The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has an important responsibility—serving as the last line of defense against terrorists. But, isn’t is reasonable to expect TSA workers to keep our stuff safe while inspecting them for safety?

Protecting your belongings from damage while flying can be a hassle, especially when the TSA doesn’t share the same concerns. The following items are what’s damaged the most as a result of airport handling:

Medical Devices

Canes and wheelchairs are among the medical devices damaged most by TSA security screenings, but who can forget about the $10,000 insulin pump that was broken when passing through an X-ray machine in Salt Lake City?

Luggage and Luggage Locks

It used to be that lost luggage was the most of your worries when traveling with baggage, but now that the TSA has mandated searches, damage to your actual suitcases duffle bags is ominous as well. Not only that, but damaged zippers and locks can lead to a loss of possessions as well. And while luggage locks were created to prevent theft, they’re basically defunct now as the TSA will happily break it to search suspicious luggage, and they’ll do so with no repercussions. Unless the lock is “TSA-approved,” don’t even bother filling out a claim form.


Apparently, TSA agents have a strong interest in personal electronic devices, namely iPads. Most devices, other than laptops, don’t have to be removed from your carry-on during security, but people do anyway, and the devices inevitably get bent, shattered, scratched, or otherwise, damaged.

TSA agents should be more careful when handling others’ property and should be trained and enforced to do so.

Is the TSA justified in damaging property when it could potentially prevent a terrorist attack?