Luggage security?

Jul 14th, 2011, 06:38 AM
  #1  
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Luggage security?

We will be going to South Africa soon and I have heard different opinions about whether we should have our luggage wrapped in plastic at the airport. We have traveled extensively and have never done this, but a couple of people have mentioned that it is well advised to do so when traveling to South Africa. What is your opinion? Do you have your checked luggage wrapped when you fly to/from /within South Africa? What is the cost of doing this?
And if you don't have it wrapped, have you ever had a problem with theft?

We of course will only be packing non valuables in our luggage e.g. clothes, etc. and our luggage is old and not flashy.
Thanks!
Jeanne
jeanned is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 10:50 AM
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Not a good answer for you, but, I've been to/from JNB about 6 times. Never had my bag wrapped and no problems. BUT once, once did have a small camera in a bag and bag was opened and camera taken, that was all that was missing. (And bag arrived a day late). They must have seen it on x-ray.

Even if bag is wrapped, it can still be "lost". So by wrapping you gain what? Or are you just identifying it as something to steal? Anything you really need, camera, medication, documents must be on you. Which I'd say true for all flying anywhere.

I've also wondered what if airport security wants to peek inside? There goes the wrapping. Anyone ever warp and then have the bag arrive not wrapped?

regards - tom
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Jul 14th, 2011, 06:21 PM
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Tom those are my thoughts too. But several people have recommended it to me so I thought I would ask.

Anyone with a different perspective?
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Jul 14th, 2011, 06:45 PM
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I also considered it but read somewhere that TSA here in US will likely rip it off before you even leave the country, so its probably not worth it. I am however putting some TSA locks on my luggage, which I've never done before. Even though I don't put valuables in luggage I've heard they will take just about anything in JNB. I once had a bunch of batteries and a swiss army knife stolen out of luggage (don't recall where.) Just an annoyance, but still...
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Jul 14th, 2011, 08:47 PM
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How much are the tsa locks?
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Jul 14th, 2011, 08:51 PM
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Another question: can the tsa locks be opened by south african inspection authorities? Or will SAA require that the locks be removed?
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Jul 15th, 2011, 02:46 AM
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Not sure about TSA locks, if TSA has a master key, everybody has a master key. I simply use a plastic tie wrap. It can be cut off and replaced. And if it is, I can tell that the bag has been opened. So far never been cut. TSA locks from Amazon, $7 -
http://tinyurl.com/6elq9o5 (Read the reviews, mixed)

regards - tom
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Jul 15th, 2011, 05:17 AM
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I usually use the plastic cable ties and will still do so on the outside pockets, where possible, but will just use the TSA locks on the main compartment. Who knows if it will help but I doubt it can hurt, as someone noted, if a thief sees a locked bag next to an unlocked one he may go for the unlocked. These are usually crimes of opportunity. On the other hand, he may think the locked one has valuables. Its probably a crap shoot either way.
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Jul 15th, 2011, 01:38 PM
  #9  
TC
 
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We only use the cable ties. Only once or twice in the US have they been opened and the TSA letter inside. I agree, at least with my hot pink cable ties, I know if it has been opened and there had better be a TSA letter to explain it. Otherwise, I would file a complaint with the airline. Any of the locks can be opened very easily (TSA variety or not) by those who want inside. Most likely scenario is you're losing the key and being stuck.
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Jul 15th, 2011, 05:29 PM
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I used cable ties bought at the dollar store for flights and TSA locks while bag was left in the room. Never had a problem.

TC I'm liking the sound of those hot pink ones. Where oh where did you find them??
KathBC is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 03:09 PM
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I don't know how they do it all airports, but I've seen it in the US where the TSA x-rays the luggage first and then they wrap it. You drop off the luggage with the wrappers, and they take care of getting it x-ray'd.

I remember watching the luggage at the carousel in Lusaka, and a significant number had their zippers a bit open or locks broken. My luggage was fine until the US where somewhere between IAD and SFO someone busted open my zippers and tried to fish something put an internal compartment. They didn't get anything, thank goodness.
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Jul 16th, 2011, 08:36 PM
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TC
 
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Kath, I found a whole bundle of cable ties at my local hardware store in shades of hot pink, lime green, screaming yellow, tangerine, red, etc. I think they are used to differentiate electric wiring bundles or some such thing, but I love them for my luggage. Check at a hardware store that sells wiring supplies.
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Jul 17th, 2011, 02:50 AM
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I got a large pack of multi-colored cable ties at Home Depot.
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Jul 18th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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On your trip to SA it should not be a problem - luggage goes straight from the plane onto the belt in arrivals. On departure or during transits however your bag sits underground for a while and that's when it's a good idea to have it wrapped. This costs R50 from several places in departures hall at Joburg airport, sometimes cheaper at the check-in desks (some airlines even do it free).
My bag was opened and some clothing items stolen a few months ago at Joburg. I now make a point of checking in as late as possible. Cape Town airport doesn't seem to have as much problems.
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