Etihad Airways seats
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Items Stolen Aboard Airplanes From Airlines?

“M y wife and I were in the last row of F. She had used her blanket and left it in a pile on the seat at the end of the flight. My blanket was unused and was still in the plastic wrapper on my seat. As we exited the plane, a bulkhead Y passenger picks up her blanket and carries it off the plane in full view. As we walked through the concourse, he continued to carry the blanket draped over his arm.”

This is what FlyerTalk member apeortdz claimed to have experienced on a recent flight from Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale operated by American Airlines.

Fort Lauderdale? At the end of May? The air conditioning must truly be powerful to where the alleged thief was heading to need a blanket so desperately that he absconded with it.

Items Stolen Aboard Airplanes From Airlines?

Some items aboard airplanes are obviously available for passengers to keep — such as the in-flight magazine, for example, of which members of the flight crew encourage you to keep. Other items — such as the ash tray in the lavatory; the life vest from underneath the seat; or the yoke in the cockpit — are obviously not available for you to take with you…

…and then there are those items which may be obvious to you and me but not to passengers who seldom travel. Headphones are a good example: on one airline in particular, headphones are offered free of charge for all passengers on international flights to keep; while charged at a cost of two dollars to passengers seated in the economy class cabin on domestic flights within the United States. Travel on another airline on an international flight and you might find a set of headphones which offer decent quality sound — but you cannot keep them, as members of the flight crew scour the aisles collecting them towards the end of the flight to be used on future flights.

Pajamas offered in the premium class cabin aboard an airplane might be another example: do you take and keep them; or do you return them?

Although I personally have never seen members of the flight crew encourage passengers to take blankets or pillows — in fact, American Airlines back in 2010 charged eight dollars to purchase a blue fleece blanket and an inflatable neck pillow, packaged in a clear zippered pouch — could passengers who do not know any better be pardoned as committing a simple mistake where they did not know that blankets and pillows cannot be taken off of the airplane and are not complimentary as part of the airfare?

Passengers are not the only people to steal items from aboard an airplane. Rachel Trevor allegedly stole nearly 1,500 mini-bottles of liquor as a member of the flight crew employed by Delta Air Lines, according to this article written by Christopher Brennan for the New York Daily News.


One enterprising hotel property has a menu of room items placed on the desk of each room — such as $175.00 for a robe or ten dollars for a shoe horn — but with items such as blankets, pillows and other items pilfered from aboard airplanes, should airlines offer a similar “service”?

This is obviously not a problem of epic proportions, as passengers should be more concerned about taking prudent measures to prevent their own items from being lost or stolen both aboard airplanes and in hotels; but the stealing of such items as blankets and pillows — and even placards with important safety information — from aboard airplanes has occurred in the past.

I personally cannot understand what someone would want with a blanket or pillow from an airplane — even if it is from the premium class cabin for a transoceanic flight…

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!