Luggage Locks

Old Dec 18th, 2003, 07:59 AM
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Luggage Locks

Anyone know whether luggage locks are allowed outside the US?

We have some new ones that are "guaranteed approved by the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA)". Inspectors have keys that will open them so they won't be cut off, but the luggage can still be inspected if need be. Full refund if they are ever cut off.

We are flying on Northwest to/from Thailand. I wonder if luggage locks would be a problem while the luggage is being handled in Tokyo and Bangkok. Also, I wonder whether luggage locks are acceptable with other airlines, in general. I don't want to use them if they are just going to cause us more hassle.

Any insight is appreciated.
ms_wiley is offline  
Old Dec 18th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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We went from Kuala Lumpur to Bali and had my lock removed. Direct flight w/ Garuda Airlines.
So I'd expect from the U.S to Thailand to possibly lose a lock. I would'nt bother with them. Any valuables should be in your carry-on.
We did recieve a replacement lock...but it was not as good as the samsonite lock they broke off.
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Old Dec 18th, 2003, 02:20 PM
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Whether the lock has been approved by the TSA doesn't matter, what does matter is whether the inspectors know about the lock, and I wouldn't trust them not to break the lock - keys or no keys, considering that the locks most people used in the past can be opened with a hairpin. Granted combination locks can't be opened, they are simply cut off. If they want to inspect your luggage doubt if anyone is goin' "lookin' for keys"

So far my luggage has been inspected in front of me, especially in overseas countries, and for that matter, also here in the US. What I have done after the bag has been checked, is use the plastic locks (not the computer cable ties) and none have been broken, torn or burnt off by the time I've gathered my bags at destination.

Keep your valuables with you and don't pack expensive clothing - less problems all around.
 
Old Dec 19th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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We have found that our suitcases have been checked both coming from Madrid and Mexico. Both times it has been done away from us. The TSA leaves a flyer inside telling you what they were looking for!! Agree with the other posts.. carry valuables with you at all times. We have also had our luggage checked while we looked on. I have been "wanded" so many times I automatically assume the position!! Must fit some weird profile.. white haired old ladies!!
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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 05:30 AM
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sandi
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ms_wiley -

I've read further on the new approved TSA locks and they do seem promising, as there have been issues with items being taken from unlocked bags.

And while the inspectors will eventually have to adhere to the rules regarding these new approved locks (both those that use keys and combinations) - I'd personally give it some time and not be the first to use them. Let's wait to see what further comments travelers have regarding these and their success or not during the inspection process.

In the meantime, just remember to keep money jewelry, medicines, passports, airline tickets, and any other personal items with you in your carryon; and be sure not to have anything of value (including clothing) in your checked baggage.
 
Old Dec 20th, 2003, 08:10 AM
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My traveling companion used a lock on her suitcase for our flight from Hanoi to Chiang Rai (via Bangkok), and it was removed and her luggage was searched (not while we were present). Nothing was taken. Interestingly, it was the only one of our four checked bags that was searched. Neither of us used locks on any other leg of our trip.

While I have to admit that I don't feel all that comfortable traveling with my luggage unlocked (especially beacuse I purchase local crafts and pack them carefully in my suitcase), I haven't lost anything out of my suicases since the prohibition on luggage locks. Everyone, including the airlines says "be sure not to have anything of value in your checked baggage," let's face it, almost everything in my luggage is something I value. I don't pack medicine or jewelry or money or travel documents in checked baggage, but I'd be unhappy to lose almost anything out of my suitcases.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2003, 11:05 AM
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There is a new invention - disposable luggage locks!! Howard Luggage has two different types on their website -Samsonite and Lewis N Clark. They only cost $4.95 for 10. They can be opened by hand, but even if they are cut, who cares, they are dirt cheap. It makes me feel a little better to see a lock on my luggage even if it is a whimpy disposable kind.
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Old Dec 29th, 2003, 05:03 PM
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I appreciate everyone's thoughts! Here's an update, for what it's worth.

When we checked the luggage in Detroit, there was a TSA inspector at the counter. We asked him about the TSA lock. He checked it for the TSA symbol then said it would be okay. Later, in BKK, we found that two of our four checked bags had been searched. TSA did leave a note in each of them. Only one of the bags originally had a TSA lock on it, it was one of the searched bags, and the lock was still intact.

These locks are the combination type but also can be opened with a key. Keys are not sold with them - only TSA inspectors are supposed to have the keys. They seem quite sturdy; not at all like those little locks that come with all luggage.

I think I will continue to use these locks in the future. As another poster wrote, though items in my checked baggage are not exactly "valuable", I would not want them rifled through, lost, or stolen.
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Old Aug 19th, 2004, 01:13 PM
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My husband recently came back from a business trip to find when he collected his luggage that the locks on our expensive hard case Delsey suitcase had been broken by TSA. As with others who have written here we were furious to find that the TSA is not liable for broken locks. We lock our suitcases to guard against theft which along with terrorism is also a problem; and as responsible citizens we try to safeguard our property the best way we can.

Without much hope of success (after reading messages here) I went to the TSA internet site to download a claims form. Much to my surprise I found a list of "Accepted and Recognized Locks". On scanning through the list I found Delsey to be among them, so I telephoned TSA to ask why, when our suitcase was on the list of "Accepted & Recognised" was it broken into when they obviously had a master key to open it? I was told that since Delsey was indeed on their list, we would be eligible to file a claim for the cost of having the locks repaired, or failing that, we could claim for a new suitcase. This all sounds good to me. None of us likes to have our personal belongings tampered with, or worse damaged, but if they offer to make matters right with you, they have done the best they can. I just thought I would pass this information on. There IS a list of approved locks. If you happen to have one of these suitcases or bags with these locks and the locks are broken you CAN file a claim for repairs. You see there IS light at the end of the tunnel after all.
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Old Aug 19th, 2004, 03:11 PM
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I have been using the TSA approved locks for a year now, without any trouble. They come in black and a few neon colors, which makes your bag easier to find!
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Old Aug 19th, 2004, 06:32 PM
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who do you think you are keeping out by putting a lock on your bag???? if anyone wants to go in they will do it very easily...why bother??

besides you should not be putting anything in a suitcase that you cannot replace easily...
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Old Aug 19th, 2004, 07:40 PM
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Travelled worldwide with locked luggage. After one has travelled to Africa then one locks one's bag as one risks losing knickers, bras, shoes etc. Have never had a problem with our locked luggage being forced open. Have never heard of locks being non-allowable! Thanks for the tips but I'll continue to lock ours! Four combination wheels. My undies are expensive ones!
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Old Aug 19th, 2004, 07:52 PM
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lyndie---if you come to usa don't use locks or loose them...also in asia as you see from posts here...
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Old Aug 19th, 2004, 09:24 PM
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Hi Bob- Travelled to China, Hong Kong in Mar 03, Vietnam, Thailand in July 03, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand Dec 03, New Zealand Feb 04, Myanmar, Thailand, Turkey & Greece Mar & Apr 04, New Caledonia May 04 and never had a problem. However will note the comments. Not planning on returning to the US after two trips already. Best of luck.
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 08:06 AM
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FOLLOW UP....

After my optimistic post in Aug. 2004 I am just writing to say the TSA refused to pay in the end! To me they are just a bunch of crooks. They do whatever they want with government sanction. They destroy and confiscate property on a whim without fear of retribution. They in fact behave like vandals who would be fined and probably jailed under different circumstances.
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Old Nov 14th, 2005, 09:51 AM
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This is my lock situation. I've been traveling, annually, since the early 70s and have never had a lock cut off...not even after 911 and I've used the same regular Eagle Creek locks on my luggage. Then, last year there was a lot of talk about TSA locks,on this forum, so before my Ghana, West Africa trip December 2004- January 2005, I decided to use them. I had been in Ghana in December 2003-Jan 2004 and had used my regular locks and had no problems with them and I had to go from L.A.-Europe-Ghana. No one bothered my luggage. So, while flying from L.A.-N.Y.-Milan-Ghana in Dec 2004, I decided to use the TSA locks...you know...try something different. Well, upon arrival in New York, I noticed the TSA lock had jammed on my carry-on bag. So, I figured, no problem, they have the keys and can open it. I had only a very small amount of time before my Milan flight was going to take off. So, I ran to the TSA office to have the lock opened...I wasn't going all the way to Ghana with a jammed lock and not be able to have it opened there. Well, I got to the TSA office at the airport in N.Y. and no one knew where the keys were. Then I was sent through the security/ex-ray section and told to talk to the TSA people on the other side about it. Well, at first they didn't know where the keys were. Meanwhile, my flight to Milan is almost ready to leave. So, finally someone found the key, but didn't know which key to use and asked ME which key he should use. I don't know....I'm not TSA. Then he figured out that there's a number at the bottom of the lock that matches the TSA key number. So, he took his HUGE ring of keys...looked like a prison warden's ring of keys...and went through each one to find the right key. FINALLY my bag was opened and then he wanted to put the same lock back on my luggage. Why would I put a jammed/problematic lock back on the luggage? I always carry LOTS of extra locks. So, I put the jammed/problematic one away and took out one that I knew would work proberly and ran to my flight to catch my flight to Milan which I nearly missed. Happy Travels!
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