By Eric Cheng
On Friday, I lost my $2,800 Apple MacBook Pro by following standard TSA security protocols at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
I look back on the series of events that led to the lost computer with incredulity, and although all of the TSA staff and LAX airport police were courteous, I am still without my computer and am unsure whether or not I will be reimbursed for my loss.
Here’s what happened:
At 4:00pm on Friday, May 20, I was at the TSA security station at Delta Terminal 5, Lane 3. Per the standard (non-Pre) TSA process, I removed my 15.4” Apple MacBook Pro from my backpack and placed it in a bin. I removed my shoes and incidentals and placed them in a second bin. Behind me, I could hear a woman making a big scene because her “flight [was] at 4:15,” and her gigantic bag was clearly never going to fit on the airplane. She claimed multiple times that “the lady” told her she could bring it through security. At least 3 TSA agents were dealing with her as we moved closer to the X-Ray machine, and most of the people in the area were watching the altercation.
I arrived at the entrance to the X-Ray machine, pushed my 2 bags and 2 bins through, and stepped into the body scanner. When I stepped in, I realized that I had left my belt on, and went back to put it through the X-Ray machine. I almost always fly using TSA Precheck so I’m accustomed to not removing my belt (and computer), but this particular airplane ticket was booked by a conference, so I was in the normal line
The body scanner line wasn’t long, so this put me 2-3 people between me and my original position. I emerged from the scanner without any problems, collected my 2 bags and incidentals, and proceeded into Terminal 5. After awhile, I looked into my backpack and realized that I didn’t have my computer. My heart skipped a beat! I turned around and rushed to the security area. During the walk back, I was thinking that I didn’t even remember seeing my computer on the belt when I collected my things, but I always assume that human memory is terrible, so I couldn’t be positive.
I arrived at the security area, flagged down a TSA agent, and told her that I must have left my computer there, but that I didn’t remember seeing it on the belt. She left to look around; I wanted for about 5 minutes and never saw her again. I flagged down a second agent,
Reda the rest here.
(ht Dale Fitzgerald)