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Old 30th November 2010, 16:34   #1
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Default Laptop exchanged at Mumbai airport security

Hi All, I want to put this down on this forum to tell you that things like this can inadvertently happen to you too.

Was flying down from Mumbai Terminal 1A by 0910 Indian airlines flight to Bangalore and went through security well in time. There were a lot of other flights taking off but 1A only looks after Indian and Kingfisher.

I had my laptop in a backpack so took it out put it in a plastic tray before going through security and therafter went to collect the backpack and laptop after it had gone through the screening. Saw my backpack and a laptop which looked exactly like mine (Acer) and put it into my backpack. I thought for a second that " hey my laptop has got some scratches on top which I had never seen before" but this faded when wify came through security check grumbling about how few ladies check in were there compared to men.

Reached our hotel by 1230 and after settling down opened the laptop to check my mail and was in for a shock. The laptop was not mine. It had a persons name and was password protected.

Now I was in a panic, so called up people I knew. One was transiting thru mumbai in the evening and I asked him to check with airport security. Meanwhile I got thru to Indian Airlines and enquired if a person of this name flew out from mumbai at approximately this time and was told by the staff that no one with that name transited through 1A at that time. The Indian airline staff were very helpful.

Next I try with kingfisher and had a horrid experience. Getting through to some one who could help was very difficult and when I got thru to the call center supervisor was told bluntly that they cannot help me.

My idea was to get hold of the other guys mobile number, which the airlines have, and get back my laptop.

Couldn't sleep well that night. Next morning at 0830 got a call from my dad "where is your laptop?" he asked, immediately I felt some relief that the case would be solved.

To cut along story short. The other Guy also went through security picked up a laptop looking like his picked it up and took his flight. He was in for a shock when he opened it which happened to be the next morning. Fortunately my laptop was not locked and he was able to get into my contacts, phoned one that read "dad" and made the connection.

Fortunately, he had taken a Kingfisher flight to Bangalore too. So by 1000 I had my laptop back.

Moral of the story:- Check that your laptop, or mobile phone is actually yours. A sticker or marker on it would help in identification. I know the chances of this happening are rare but still..

Imagine if I had password protected my laptop? I'm sure getting it back would be more tedious.
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Old 30th November 2010, 16:59   #2
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That indeed is a horrid experience. In a corporate world without your laptop and mobile even your mere existence is questioned

Hence, do something like this to clearly identify your laptop ( sorry for image quality) :
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Old 30th November 2010, 17:04   #3
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I too used this same technic to differentiate my Laptops and Luggages and my personal things with some horrified stickers what i bought at my younger age
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Old 30th November 2010, 17:25   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Hence, do something like this to clearly identify your laptop ( sorry for image quality) :
And what if someone else has the same sticker?

BTW some airports give you a number and the same number is in the tray. That way you can only pick up your stuff. Another thing to do is to put all other loose items like pens, mobiles etc into the laptop bag or handbag when screening.
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Old 30th November 2010, 17:29   #5
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In the bygone era of IBM ThinkPads, I have almost always picked the wrong one. But never carried away any or any got carried away.

Now we have pink, green and what not. Even some with Vinyl stickers, make one for yourself and stick one on your laptop. Just dont mention bomb anywhere. That would have you staring down the cold barrel of a service rifle held by airport security.
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Old 30th November 2010, 17:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
....In a corporate world without your laptop and mobile even your mere existence is questioned...
I'm sure they'll have a lot more questions when they see you sitting behind that laptop

cya
R
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Old 30th November 2010, 17:34   #7
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Quote:
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I'm sure they'll have a lot more questions when they see you sitting behind that laptop

cya
R
Rehaan, I flaunt that around in all my meetings and get sometimes weird glances and many questions.

Essentially it helps me primarily as a conversation starter with my customers
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Old 30th November 2010, 17:38   #8
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That's a great idea @mobike & the very moment I went & picked up my stickers to put on my laptop; but...you see, our DELL E6400 has a weird manufacturing defect with all their LCD monitors that our company's purchase of all 120+ laptops were replaced with new LCD panels & in some cases LCD & Mother board & worst case being mine, they replaced MB+LCD 3 times in last 1 year!!!

What do I do?

@goandude - Its a real eye opener incident that you've shared. Tks; will be careful with laptops in public places. Atleast will have a sticker put up during such travels.
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Old 30th November 2010, 17:41   #9
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Hence, do something like this to clearly identify your laptop ( sorry for image quality) :
Quote:
Originally Posted by Live To Jive View Post
And what if someone else has the same sticker?
Then you have a small TBHP meet
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Old 30th November 2010, 19:16   #10
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Either make sure your laptop has something on it to differentiate it from the others or carry a slick laptop case for security check.
I have always used a soft slick case for security check trays and ive never had a problem with the security check guys either , since the slick case is of the size n thickness of the laptop itself.
Its better than having a laptop thats not password protected.
You were v lucky.
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Old 1st December 2010, 09:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
Its better than having a laptop thats not password protected.
You were v lucky.
In fact the lack of password protection is what got my laptop back.
Unlucky to have two identical laptops in the same place at the same time.
Lucky that the other person was honest and he travelled to the same place I had gone to.
But my appreciation for Indian Airlines went up a couple of notches with their cooperation. Kingfisher response was
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Old 1st December 2010, 10:13   #12
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Two lessons learnt from this thread

1) Put a solid identification sticker on you laptop. Mine has an asset no sticker put since its co owned.

2) Never keep your laptop unlocked. Its always unsafe since a lot of personal stuff is available apart from the official ones.

I have taken my laptop though airports checks on several occasions but till date never faced any issue. Its better to be aware and alert.
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Old 1st December 2010, 12:08   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
That indeed is a horrid experience. In a corporate world without your laptop and mobile even your mere existence is questioned

Hence, do something like this to clearly identify your laptop ( sorry for image quality) :
@hey Mobike - are you working in MS btw? The phone ,DELL laptop and thermo cups tells me that you may be...

I worked in Gachibowli till 2007 June
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Old 1st December 2010, 12:11   #14
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Just prompted me to put a small sticker with my initials on the cover.
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Old 1st December 2010, 13:09   #15
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I personally keep an eye on my laptop completely till it passes through the scanner machine and till it comes out. In a hurry, it is very easy to pick up someone else's lappy.

Anyways, need to pay little more attention to avoid this situation and keep your phone number and name sticker on the laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reisender View Post


@hey Mobike - are you working in MS btw? The phone ,DELL laptop and thermo cups tells me that you may be...

I worked in Gachibowli till 2007 June
Oh boy! You do have a wonderfully keen eye
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