The hive mind probes TSA luggage claims data, and here’s what it finds
This is pretty revealing. The agency has paid out far less, on average, as time has progressed. It follows the same trend line as total payouts graphed at the start of the story.
There’s clearly a downward trend, maybe because of the bag fees decreasing the amount of checked baggage. Later data may be biased due to claims still being processed.
A review of the comments also raises other possible explanations, such as fewer valuable items being checked or a shift in TSA policy.
Either way, the conclusion seems inescapable: If you check a bag, TSA is far less likely to reimburse you than in years past. If it does, it’s likely to pay only a fraction of what you’re asking for.