Would You Leave $95K In Jewellery In A Checked Bag?

Open Jaw

A New York couple has filed a lawsuit against U.S. low-cost carrier JetBlue and the TSA, alleging that more than $95,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from their checked luggage at JFK.


Natalie and Michael Hekmat have named the airline and the government agency as co-defendants in the lawsuit, claiming negligence and breach of contract, as they say that B6 and the TSA should have prevented the king’s ransom from allegedly being taken from their locked suitcase.


According to the complaint, the couple flew from JFK to LAX on 21FEB. When they arrived at the airport, Natalie Hekmat gave her Rimowa hard shell suitcase — which contained the precious jewellery wrapped in a brown suede jewellery roll — to a B6 employee at the airport’s curbside check-in area.


Hekmat said that she and her husband assumed that it would be fine to let nearly $100K of jewels out of their sight because “at no time did [they] see a sign warning them that valuables should not be checked in at the curbside check-in due to valuables being separated, lost or stolen.”


When the couple landed at LAX, they “immediately inspected their luggage” and discovered that 8 rings worth a combined $95,000 were missing from the now-empty roll.


The Hekmats say that both the airline and TSA are responsible because the “Defendant TSA knew that some employees might take property that did not belong to them, or should have known of such propensity had Defendant TSA conducted an adequate hiring procedure” and “because Plaintiffs reasonably believed that their property would be safely delivered from JFK to LAX by defendant jetBlue in a safe condition.”


The couple’s attorney might have a seriously uphill battle, and not just because of his clients’ questionable decision. The following paragraph is on  JetBlue’s website, under the heading “Items JetBlue Does Not Hold Liability For”:


“Irreplaceable or essential items (such as antiques, artifacts, car keys, house or other keys, currency, cheques, negotiable papers, securities, essential medication, heirlooms, collectible items, irreplaceable business documents , ,jewellery, precious stones or metals including silverware, natural fur products, optics, contact lenses, paintings/works of art).”


TSA spokesperson Mike England told USA Today’s Road Warrior Voices that the agency could not comment on pending litigation. B6 corporate communications manager Philip Stewart echoed that sentiment, but also added: “Customers are advised that certain items are not covered under policies customers agree to when they purchase a ticket. These items include jewellery, electronic equipment, medicines, or valuables and compensation for the loss of such items is expressly excluded.”  

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