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Locking Luggage to Europe

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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:09 AM
  #1
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Locking Luggage to Europe

Question - I bought the TSA approved locks but have never used them. Has anyone used then and did you experience any problems? Also - I am traveling to the UK and Spain - can I lock my luggage for this trip?
luvbrawn is offline  
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:22 AM
  #2
P_M
 
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In the past I have used my TSA lock and had no problems. But as we all know, the rules have all changed very recently. You could ask the airline, but the rules could change again between now and the time you travel. Some posters on this board use plastic ties, which I think is a good idea. If they have to cut it off, it's no loss to you.
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:24 AM
  #3
 
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I've only used the plastic cable ties which I guess we can still take nail clippers to open.
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:26 AM
  #4
 
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I've used a TSA lock for my last 3 trips to Europe. They've never been a problem and from what I could tell they were never even opened. I flew Lufthansa all 3 times so not sure if that's pertinent or not.
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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That i know of the rules about locking luggage have NOT changed.

Any luggage checked in a USA airport is subject to inspection and search by TSA personnel regardless of its final destination.

Certainly you can lock your luggage but because it is headed for the UK or Spain doesn't mean it won't be bomb-screened and possiblly opened and searched.

If you don't want locks broken then either use a TSA-approved one or the cable ties, etc., mentioned above.
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:29 AM
  #6
 
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TSA operates in US airports only. Do not expect authorities outside the US to have the passkeys.
The easiest/cheapest way to keep bags closed is with plastic cable ties -- they'll protect against accidental unzipping, will be replaced with a new one by TSA if yours is cut off to open the bag, and their absence at arrival would alert you to check for pilferage before you leave the airport.
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:38 AM
  #7
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I realize TSA operates in the USA - the second part of the question was to determine if locked luggage is allowed when traveling to Europe. I don't wan't to put a TSA lock on it only to find it cut off. Sounds like the plastic ties may be the way to go - are there special ones to buy?
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:40 AM
  #8
 
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Our luggage needed to be searched at the Schönefeld airport. My wife was called over the intercom to go to a separate room behind the security area to open our suitcase which was closed with a plastic tie. The security personnel had to go look for something to clip the tie when my wife did not have anything on her to do it. At least in that airport, it appears that any lock is acceptable, as the passenger will be called to open the luggage. To end the story: a brick created problems for the scanner.
Michael is offline  
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:42 AM
  #9
 
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Yes, you can. That's what the previous posters have stated above. Also stated is that the foreign airport officials may not have the keys to open those TSA locks. That's why we use cable ties.
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:47 AM
  #10
 
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Going TO Europe, TSA is the bag screener, so whatever they approve is fine for you to use.

It is for the return that you might be concerned; few bags are opened, but if yours is chosen, European inspectors might have to break a lock if they are working in a non-public area where you are not available to use your key/combination.
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Aug 15th, 2006, 10:58 AM
  #11
ira
 
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Hi luv,

The only reason fro locking luggage is to discourage the casual thief.

Any pro will open or remove your locks in seconds.

Cable ties are just as useful as locks.

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Aug 15th, 2006, 11:11 AM
  #12
 
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Flying from MSP to LHR in June, I secured my suitcase with the TSA-approved lock. The suitcase arrived in London minus the lock, but nothing else was missing.
Heimdall is offline  
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Aug 15th, 2006, 12:23 PM
  #13
 
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luvbrawn, you asked:

"Sounds like the plastic ties may be the way to go - are there special ones to buy?"

You can find "special" cable ties in some travel stores or on-line. They are basically the same ones you buy in any hardware or computer store but cost 5-10 times as much. My personal preference is the 4" ties as they are easier to clip off with the fingernail clippers I keep in an outside pocket of my suitcase. You need toenail clippers for the larger 8-10" cable ties. And I usually buy the brightest colored ones available, just because.
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