More News24 users come forward with tales of thievery on SAA flights

2016-01-15 15:11


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - While South African Airways said it is aware of three incidents of in-flight theft, 11 more people have told News24 of falling victim to pilferers on the airline.

Users contacted News24 after Warren Becker spoke out when R30 000 in foreign currency was stolen from his bags on a flight from Johannesburg to Hong Kong.

Some have also claimed that the theft occurred after the lights were dimmed and that flight attendants did not show up again until morning.

MORE: In-flight baggage theft - This could happen to you

Ruth Nalumango said when she flew with her daughter from Johannesburg to London in 2013, cabin crew seemed to have disappeared when the lights went down.

"I always take a cup of tea after dinner, the crew told me that they were done with duties until morning and they disappeared till early hours in the morning. I was so shocked," Nalumango said.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali did not stipulate what SAA’s guidelines are as to how often cabin crew should walk the aisles during lights-out.

After dark

One News24 user who wished to remain anonymous said in his experience, SAA flight attendants are nowhere to be seen once the lights are dimmed on their flights, something he hasn’t seen when using other major airlines on long haul flights.

Another News24 user said she noticed that cash had been taken from her wallet which was inside her handbag after a flight from Munich, Germany, to Johannesburg.

Her handbag had been left in the overhead locker after being told by the flight attendant to put it there.

READ MORE: 40 travel scams to avoid

Five other users have also come forward, saying that money was taken on flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong.

"As a night flight, I took a sleeping tablet and slept. On arrival in Hong Kong, when wanting to change foreign currency, I noted that most of my foreign currency had been stolen from my laptop bag," Mark Levin said.

The other users also reported similar incidents happening to them on SAA flights between Johannesburg and New York and Abu Dhabi.

Tlali said the airline was aware of three incidents of theft in recent months.

Alerting staff

Tlali said passengers were primarily responsible for their in-flight baggage. He did not respond to queries about who was responsible for goods taken while passengers were either not in their seats or were asleep.

Aviation expert, Vincent Lessing, said passengers could request that items be safeguarded or placed in a secure cabin facility. And if passengers feared that their goods had been tampered with, they could alert airplane staff, and police officials at the destination would take "proper steps... to arrest the guilty person/party".

"Also, further to this, in some cases the pilot in command will announce that all passengers must remain seated until the police have finished escorting the parties/persons off the plane before they can commence disembarking."

No one has been arrested for stealing from Becker and he has not been reimbursed yet.

Read more on:    saa  |  travel  |  aviation  |  crime  |  air travel

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.