Do you lock your suitcase and why?

Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 04:57 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 23,003
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do you lock your suitcase and why?

Decided on new thread rather than hijacking TSA luggage lock thread.

Maybe I am just an ignorant traveler, but I have never locked a suitcase for air (or other) travel. I figure if someone wants to steal it, they will take the entire suitcase - since many airports don't check claim checks exiting luggage carousel anyway.

As far zipper opening, a ribbon or twist tie takes care of that. And if I had a suitcase with snap lock closures that were prone to opening, I would stop using it - who wants to risk dumping their luggage contents on the pavement walking to the terminal.

So what am I missing here?
gail is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 05:45 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 69,327
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
well - I almost never check a bag. But when I do, I always lock it. Not because there is anything valuable inside (there isn't) but to ensure it doesn't open either in loading/unloading or on the carousel.

Most suitcases can be jarred open if hit just right.
janisj is online now  
Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 05:46 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 69,327
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Oh - and I don't use a "lock" - I use cable ties
janisj is online now  
Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 06:20 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I use cable ties. You can tell if someone has been in your suitcase.

After viewing on TV video of baggage handlers unzipping suitcases and pawing through them I decided I didn't want my clothing pawed through. If they have to take the time to clip the ties they will naturally go to a suitcase that is easy to get into.

Even if there is nothing valuable in that suitcase I don't want someone going through it unless it is security. Then I don't like it either but what can you do - it is for the safety of all of us.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 07:03 AM
  #5  
esm
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,487
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I never lock my suitcase and never have anything worth stealing in it. The twist tie is a good idea; thanks for sharing.
esm is online now  
Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 07:37 AM
  #6  
pat
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,488
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I generally lock mine. It depends on where I am going. Going to China they tell your to lock your suitcase. Going to Mexico I will lock it too. I bought a silk comforter in China, and didn`t want it stolen. I have had TSA locks cut off before too.
pat is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2008, 08:32 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 96,109
Received 12 Likes on 11 Posts
I quit locking luggage maybe 5 years ago. I'll use either plastic cable ties or kitchen twist ties simply to secure the zippers.

There is nothing of value in my checked suitcase, and I figure a lock only makes it look like there might be (something of value).
suze is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2008, 10:21 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My one small suitcase has two handles with a wrap around where you grab it. These two handles never want to stay together - the wraparound comes unsnapped. I found velcro strips at Menards - local big box store. They work great for this.
They wrap around cords on hairdryers etc. There is a hole to pull it through and secure it.

My friend had the luggage handlers wrapped twisted aluminum foil around her handles when they came apart.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2008, 12:09 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,950
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I always lock them to make it more work for lazy thieves, especially the airports I have to fly through. I've had my luggage inspected by TSA & they've always relocked it. A thief wouldn't. I use the TSA approved locks.

It makes no difference to me if others don't, though.
Carrybean is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2008, 03:25 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 701
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I never lock my checked luggage. I take all valuables with me in my carry on. I always pack a certain way that I could tell if someone has gone through my luggage. As far as I can tell no one ever has.
traveljunkie28 is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2008, 02:29 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes - to stop it opening and losing half my luggage

I've never understood why only the US is incapable of opening locked bags - or was the policy brought in thanks to the bribes - sorry lobbying - of TSA approved lock manufacturers?
alanRow is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2008, 03:40 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26,859
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Yes - even when there's nothing worth stealing (usually) I don't want someone going through my stuff. I use a TSA lock for US flights, and a normal combination lock the rest of the time.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2008, 09:12 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 963
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm another one who uses cable ties and for similar reasons as above, it stops casual opening of the bag by non-security personnel.

In Rio, if you don't have locks on your bag, they'll give you cable ties to secure your bag as thefts by baggage handlers are/were quite a problem.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2008, 02:45 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,076
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A lot of reasons, mainly practical, such as janisj's point that it helps keep the bag closed during transit.

On that note, I still get asked this question checking in:

"Did you pack the contents of your luggage yourself?"

The point is, they ask the question. Maybe they don't have any good reasons, maybe the threat of ordinary travelers being used as smugglers or drug mules, etc. is vastly exaggerated. But the power of security/customs officials to make life difficult for one is not exaggerated.

So, I want to use such methods as I have for proving that someone could have helped me 'pack' the bag while it was in transit. (These days, one must prove one's innocence, since of course all passengers are guilty until proven otherwise these days.) A broken lock isn't much, but as evidence of unauthorized entry it is better than nothing, and besides, it is of nominal trouble to me to use a lock in the first place: it takes me only seconds to lock the bag, and the locks don't cost much.

By the way, such news accounts as I've read about baggage theft rings among baggage handlers indicate they don't swipe the entire suitcase but lift such of the contents as are deemed desirable.

http://tinyurl.com/5fugnl

Of course, the lock won't prevent the theft. And many travelers, self included, rarely pack valuable pieces of clothing - except in the instance of a trip for the purpose of attending a special event. In that case, it could be convenient to know sooner rather than later that something is missing, say a good pair of shoes that one was planning to wear to the event.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2008, 09:41 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,837
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I haven't locked my checked luggage since 9/11. I thought you weren't allowed unless it was TSA locks. Anyway, I put all valuables in my carry on. I've never had anything come up missing in all these years.
annikany is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2008, 11:12 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I lock my suitcase. Just a habit No particular reason to do that.
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Aug 27th, 2008, 10:15 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I do not lock my suitcase. Last year I flew from SFO/JFK/ZAG, when I opened my suitcase after checked into a hotel in Zagreb, I was surprised to find a beatiful gift box about the size of a large Kleenex box. It was empty. The poor soul who bought this gift for a special person must be very upset! Someone must stole the content and threw the box into my suitcase. I just left that empty box in the hotel room when I checked out. I think I better use the the cable ties from now on.
teatravel is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2008, 03:11 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<< I thought you weren't allowed unless it was TSA locks. >>>

Only applies to incompetent countries who can't open locks without assistance
alanRow is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2008, 08:28 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 603
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I lock my suitcases not because I'm afraid something might be stolen; I worry about something "illegal" being put into it.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Old Aug 28th, 2008, 02:58 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 196
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
for those of you who use the cable ties, do you find that the TSA agents cut them quite frequently? I guess I don't see the point in using them if they can be cut off and not put back on?
Buffy9297 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information