Channel 11 investigation: Items reported missing from Pittsburgh International

Channel 11 investigation: Items reported missing from Pittsburgh International

PITTSBURGH — Jewelry, laptops, electronics -- all items reported missing from Pittsburgh International Airport in recent months -- yet Channel 11 has learned TSA has only distributed $1200 in reimbursement checks.

Laura Snell of the TSA in Pittsburgh has taken the angry calls.

"If we've done something wrong, we want to make sure those passengers are paid," she said.

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According to TSA data we obtained, 58 Pittsburgh airport passengers filed claims of damaged of lost items last year.

Already this year, 17 people have filed claims.

Channel  11’s David Johnson wanted to know why so few claims are reimbursed and uncovered a unique tracking mechanism at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Unlike at most other airports, Snell has the backup of about two dozen cameras that track your checked bag, literally every step of the way.

The cameras are at the TSA checkpoint, but they are also in the in the places you can't go or see, like  the eight miles of conveyer belts and the X-ray machines and rooms where TSA workers double check there's nothing in your bag that shouldn't be.

So when someone files a claim, TSA goes right to the video evidence to focus directly on your luggage.

“What happened to that bag? What did we do? How did we treat that bag?” Snell said the video helps answer those questions. “I've been here eight and a half years, I've never seen us take a thing. I don't know how else to put it."

The surveillance video is available for 30 days, so TSA advises passengers to file a claim during that time.

It is also recommended passengers file a report with police and also contact the airline.

However, airline liability generally tops out at $3,300 per domestic flights, and many items, such as cash, jewelry and electronics, are excluded.

It is suggested you read the airline’s Contract of Carriage before your flight, and pack any valuables in your carry-on.