January 2021 Employees of the Month: The Tale of Two Cities and Two Misplaced Bags
Call it the Tale of Two Cities, Two Misplaced Bags, and Four Employees of the Month. Two passengers had their bags mistakenly misplaced while going through the Concourse J-Central TSA checkpoint during the same peak hour in December.
Tale #1 involved an elderly passenger in a wheelchair. While being escorted by a wheelchair attendant, the attendant picked up the wrong bag from the baggage conveyor belt and left to the gate with the passenger. The owner of the bag that was taken by accident reported her bag missing.
When the owner described her missing bag to TSA, Transportation Security Officer (TSO) Junior Rodriguez and Lead TSO Golddy Duran noticed an abandoned bag on the conveyor belt that looked very similar to the description. You guessed it - that bag belonged to the passenger in the wheelchair, and it contained her medication.
The bag taken by the wheelchair attendant contained the other passenger’s jewelry and other valuables. TSO Rodriguez and LTSO Duran, with the assistance of Supervisory TSO Edgar De Trinidad, teamed up to figure out what had happened, with only one small clue from the passenger to work with: the man in front of her looked like a flight crew member and was wearing a yellow shirt.
The TSA employees quickly reached out to DAS (the wheelchair service company), had the DAS employee return with the passenger and the misplaced bag to the checkpoint, and managed to switch the bags before the flights departed.
Our story continues with Tale #2: At the same time, another man reported that HIS bag was also missing. This passenger was a former race car driver traveling to Brazil with some precious memorabilia in his bag, and he was extremely upset and concerned that it had been misplaced and his flight would be boarding soon.
It turns out that another passenger had taken the bag belonging to the race car driver and left his own bag behind! Hot off solving one case, TSO Rodriguez and LTSO Duran jumped right back into action. They wrote down the man’s personal information and contacts and got to work. They searched for clues until they found a receipt, scanned the QR code, and obtained a name. They collaborated with LATAM Airlines Supervisor Alina Margarita Suarez until they figured out who had left the bag behind and taken the wrong bag.
Upon reaching Brazil, passenger #1 was extremely happy and surprised to receive his bag. Passenger #2 who had taken passenger #1’s bag by mistake was contacted and helped by LATAM to also retrieve the bag he had left at MIA. For their efforts and expert detective skills, STSO De Trinidad, LTSO Duran, TSO Rodriguez, and Suarez were named MIA’s January Employees of the Month. The End!