Travel Advice And Advisories For South Africa

Baggage Collection

Thiian area where people sometimelet their guard down. The possibly long-haul flight iover and you are on the last leg to that luxury hotel. The climate change may have hit you, and you think that you can relax while you wait for your bagto come through. Don’t!

You don’t know who iaround you jostling you, pushing to the front. Wathat guy who just leaned on you to reach the red suitcase retrieving the suitcase or using it aan excuse to lean on you and dip into your pockets? Stay alert, and don’t join the scrum to get to the carousel first. Chanceare yourwill be the last bag to come off, and there will probably be a long queue for immigration and customs.

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Baggage collection – countermeasures

Realise that the scrum of baggage recovery could be an opportunity for thieveto target you and your valuables.

Keep your eyeopen. If the criminalsee that you are alert and keeping an eye on yourself and your property, they will leave you alone and look for an easier target.

I like to get a baggage trolley then stand back and wait. I keep an eye on the carousel in case somebody trieto walk off with my cases, but initially I stand back. When I see my case, I find a gap and then step forward to scoop it off the carousel and straight onto the baggage trolley. Remember, if you are alone keep one eye and one hand on the baggage trolley and any caseand bagthat you have already retrieved.

The last bag makeyou vulnerable! Everybody in your party will be impatiently waiting for your bag to come through. Make sure that while you all strain to catch the first sight of it ait droponto the carousel, somebody isn’t taking your camera bag off the unattended baggage trolley.

Keep your baggage claim tags. Some airportask to see them to check claim tagagainst the caseyou are taking.

Think About Your Location

When somebody wasick, a friend of mine once had to go on a very short noticc businestrip. I le watold at ten past nine that he waon an early afternoon flight to an ex-Sovict satellite state. He waassured that everything had been arranged, and that all he had to do wameet a contact, get some important contrail documentsigned, then flback 011 the return flight the next morning

He wahanded three envelopes. One held the documentto be signed and the name and addresot hicontact, one contained the ticketand the last one contained hivisa documents.

After a flight to Frankfurt he transferred onto a small aircraft operated by an unknown airline. He carried hiown baggage to the aircraft and climbed some rusty stepto the cabm. The flight waterrible, nobody spoke English, and no food or drink waavailable. They landed and rattled down a very long runway and parked near what looked like a camouflaged ex-military hangar to see a horse and cart being loaded with cases. Thinking that nobody would believe him he took some picturewith hipocket camera, only to be confronted by a soldier waving an automatic rifle. The soldier slapped hicamera to the ground and then stamped on it before herding him into an office at gunpoint. Then he belatedly spotted military jeton the edgeof the airfield.

Nobody had said it waa military base that accepted the occasional commercial flight. Inside, the man waving the gun spoke to an officer sitting at a desk, then the officer asked for hivisa. Grateful that nobody had used wordlike ‘spying’ or ‘jail’, he presented the visa envelope. Two minutelater he nearly died when the officer tore it open and took out a few hundred Udollarin ten-dollar bills. Luckily the ‘visa’ waaccepted and he wareleased.

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