If you’ve ever had your baggage lost or misplaced after a flight, the last place you’d expect to find your missing items is for sale on social media.
According to local news outlet, KJRH, Kinley Rice, of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, stumbled upon her missing Patagonia jacket — one that was reportedly stolen from her luggage after a recent American Airlines flight out of Tulsa — for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
For those who are not already familiar, Facebook Marketplace is a community for selling and buying used items on the social media platform. In some ways, it is similar to other peer-to-peer selling sites like Craigslist.
Along with her brand new Patagonia jacket, Rice claimed she was also missing a sweater, Lululemon leggings, jeans, her toiletry bag, and her luggage tag containing her personal information. Overall, the value of the items was apparently over $1,000.
“I felt violated. I was just in a hotel room by myself. I was just so uncomfortable because I didn’t know who had my information,” Rice told the station. “I didn’t know who could contact me. You know, anybody can find you through your phone number. So that was scary.”
But Rice's nerves turned to suspicion when she found a new Patagonia jacket for sale on Facebook.
Luckily, still having the receipt, she matched the bar code number on the tag of the jacket and determined that the listing was indeed hers. After looking into the seller, she discovered that they work in baggage services at the Tulsa International Airport, specifically Piedmont Airlines (a subsidiary of the American Airlines).
After this discovery, Rice contacted American Airlines customer service as well as the Tulsa Police Department. “You think you can trust people, you know, when you pay money for them to be responsible for your bag,” she told KJRH.
American Airlines told the outlet in a statement that Rice would be reimbursed $1,000 for her missing items, stating, “American is very concerned with these allegations. We are investigating this in coordination with Piedmont, and are fully cooperating with authorities.”
There are some ways to avoid luggage theft, but sometimes passengers are left vulnerable even with the best precautions and despite the baggage fees paid to ensure the safety of their belongings.