Locking a checked bag at CDG (Paris)

Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:01 AM
  #1  
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Locking a checked bag at CDG (Paris)

I am flying PHL to CDG and back. Outbound, TSA requires locks with a master key on checked bags so they can inspect them. Fine, I will do that.

But what is the security procedure for locking checked baggage returning from CDG (Paris) to the USA? I asked my airline and they said ask TSA; I asked TSA and they said there was no standard procedure from France to the USA, so they don't know

TSA doesn't know???

I searched the French government web sites for clues, I searched the web site of the agency that runs CDG but no help.

My travel agent told me to lock the bag outbound from the USA per TSA regulations, then unlock the bag completely on the return leg and pray your stuff is still there when you get home.

I want to lock my checked suitcase on the flight back to the USA but if I use the TSA approved lock, will the French security folks rip my bag open?

Have any of you checked a bag lately at CDG for the return flight to the USA? What has been your experience?

Jimmyboy
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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I never lock my bags but do not pack anything valueable. Carry on laptop, phone, jewelry, etc. A thief can circumvent the locks. There was a youtube posted on this board showing how to use a pen to open the zipper. google it - you'll be enlightened.

I do use tie downs to secure the zippers.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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Well, the US TSA doesn't run French airlines or what goes on at CDG, I assume that's why they answered that, I think it is unreasonable to expect them to speak with up-to-date authority and knowledge about every foreign airport in the world and what they do.

I don't lock my bags anymore, except within a country (and sometimes in my hotel, actually--yeah, I know anyone could knife one open, but I figure it deters someone who doesn't want to do something obvious). I have heard those TSA rules about locks don't apply in Europe, but don't think I've tested it. What's the worst that could happen? You'd have a broken lock and wasted your money on it? Locks don't cost that much, for heaven's sake, if you care that much about this, why not lock it and see what happens. I don't know how much those locks cost (TSA approved), if that is your issue that they are real expensive, just use a cheaper regular one.

Surely you know if they see something suspicious by screening and want to search it, they are going to, no lock is going to stop them.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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What adrienne says. Carry the stuff you like. Send, unlocked, your case with nothing but dirty laundry.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:47 AM
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Yup, what adrienne said.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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Considering the fact that French airports have those machines that wrap suitcases in tough plastic (particularly for flights to Africa), they clearly do not mind if a suitcase is locked.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 09:52 AM
  #7  
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I never put anything of value in our bags. All that stuff is in our carry-ons. I do use TSA locks going and returning from Europe. I know it's really silly. Sometimes it's obvious that the bags have been opened and searched.

This past July, all of our bags arrived at JFK from Rome with open locks. I may try the cheap plastic ties next time around.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 10:35 AM
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Like other here, I never lock checked luggage. Any valuables are with me on the plane.

TSA is about the USA that's why they aren't responsible for rules exiting France.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Another one who never bothers to lock our luggage. Anyone that wanted to get in would have no problem anyways. I put nothing of value in the suitcases and carry on anything I can't stand to lose?
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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I never ever lock a bag (seldom check bags at all but sometimes will even being carry on sized)

Just use cable ties to secure it. Be sure to have nail clippers w/ you to cut the cable tie (And be sure the nail clippers aren't inside the bag )

BTW TSA doesn't 'require' TSA approved locks. It is just that IF TSA does break break an 'approved' lock - the manufacturer will replace the lock.

No lock will deter a determined thief -
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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I have a TSA "we searched your bag" card in my luggage upon arrival every time I fly out of the US due to the strange things that I buy there.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 11:44 AM
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I use a luggage strap around my 22" or 24" roller bag when I check it. Both for easy identification & to help insure it doesn't pop open if a zipper broke or something.

I typically have a TSA notice in my bag returning the US from Mexico. It's more unusual when I don't.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 11:46 AM
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We follow Adrienne's school of thought. Works worldwide
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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If you are using a TSA lock outbound use the same lock inbound. Or don't bother with a lock at all.

I have TSA locks on mine, came with the bag, so no great hassle to use them.
I've had the TSA card in my bag once going in to the US (yes going in, from AMS, maybe they were doing a drugs check?) and DH has had it coming home again.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 12:54 PM
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If you need convincing that locking your suitcase is a useless thing to do, here is a link to a video, as suggested by adrianne up post, that will convince you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf-DGKUNffI
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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I have had things stolen out of a suitcase at CDG in Paris, at least that was the most likely place that someone could have taken them. But that was some years ago.

I have seen them shrink-wrapping luggage as Kerouac says, and have wondered about this. Does this mean that it is only US airports that do not allow you to lock luggage?

Kerouac, what are the strange things you buy in the US? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 01:13 PM
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I always use the TSA combination locks traveling worldwide. Never have had a problem anywhere,
Europe, Asia, South America.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 01:50 PM
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I used a TSA lock to fly to the US and when I got there, the lock had disappeared.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 02:00 PM
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Like HappyTrvlr, I always use the TSA locks and have flown to and from Italy, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria....and have never had an issue.

I don't put valuables (jewelry, camera, I-pod)in checked bags, but some of my clothes are somewhat expensive, and I am quite fond of them. If I can easily do so, I would rather make it just a bit more difficult for someone else to develop a liking for them too. It is unlikely that someone would break into a suitcase when there are 3 more right there unsecured.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 02:10 PM
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<unlikely that someone would break into a suitcase when there are 3 more right there unsecured.>

Not to my way of thinking. If I were a thief, I'd go for the locked suitcase, assuming it had valuables in it!
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