Passengers travelling with valuable items or a high amount of cash on them should be aware of thieves operating during a flight.
In-flight thieves are targeting travellers while they are on the plane and their inhibitions are lower.
Many use the time during dining service or when the lights are lowered to operate, taking gadgets or currency.
They are also able to target particular travellers by putting their own hand luggage next to theirs, and stealing items when they go to the toilet.
Two passengers travelling to Hong Kong from Johannesburg told flight attendants their valuables were stolen during the flight.
South African Airways’ Tlali Tlali told South Arica Times the passengers were “able to point out a few passengers who had behaved in a suspicious manner in the cabin and who were seen opening some overhead compartments while other passengers were sleeping”.
The accused were then met on the tarmac by police in Hong Kong but nothing was found on them.
However, the items were later found by cleaning staff on the plane and returned to the travellers.
Another person complained they had $3,000 stolen after the thieves changed every $100 bill note with a $1 bill note, according to South China Morning Post.
Travellers can avoid being targeting during a flight through a number of ways.
This can include putting bags in upside down in the overhead lockers, making it much harder to unzip the bag without drawing attention.
Using locks can also make suitcases harder to get into and less of a target.
Putting valuables and money at the bottom of the bag will also prevent thieves from taking them without emptying the bag first.
Keeping items such as phones and money on their person can enable passengers who do fall victim to be able to sort out the situation much easier than if everything was stolen.
It isn’t the only place travellers can be targeted – thieves also operate at airports, in particular at security.
A study by Policy Expert revealed 11 per cent of people experienced something being stolen before boarding, with approximately £200-£500 of value.
Security often requires people to take their gadgets out of their bags, leaving them open to theft.
Instead, they should take them out at the last minute before putting them through the airport scanners.
This can prevent them from being unattended and taken until it is too late.