Locking baggage

Old Jan 5th, 2007, 09:53 AM
  #1  
BAK
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,944
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Locking baggage

Am I right in thinking that you are not allowed to lock your checked baggage at Canadian airports?

There's a story in the paper today about thieves (accused) at PEarson Airport in Toronto being arrested after stealing lots of stuff, mostly electronics, for months.

Seems to me travellers are rquired by law to leave theirbags unlocked, to make it easy for the thieves.

Am I right?

BAK
BAK is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2007, 10:28 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I found this on the CATSA site:

"While there is currently no legislative requirement to leave baggage unlocked, it may help to speed up the screening process should your baggage be selected for a physical search. In the meantime, if a prohibited item is detected through screening, CATSA will try to match the baggage with the owner and ask that it be opened so it can be searched."

If they can't find you, I would think they will just break the lock and/or delay your baggage, so I don't think it would be beneficial to lock it.

Putting electronics in your checked luggage isn't very wise in any case - think of the damage that can happen from the handling of the luggage. If you do have to check your electronics, try using plastic ties to attach them to the inside of the luggage, that should make it a bit harder for the thieves to steal it.
toedtoes is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2007, 12:01 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 329
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There's been a fair bit of discussion about locks for baggage on Fodors and the one bit of useful advice that worked well for me was using plastic cable ties....
anyone who is authorized to check can easily open them, but otherwise they provide just enough of a barrier for someone to pass on taking the chance.

I've used them for the past 2 trips overseas with no problem at check in or otherwise. Also I don't ever put valuables of any kind in my luggage.

Here's some other ideas:
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2

I also use the mesh bags for packing so that many things are inside zippered compartments (or compression bags on return) to make it that much easier for organization, as well as being an added deterrent to would be thieves.
TobieT is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2007, 12:38 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 541
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've always meant to put those zip ties on my bags when travelling, but have always forgotten to bring them along when I go

My reasoning for using them, besides the whole security check thing at the airport, is that if someone *really* wants to get into my bag, I'd rather they cut the zip tie instead of slicing the bag itself due to the lock...they might steal my battery charger, but at least I'd still have my underpants
BikerScott is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 04:05 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just wondering, isn't it unsafe not to lock the bag or just lock it with the plastic cable ties?

Things may gone missing, or there may be additional "stuff" added to your luggage that doesn't belong to you, and get you into trouble.
snowypanda is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 08:46 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Snowypanda - my thought is that it's not "common behavior" for airport personnel to steal from luggage - probably less than 5%. If you don't pack in a manner to enourage theft (i.e., packing your $5000 camcorder in your checked luggage), then you're pretty safe. I think most issues with check luggage deal with items getting broken during security checks, rough handling and lost luggage. I personally don't know anyone who's actually had anything stolen ever.

If you do have to pack valuable items, take precautions: cable tie them to the inside of the luggage; take photos and retain serial numbers for identification; don't pack anything that is questionable and would require security to do a hand search of your luggage (i.e., packing something that resembles a propane bottle, etc.).

I think the idea that "additional stuff" will find it's way into your luggage is really an urban myth. Think about it: I'm a drug dealer in England and I want to smuggle drugs into Canada. So I get a job at Heathrow as a luggage handler, open a random piece of luggage and drop my drugs in there, put it on the plane and off it goes. Now in order for me to gain from this, I have to have a partner at a Canadian airport who also works as a luggage handler to grab the bag and remove the drugs. If I don't have someone to grab it before customs, then it's NEVER going to be a successful smuggling operation.

Locking luggage when you leave it at the hotel, etc. is a good idea. A lot more people have access to your luggage outside of the airport and there isn't as much security. It's a lot easier for some guy off the street to access your hotel room than it is for him to access your checked luggage at the airport.
toedtoes is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 05:16 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hmmm...that's quite true about the "additional stuff". I think I'll use the suggestion of using plastic cable ties. Btw, I heard that there is a kind of lock that can be easily opened by the airport security without breaking it. Any idea what kind of locks is it?
snowypanda is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 05:38 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I always worried about the "additional stuff" until I started actually thinking out how it would work - and realized it really doesn't. I think most instances of it happening are with folks who are traveling together: guy 1 says "I don't have room in my suitcase, would you put this in yours" and gives guy 2 something with his drugs stashed in it - if they get stopped guy 1 (who probably has been busted before) doesn't get caught with the drugs in his possession.

There are TSA approved locks available at most luggage stores. TSA has a master key that is supposed to unlock all TSA approved locks. The cable ties are nice because they are really cheap and you can toss a bag into your suitcase and have them for the whole trip for various needs.
toedtoes is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2007, 05:59 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry, I'm a bit confused. When we say "TSA", are we referring to the general "Transportation Security Administration" in airports around the world or specifically for Canada airports?

My flight to Canada will transit in London, so this TSA approved locks can be used in Canada & UK airports right?

Actually, I always lock my checkin luggage using the attached lock (hope you know what I mean). But after reading this forum, I realised that if the airport personnel decide to cut open the luggage for checking, my whole luggage will be gone...

snowypanda is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It should be in all airports everywhere, but I won't guarantee that. The built-in locks on luggage are bad because they can't cut the lock off -they have to cut the actual luggage.

Your easiest solution is really the cable ties. It will make your suitcase that much less accessible than the one next to it (so a thief will ignore it), but it will be very easy for security to access your suitcase if needed.
toedtoes is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jobin
Air Travel
26
Nov 9th, 2018 07:19 PM
bamababe
Mexico & Central America
11
Apr 12th, 2007 02:58 PM
fpsoley
Europe
7
Sep 6th, 2006 09:26 AM
sandi
Air Travel
11
Feb 20th, 2003 12:52 PM
Michael Snowdon
Europe
8
May 13th, 2002 12:45 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -