reflects poorly on us as a society. Your mileage may vary. We’re not going to argue about this.