Do You Leave Bags Unattended In Airport Lounges?

Do You Leave Bags Unattended In Airport Lounges?

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A reader asked me a question that I figured would make an interesting topic of conversation, as I’m curious to hear what OMAAT readers think. When you’re in an airport lounge, do you leave your bags unattended at any point? If so, under what circumstances?

Unattended bags in a lounge are a tricky topic

Typically when we’re at airports, we’re told not to leave our bags unattended. That makes perfect sense, since you don’t want anyone tampering with your luggage. On some US-bound flights, you’ll even be asked specific security questions, like whether your bags have been unattended at any point.

If you were sitting in the gate area and wanted to get something to eat or drink, you’d almost certainly take your belongings with you, rather than leaving them unattended? Do different rules apply in airport lounges, though? After all, if you watch people in airport lounges, almost no one will take their bag with them when they go to get something at the buffet or bar.

For that matter, the logistics would be complicated, especially since you often need two hands to serve yourself food or drinks, so bags would be falling over, etc.

So I think it’s important to find a reasonable middle ground. Admittedly some might say “well then aren’t you lying if you’re asked about your belongings being unattended and say no?” I mean, sort of. The question is so beyond silly.

Every time I go through an airport security checkpoint, I have a brief moment where the bag isn’t in my possession and I can’t see it, so I guess the honest answer would almost always be that a bag hasn’t been in my possession at all times. But I also don’t really want to deal with the consequences of admitting that.

Do you leave bags unattended in airport lounges?

My approach to leaving bags unattended in lounges

With the above out of the way, what’s my approach regarding leaving bags unattended in lounges? There are several considerations, and frankly they largely come down to factors like what type of a lounge it is, and how crowded it is. Here’s my general take:

  • I’ll leave my bag unattended in just about any lounge when I’m going to get some food or something to drink, assuming I don’t have to walk too far; however, I’ll always do what I can to glance at my bag as much as possible
  • I’ll always try to keep my ID and wallet in my pocket when leaving my bag unattended, and I also position my bag zippers in a specific way (so I can tell if someone tampered with them), just to be on the safe side
  • If I’m going to the restroom briefly, I’ll leave my bag unattended, assuming no one around me gives me a weird vibe
  • If I’m leaving for an extended period of time, like to take a shower or to hang out in a nap room, then I always take my bag with me
  • My willingness to leave my bag unattended also varies greatly based on the type of lounge and where it is; I feel much more comfortable leaving my bag unattended in Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room Singapore than in the Turkish Airlines Lounge Miami (which is a Priority Pass lounge)
The type of lounge impacts my comfort with leaving a bag unattended

While we’re on the topic of this, it boggles my mind how some lounges just have luggage storage areas that don’t have any locks, like the Turkish Airlines Lounge Miami. Seriously, how is this a good idea for anyone?

Please don’t store your luggage here

Bottom line

While it’s a best practice to have your personal belongings in your possession at an airport, it’s not always practical. After all, you don’t see most people in airport lounges taking their bag with them every time they go up to the buffet. I think there’s a happy middle ground approach to take, though I’m curious how others approach this.

What’s your approach to leaving bags unattended in airport lounges?

Conversations (91)
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  1. Goose Homali Guest

    Yep, all the time esp if I have a long layover and I want to go out for a smoke. or if I want to buy something from a diff place and bring in. but mostly for cig breaks. and when flying business with pre-check/Clear, I can do it millions of times. I wander the lounges once I throw my backpack and bag. lounges are extremely safe. live free or die hard right! hehe

  2. TAA Guest

    I saw people do this for the first time in a lounge recently and I was really surprised. I guess I am in the minority that I take everything with me, even to the buffet.

  3. James Guest

    I never leave my passport, ID, cell, or credit cards but have left bags to grab something to eat (generally still in site) or run quickly to the bathroom.

    I was in an European lounge last summer. In the minute and a half to two minutes I was in the bathroom the staff noticed my bags and were getting ready to call the police. I was shocked - I’m a guy and there was no line… it doesn’t take long to urinate- but this staff wasn’t messing around.

  4. Tom R Guest

    When getting food/drink then no, but try to keep them in sight. Going to the restroom I'll take my bag with me usually or if it's busy I'll try to wait until the end of my stay to use the restroom on my way out. I'll keep my wallet and passport etc on my person at all times though. If I was not travelling alone then I'd probably leave it with my travel companion(s) and...

    When getting food/drink then no, but try to keep them in sight. Going to the restroom I'll take my bag with me usually or if it's busy I'll try to wait until the end of my stay to use the restroom on my way out. I'll keep my wallet and passport etc on my person at all times though. If I was not travelling alone then I'd probably leave it with my travel companion(s) and take it in turns to get food etc. As for the unattended bags question, it's a bit crazy really - for example if you left the bags at hotel reception before taking a taxi to the airport they are unattended. If you took a train chances are you have to leave them in a rack that might not be anywhere near your seat. If you check a bag it's unattended (from yourself) the whole time until you pick it up at the carousel, anyone air side could sneak something in if they wanted to (and I think this has actually happened and been reported on?).

  5. Eskimo Guest

    Damm it.

    This post just created a new occupation.

  6. CPH-Flyer Gold

    People leave some or all of their items unattended in the lounge all of the time. Take a look around next time you are in a lounge.

    You effectively leave them unattended in the plane a lot of the time, or you skip sleeping on an overnight flight so you can keep an eye on the overhead bin with your carry on?

    Generally I leave my things at my seat going to the buffet,...

    People leave some or all of their items unattended in the lounge all of the time. Take a look around next time you are in a lounge.

    You effectively leave them unattended in the plane a lot of the time, or you skip sleeping on an overnight flight so you can keep an eye on the overhead bin with your carry on?

    Generally I leave my things at my seat going to the buffet, to the bar, to the restroom. Typically I'll bring them if I go for a shower, though mostly because I'll probably want a change of clothes and toiletries from my bag in the shower room.

    Airports are far from public access locations, lounges are a restricted subset of the people in the airport. Lounges are certainly not where I would worry the most. But I realise that people also worry tremendously about items being stolen from their checked luggage, so I guess there are just different perceptions of risk.

  7. Anthony Guest

    In the least, have an eye on your belongings. Professional thieves know the hot spots including lounges using disguised bags or objects which they can extremely quickly cover your items and walk away with them, or switch to another person quickly.

  8. Joey Diamond

    Yes I've left my backpack unattended in a lounge when I'm going to the buffet to get some food/drink.
    I always wondered how folks working with a laptop in the lounge handle it. Do you just lock your laptop screen? Or do you put the laptop in the bag?

  9. Alex77W Guest

    Iberia lounges in Madrid have free lockers for your luggage. We used those a few years ago to venture into the city during a long layover.

  10. Christopher Raehl Guest

    Is there some incidence of people stealing bags from lounges that I'm not aware of?

    I keep my phone/wallet/passport with me because they happen to be in my pants so they tend to naturally follow me around, but otherwise...

    I have no qualms about leaving my bags, because nothing is going to happen to them. No thief, when they have an entire bag claim area full of bags, is going to do the extra work...

    Is there some incidence of people stealing bags from lounges that I'm not aware of?

    I keep my phone/wallet/passport with me because they happen to be in my pants so they tend to naturally follow me around, but otherwise...

    I have no qualms about leaving my bags, because nothing is going to happen to them. No thief, when they have an entire bag claim area full of bags, is going to do the extra work to get themselves through security and into the lounge, only to increase the chances that they get caught because they now have a much longer path to getting out of the airport once they have your stuff.

    It just isn't happening and worrying about it is logically silly.

  11. Robyn Guest

    Outside of a lounge, it all comes with me, everywhere. Inside a lounge, if I can keep eyes on it while I get a drink/food/whatever it can stay where it is. If I can't see it (and I include using the restroom in this) it comes with me.

    I'm not overly precious about the contents of my bag, but it would be a pain to deal with it going missing, so a bit of pragmatism is needed.

  12. D3kingg Guest

    I like to check my bags curbside whenever possible. Be sure to tip the bellhop $5.

    1. FTF Guest

      Never a carry-on or briefcase?

  13. Patti Guest

    Never.

    Always with me or a traveling companion. And locked

  14. Joe Guest

    At some point those that commit petty crimes will eventually make their way to lounges. They're already doing so at baggage claim. Since I travel alone I always feel uneasy leaving my bag unattended. I generally have a backpack with all my valuables. That at least is with me but that thing is getting heavier and heavier. At some point there will be a widely publicized incident and then copy cats. Let's hope not for a long time.

  15. Darren C Diamond

    What if TSA existed pre-9/11. Does anyone think "were these bags always in your possession" would have 1) been answered honestly? 2) prevented them from crashing planes into buildings?

    1. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      Your reply doesn't really have much to do with the topic at hand, Dickie Nutt Darren.

    2. Darren C Diamond

      And you are a self-absorbed narcissist in need of more therapy. Take your meds.

    3. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      You've made some really strange claims over the last few days, and this one's no exception.

      Darren is a lost cause. Mental. It’s not worth reading or responding to him…it just triggers his psychosis, and brings down the overall quality of the comments.

    4. Timtamtrak Member

      I seldom bring my rollaboard bag or even backpack with me in a lounge. Like others, always keep my wallet and phones on me, though. In the regular airport terminal, nothing leaves my sight.

  16. John Guest

    I have been flying AA for over 30 years. A minimum of 100K annually. As some have commented, going to the rest room or bar, I aways leave my bag. I have always kept my wallet in my pocket, but my passport and Nexus card, stay right in my backpack attache to my bag.
    You do what makes you feel safe, period.

  17. Jason Brandt Lewis Gold

    To generalize, I'm like you in that, when traveling alone and I'm in a lounge, I'll leave my belongings while I grab some food, coffee, or a drink at the bar. Shower? Massage? The bags are coming with. But I'm often in the lounge with my wife, and so one of us will watch the bags while the other goes to get some food, visit the restroom, whatever -- piece of cake, but that's a given.

  18. Christian Guest

    Your methods seem sensible enough.

  19. Andy Guest

    I believe that any theft from baggage would likely occur as a random opportunistic act, rather than a targeted one, as I do not display any valuable items. Therefore, a potential thief might attempt to steal from any bag in search of valuables.

    These thieves tend to seek out the easiest opportunities, such as unattended bags that can be quickly opened and closed, allowing for a swift theft to be completed in seconds.

    To prevent...

    I believe that any theft from baggage would likely occur as a random opportunistic act, rather than a targeted one, as I do not display any valuable items. Therefore, a potential thief might attempt to steal from any bag in search of valuables.

    These thieves tend to seek out the easiest opportunities, such as unattended bags that can be quickly opened and closed, allowing for a swift theft to be completed in seconds.

    To prevent such theft, I use a highly effective combination lock that I attach to the zippers of my travel backpack.

    You can find this item on Amazon: Lewis N. Clark Triple Security Lock - Resettable Combination Lock, Black, 3-Dial, TSA Friendly, Durable.

    Frequent travelers should consider investing in this lock or a similar one.

    While it does not completely eliminate the risk, it significantly reduces it.

    Additionally, it is beneficial for hotel stays in rooms without a safe.

    To clarify, although a thief could still cut open a bag with a knife, access to sharp items in an airport lounge, which is airside, should not be possible.

    This leaves only the remote possibility of someone taking your entire bag and walking off. However, considering the numerous cameras and stringent security measures in airports, only an irrational individual would attempt such an act.

    Furthermore, this lock is helpful in reducing the chance of in-flight bag theft.

  20. Eric Guest

    Never. I don’t trust anyone. I may leave an umbrella behind to save my seat. That’s about it.

  21. Andrew Diamond

    My only "can't easily replace" things are my phone, wallet and passports / IDs. Those never leave me in the airport.

    If someone wants my laundry or laptop, meh. It's insured. If someone is going to plant something bad they snuck through TSA, they already did it, and it'll likely be on my plane either way.

  22. Tom Guest

    Usually I have two bags. One a roller bag with mostly clothes and shoes and one that is a backpack with computers and all the important stuff. The backpack stays with me at all times. If someone wants to go into the sterile area of an airport and steal my clothes and shoes from the roller bag, go ahead.

    I like lounges with lockers near the front. Have no issue leaving my less valuable bag there while I'm in the lounge or wandering the terminal.

  23. Grey Diamond

    Is the bag unattended question a common thing? I have flown to the US many dozens of times, and even had SSSS before, but I don't recall being asked that question. I mean, is there anybody who can actually say yes? I left my bags in my room when I went for breakfast. I packed my bags yesterday, but then I popped to the supermarket. I guess they were unattended? I left them at reception...

    Is the bag unattended question a common thing? I have flown to the US many dozens of times, and even had SSSS before, but I don't recall being asked that question. I mean, is there anybody who can actually say yes? I left my bags in my room when I went for breakfast. I packed my bags yesterday, but then I popped to the supermarket. I guess they were unattended? I left them at reception for a few hours when I checked out. I have already flown one flight where they were checked. I mean, there are so many various points where I would imagine the majority of people have had their bags unattended so it seems like a question that a very small percentage of people could honestly say no to.

  24. Chris Guest

    I used to leave my bag in the EWR Presidents club bag room when I had a 7 hour layover and go to Manhattan for the day back in the mid 2000s.

    1. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      Waste of a comment. That is a bag check service, which is not what is being discussed here.

  25. Scudder Diamond

    My greatest/only takeaway from this discussion/comments section is that Darrell Stewarcz is even more sociopathic than the Widget’s #1 fan.

    1. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      Why? Because I advocate for people to maintain control of their personal belongings at all time. Yes, that certainly makes me an insane sociopathic radical.

      Try THINKING before POSTING.

    2. Redacted Guest

      "maintain control of their personal belongings"

      We're not talking about children or pets here. We're talking about bags.

    3. AD Diamond

      No, because you can't be polite while making your point.

  26. George Romey Guest

    I've been an AC member since 2008 and never an issue. I'm not dragging all my personal belongings into a small stall with me. I do keep my wallet with me.

    1. Mr Brown Guest

      A stall? Are you pooping at airports?!? This may warrant another topic Ben.

  27. Santastico Diamond

    Similar to @Never In Doubt , if someone wants my underwear, toiletries, etc.. go for it. My valuable stuff is with me all the time. I also have AirTag on my carry on so I can easily track where it is. Also, when at a lounge and even inside the plane, my carry on is locked. I carry with me to the bathroom but not when getting food.

  28. Daniel Guest

    It might be naive but in some places where I travel a lot, I don't hesitate to leave my bags unattended in the lounge for a short period of time. I figure with the amount of monitoring and surveillance in certain countries and the consequences of even petty theft being well known, that should be enough to discourage bad behavior. Anywhere else, I follow Ben's routine.

  29. Gina Guest

    I do leave my bags unattended when I am in an airport lounge. I also have a cable that I can put through the bags, zippers, etc. That makes me feel somewhat better.

  30. Donato Guest

    My travel history spans decades. I am somewhat paranoid as well. Travelling alone on business requires alertness 24/7. I was most appreciative of DB ICE trains that at that time had lockers near the restroom and also had huge restrooms.
    I carried my cash, cards and documents in an around the neck device, my jacket would remain at the seat while on trains or planes.
    Any inference that lounges are safer would be...

    My travel history spans decades. I am somewhat paranoid as well. Travelling alone on business requires alertness 24/7. I was most appreciative of DB ICE trains that at that time had lockers near the restroom and also had huge restrooms.
    I carried my cash, cards and documents in an around the neck device, my jacket would remain at the seat while on trains or planes.
    Any inference that lounges are safer would be foolish, the safety factor is counterargued by the likely higher reward to thieves.

    1. DenB Diamond

      I was with you until you said that lounges aren't safer. Sure they're not absolutely safe. But we're not looking for absolutes. There aren't any. Even the most security-motivated among us would rather leave a bag in a lounge than at a gate-area seat, given only those choices.

  31. NedsKid Diamond

    Within an airline-specific lounge that has controlled access (and they presumably know who is in there... in fact in my airline days I've seen the FBI get a subpoena for a list of everyone accessed a The Club/Priority Pass lounge during a certain time period), then I have no problem leaving my bags at/in a seat if I'm running to the restroom or to the buffet or to ask a question of the customer service...

    Within an airline-specific lounge that has controlled access (and they presumably know who is in there... in fact in my airline days I've seen the FBI get a subpoena for a list of everyone accessed a The Club/Priority Pass lounge during a certain time period), then I have no problem leaving my bags at/in a seat if I'm running to the restroom or to the buffet or to ask a question of the customer service agent. Never had any problem. If you did pick them up, you'd never have a place to sit in some places... like the MIA D36 Admirals Club last week at night, three orbits of the lounge before finding a single place to sit... people were standing up eating. Or any Delta Sky Club at a hub.

    If I'm going to another spot to actually sit like a work cubicle or a sleep room or such, then I definitely take my things. I also would not leave items unattended (or at least take my backpack with any valuables with me to the restroom) in a busier common use/priority pass lounge like Turkish at MIA where they really don't know who has accompanied anyone in there, lots of kids running around, etc.

    An access controlled, membership only lounge is not a public place for purposes of most US airport security programs, as long as you remain within the same confines. But never would I leave anything unattended, or under the eye of a stranger, in the public or secure common areas of an airport. I've had to call the police too many times on unattended items (and usually once that call is made, even if the person comes running back, still gotta wait for the dogs to clear it).

  32. John Guest

    I generally do about what Ben does. The Amex lounges are always crazy busy, so if you went to the bar or the buffet without your bag marking the spot, there's higher likelihood of your seat being stolen than your bag. When traveling with someone we take turns. Once, while traveling on my own, I did just this, bag was still visible, and a couple still sat down in the seats and then asked me...

    I generally do about what Ben does. The Amex lounges are always crazy busy, so if you went to the bar or the buffet without your bag marking the spot, there's higher likelihood of your seat being stolen than your bag. When traveling with someone we take turns. Once, while traveling on my own, I did just this, bag was still visible, and a couple still sat down in the seats and then asked me to sit somewhere else because they were traveling together and I was alone. I firmly declined. I had been standing around waiting for a seat myself. They used the one seat and crowded around me the whole time as if to make a point until they saw a seat somewhere else open up. I have a feeling lounge access (at least at amex) is going to be an experience in my rear view when my AF comes up in a couple months anyway, and based on my last few visits, I don't think I'll miss it.

  33. DenB Diamond

    This topic illustrates, perhaps better than any other, why "security" is the opposite of convenience.

  34. alinsfca Guest

    In Taipei and Japan, some of the lounges have individual lockers for your bag or you can leave it with the front desk. I always feel uneasy leaving my bag in the US lounges. Of course, passport and wallet never leave me and I try to glance back at my bag or sometimes I will ask a neighbor to keep an eye on my bag. That's why I like lounges in Asia much better!

    1. Andrew Diamond

      I just noticed this in the HND First Class JAL lounge a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure if that was common... as I've never looked for it before. Glad to hear it's widely available.

  35. Russ Guest

    I raise the telescopic handle, so I can see the bag at a distance, eg from the buffet table.

  36. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

    Anybody who leaves a bag unattended is a TOTAL MORON.

    1. DenB Diamond

      Then I'm a TOTAL MORON. But I have decent manners, which unlike low intelligence, is a choice.

    2. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      I totally disagree. People (many) CHOOSE to be stupid. Do better!

    3. neogucky Member

      Please do. You sound like an old guy that shouts at the kids not to play outside.

    4. Lara S. Guest

      I leave it to go to the bathroom or get food in the business class only Polaris lounge. My theory is- If someone is willing to pay thousands for a business class ticket or hundreds of thousands of miles for a business class ticket to fly internationally to access a Polaris lounge on the off chance they can steal from someone while everyone watches- they are clearly off their rockers. Anywhere else- I take it...

      I leave it to go to the bathroom or get food in the business class only Polaris lounge. My theory is- If someone is willing to pay thousands for a business class ticket or hundreds of thousands of miles for a business class ticket to fly internationally to access a Polaris lounge on the off chance they can steal from someone while everyone watches- they are clearly off their rockers. Anywhere else- I take it with me. There’s a balance between safety and convenience. I do take my phone and passport with me all the time because those are the most easily stolen items (as my wallet is quite deep inside my bag). Gotta make the choices that work for you. There are no absolutes in this world.

  37. Khatl Diamond

    Never leave it, unless it's with an attendant which are usually only at all arrivals lounges.

  38. adstu Guest

    Not often - but if sitting in a lounge...and I may politely tell a neighbor that I am going to the buffet or restroom...can you watch my carry on for a moment? But that's only if I expect to be away for less than 2 minutes. Is that silly? My passport and wallet don't ever leave my possession

    1. DenB Diamond

      Yes, that's silly.

    2. Morgan Diamond

      In my opinion that is extremely silly not only is it another thing you have to do but mainly if you tell the person where you are going or how long you will be they know and then might engage in opurtunistc theft and have a look through not to mention that by saying that (asking someone to watch your bag) it implies there is something valuable in.

  39. Nick Guest

    A bag isn't a baby, it doesn't need constant supervision. If a bad actor wants to put something in my bag so that the plane goes down with me and not them (which is the basis for the "security" theatre questions) then the failure is yet again on the TSA for letting Mr bad man into the secure side of the airport. It's a secure sterile environment because supposedly everything on that side is warm...

    A bag isn't a baby, it doesn't need constant supervision. If a bad actor wants to put something in my bag so that the plane goes down with me and not them (which is the basis for the "security" theatre questions) then the failure is yet again on the TSA for letting Mr bad man into the secure side of the airport. It's a secure sterile environment because supposedly everything on that side is warm and fuzzy enough to not cause an event.

    Therefore the only thing that is really a worry is theft. For a standard carryon, not sure why my underwear would be a prize to nab in a lounge full of other people and security cameras deep inside again a secure zone with no easy exits and none without facial recognition.

    I leave my bag of electronics, cash, passports, etc and walk away anywhere. I do not live in fear. The value of the theft is not the MSRP you paid. It's the value the pawn shop will give them minus their acquisition costs. In an airport, this mythical conniving thief would need to spend money routinely on flights (and perhaps cancel, which will get you flagged by TSA and the airlines eventually) and they would need to hold status, hold a lounge pass, or pay an entrance fee. After all this, it better be a good haul to pay for the work.

    1. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      You are a fool, if you are being serious.

    2. Icarus Guest

      The more I read the comments in this blog the more I realise how utterly stupid people are. There is a large amount of pilferage in lounges. The fact you have the privilege or have paid for it doesn’t mean you’re immune. I am aware of people who had cash removed from unattended bags and laptops taken.

    3. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      Ah, Icarus, my old friend. I agree.

      Darryl Stewart

    4. DenB Diamond

      As a percentage of visits, I don't believe that the incidents of which you are "aware" are statistically significant. A risk assessment, by most of us, seems to allow for brief pauses in surveillance of our luggage in access-controlled airport lounges. I'm with the majority in this thread. My jacket, yes. My luggage/laptop, maybe. My wallet/passport, never.

  40. Chris Guest

    Very boring, but my rough rules are exactly the same as Ben's, and I've never had a problem with that.

  41. Grey Diamond

    I have never felt unsafe leaving bags at a seat in a lounge. I don't think I have ever seen anybody take all of their bags with them to get food or use the toilet. Otherwise, you would lose your seat every time you go to get something. I also often use the lounge time to charge my phone before the flight. And in most lounges, I feel fine leaving my charging phone behind as...

    I have never felt unsafe leaving bags at a seat in a lounge. I don't think I have ever seen anybody take all of their bags with them to get food or use the toilet. Otherwise, you would lose your seat every time you go to get something. I also often use the lounge time to charge my phone before the flight. And in most lounges, I feel fine leaving my charging phone behind as well. I mean, even if you are going to the toilet, we are only talking a couple of minutes. And there are cameras everywhere. I just have never seen lounges as particularly dangerous places.

    1. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      You have never seen someone take a bag when they go to the washroom or get food? How poorly traveled are you? I have never seen anyone leave their personal belongings lying all over the place in the lounge (except for you apparently). I just have to assume you are an extremely ignorant person??

    2. Redacted Guest

      What's with all these aggressive comments, Darrell? There is clearly no right or wrong answer here. It's okay to have different opinions depending on how much you value security vs convenience vs any other number of factors.

      Personally, my phone and wallet go with me everywhere (including food/bar/bathrooms), but everything else stays behind. I'd rather take the small inconvenience of losing some clothes versus the great inconvenience of carting things around everywhere and losing...

      What's with all these aggressive comments, Darrell? There is clearly no right or wrong answer here. It's okay to have different opinions depending on how much you value security vs convenience vs any other number of factors.

      Personally, my phone and wallet go with me everywhere (including food/bar/bathrooms), but everything else stays behind. I'd rather take the small inconvenience of losing some clothes versus the great inconvenience of carting things around everywhere and losing my seats.

    3. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      Obviously there is a right answer... MAINTAIN CONTROL OF YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS AT ALL TIMES!!!

      Settle down there, "GUEST".

    4. Redacted Guest

      Settle down? You've called multiple people on this comment section morons, idiots, etc. and now you're enjoying the caps lock cruise control.

      Why get so worked up over something so meaningless? There is no objective correct answer -- it's just a discussion. If that bothers you so much, then maybe you should not participate.

    5. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      I've never acted you on your idiocy, and believe me, there's plenty of subject matter right there!

    6. NoTrolling Guest

      Wow you're that troll I've been reading about.

    7. JABs Guest

      He’s ignorant because what he has witnessed doesn’t agree with what you have witnessed? Do you see the irony in that… you do seem to have strong feelings about people leaving their bag in a lounge whilst they get food but I’m not sure how the other poster is ignorant.

  42. Bill n DC Diamond

    I agree with your strategy. Shower or nap room with luggage. Otherwise sitting away from entrance with wheelie (25 yo Briggs and Riley) and NF Surge Daypack (15+ yo) between chair and (hopefully) window hanging out while I enjoy the lounge

  43. TProphet Guest

    From a security perspective, everything in the sterile area of the airport has been screened so the only thing you have to worry about is theft from bags. That may be less likely in lounges, which are staffed, than in other locations.

    1. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      That's total misinformation. Any unattended bag anywhere is deemed suspicious. Please educate yourself on IATA's Policy on International Airport Standards sec. 62.3 before spewing crap.

    2. Ty M. Guest

      The IATA publishes 'International Airport Standards'? That's news to me. I thought it would have been the ICAO.

      Cite your source or fact check yourself before spewing crap, Guest.

  44. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

    In many, many parts of the world, it is actually illegal to leave personal items unattended in public spaces and doing so can carry very, very heavy penalties! It is also prohibited under IATA's Policy on International Airport Standards sec. 62.3!

    1. Dempseyzdad Diamond

      Airlines lounges are not public space, they are membership only clubs. Entry, (and sometimes exiting) is monitored from a database.

    2. Darrell Stewarcz Guest

      You're a Moron.

    3. DenB Diamond

      An access controlled lounge, by definition, is NOT a "public" space.

  45. Euro Gold

    I almost always take my bag and personal item with me wherever I go in the airport. Checkin desk, security, bathroom, restaurant, lounge, gate area. Don't leave any opportunity to have anything stolen or lost. If there is say, an area where there's a clerk who will take items and store them for me behind a counter, sure, then I will leave things. Otherwise, I'll just make 2 trips to the buffet at the lounge or find some way to balance things with one hand.

  46. Erik Nordenson Guest

    Interesting subject . I thought it was against the law to leave one's baggage unattended since 9/11 ?
    I have on several occasions the past few years, In both 1st and Business class lounges asked if there is an area or make arrangements to leave my bags while I go to duty Free. Always a firm NO. Emirates (1st), Qatar (business), Thai (Business) and have an upcoming flight with SQ to Danang in Business and I'll see how they handle the request.

  47. Jules Guest

    In the lounge, depends. Your assessment above sounds right. From the Polaris restaurant I’d likely leave carryon with laptop bag attached to it wedged next to the table if going to the restroom, bringing small crossbody with documents with me. In the general Polaris lounge area, I would likely bring to the restroom. Would probably just keep an eye on it going to the buffet, bringing the small crossbody. Other more accessible lounges I’d be...

    In the lounge, depends. Your assessment above sounds right. From the Polaris restaurant I’d likely leave carryon with laptop bag attached to it wedged next to the table if going to the restroom, bringing small crossbody with documents with me. In the general Polaris lounge area, I would likely bring to the restroom. Would probably just keep an eye on it going to the buffet, bringing the small crossbody. Other more accessible lounges I’d be more careful depending on the vibe

  48. Shirley Monson Guest

    I visited two lounges last year for my very first times. I didn't want to tote a bag with me or worry about leaving it somewhere in order to go through the buffet, so I checked it (which was free). Then all I had with me were a very small backpack and a tiny purse just big enough for my phone. :)

  49. Never In Doubt Guest

    My phone, passport, money & cards never leave my body in an airport.

    If someone in a lounge wants to walk away with my clothes & toiletries they can have them.

    1. Bill n DC Diamond

      My MO, too! Passport always in my pants (jeans or cargo shorts) pocket iPhone in cargo pocket or vest pocket if wearing jeans. Kakhis all 3 Passporrt, phone & wallet

    2. pstm91 Diamond

      This and Lucky's breakdown are exactly how I approach it.

    3. Redacted Guest

      Yep, this is me too (and mostly what I tend to see at Amex lounges, for that matter).

    4. Murray Guest

      Yes. And my backpack with laptop has compartments locked and is locked to furniture if I leave it out of my eyesight. Yes someone could cut the cables or fabric of pack….but that would draw a lot of attention in a airline lounge

  50. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    I'll leave them unattended, but usually within eyesight, to grab a drink or food, but always have my wallet, passport and phone in my possession.

    1. Joshua Member

      My MO is very similar - if the bags are in eyesight then I leave them. If I can’t see them, they come with me.

      I would argue that bags in eyesight are not unattended.

      Wallet, cash, passport are on my person at all times. What I’m risking losing is clothes, tablet, all my charging cables, and OTC meds. Certianly inconvenient, but nothing that will end the world.

  51. Jules Guest

    16 yr old daughter once texted me from Houston where she was connecting on her first solo trip (although MANY travels with the family) and asked if her bag “was ok back at the gate while I’m getting some Starbucks” No. It’s not. You’re lucky it wasn’t stolen or destroyed already.

  52. 9volt Gold

    Yes, I’ll leave my bag when getting food from the buffet and using the restroom. But I will take the essentials with me on the slim chance my belongings are stolen, such as my phone, wallet, and passport.

    Another factor to consider is once you clear your belongings, it’s basically a signal that you’re leaving your table, seat, lounger, etc and it is open to anyone else for the taking.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Never In Doubt Guest

My phone, passport, money & cards never leave my body in an airport. If someone in a lounge wants to walk away with my clothes & toiletries they can have them.

8
Scudder Diamond

My greatest/only takeaway from this discussion/comments section is that Darrell Stewarcz is even more sociopathic than the Widget’s #1 fan.

7
Redacted Guest

What's with all these aggressive comments, Darrell? There is clearly no right or wrong answer here. It's okay to have different opinions depending on how much you value security vs convenience vs any other number of factors. Personally, my phone and wallet go with me everywhere (including food/bar/bathrooms), but everything else stays behind. I'd rather take the small inconvenience of losing some clothes versus the great inconvenience of carting things around everywhere and losing my seats.

6
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