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Checking Baggage through to Hanoi Airport - Safe?

Posted by mtbakerstu on 24/4/2018 at 20:00

Hello,

I'm wondering about folks experience checking bags through to Hanoi airport, as well as Da Nang. I'm on the fence regarding carry on vs. checking, and wanted to get folks feedback on experiences they've had, good or bad, with checking luggage.

Thanks, and happy trails!

MBS

#1 mtbakerstu has been a member since 28/5/2016. Posts: 22
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Posted by DLuek on 24/4/2018 at 23:13 TF writer

We checked bags when flying in and out of Hanoi a few months ago with Vietnam Airlines. Had no problems. Just curious, did you see some news or have some other reason why you think checking bags in Hanoi (or Da Nang) could be less safe than other airports?

#2 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,319
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Posted by mtbakerstu on 24/4/2018 at 23:33

Thanks for your response Dluek.

I was reading online about above average challenges in Vietnam for scams, and did a quick google search to see if there were any issues with checked baggage. I couldn't find any recent episodes reported, though it does appear to have been something of an epidemic in 2015 and 2016.

Part of my joy in travel is to bring some new things along for the ride, so the question of what to check and what to carry on always presents a bit of a challenge. There's also the potential discomfort of luggage with necessities coming up lost, so I'll look to carry on a change of clothing, toiletries etc, to help mitigate risk.

Comforting to know you didn't have issues with your travel experience. There's quite a bit of information online about padlocking your checked luggage, using hard shell luggage, etc, though I imagine that wouldn't fly with Homeland Security in the USA. Did you put a lock on your luggage or use any other form of deterrent such as a plastic enclosure or duct tape? These are all suggested as procedures with what I found online.
A good rule of thumb of course is not to travel with anything you aren't prepared to lose. I try to keep that in mind.

Thanks again.

MBS

#3 mtbakerstu has been a member since 28/5/2016. Posts: 22
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Posted by DLuek on 25/4/2018 at 01:56 TF writer

I've never had a single problem with luggage (knock on wood). No checked bags going lost, no burglaries or bag snatches, no one rummaging through bags I've placed in storage areas on buses or ferries. I've never locked my luggage or anything like that, but I also never keep anything of significant value in checked luggage (not to say that losing clothes and such wouldn't be a bummer).

Surely I've had good luck, but I've been traveling practically non-stop for the last decade, mostly in SE Asia and mostly by public transport -- countless bus/train/ferry rides and 100+ flights, including several in Vietnam. So my own experience has been that theft of luggage is not unusually common in this region. That's not to deter you from taking whatever steps you feel comfortable with though.

Locks on checked luggage are fine in the US as long as they're TSA approved, meaning the TSA can use their master keys to open it. If using a different lock you'll most likely not have problems, but in the off chance they decide to search your luggage without you being present, they'll cut it open.

#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,319
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Posted by mtbakerstu on 26/4/2018 at 13:02

Posted from within Vietnam.

Thanks for all the great feedback Dluek.

With your encouragement I checked my bag, no lock, no duct tape. :) All be well in Hanoi.


MBS

#5 mtbakerstu has been a member since 28/5/2016. Posts: 22
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Posted by amnicoll on 27/4/2018 at 01:39

I would not worry Heathrow once used to be called Thiefrow because of thefts. Always sensible to lock your bag and not pack valuables

Anyone can be unlucky but there is nothing to suggest there is more risk at Hanoi than most airports

#6 amnicoll has been a member since 10/1/2005. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 931
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