The man, named as Kittisak Sanusan, was handed over to Tachatchai police by officials at the airport who spotted what he was doing using a security camera.
He was caught with an iPhone in his possession about 7pm last night. He is likely to be denied bail before a court appearance.
Baggage handlers at Phuket airport work for a private contractor, not the managers, Airports of Thailand.
Travellers are constantly being advised never to put valuables in the bags that are stowed on aircraft.