Luggage locks

Aug 2nd, 2004, 08:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 700
Luggage locks

Hey everyone,
I haven't flown since 9/11 so I hadn't given much thought about this until I was getting my bags out of storage and I saw my little Samsonite locks on the bags.

We'll be checking at least some of stuff (reluctantly)... I'd like to have a lock on there. Have heard there are some NTSA locks, but then read something on here I think that those are used only domestically and that internationally they are cut off.

What do you use? Anything?

skatterfly is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2004, 08:20 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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We were told by our employer to use nothing, or if we insist on something, to use plastic tie wraps to secure bags. Security can easily cut them without damaging the bag. They will cut locks off too and there is more risk of your bag becoming damaged.
taggie is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2004, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Well - since they don't always have the keys that fit the TSA locks you might lose those too.

I just use the (very) inexpensive cable ties you can find in any hardware store, home improvement center, Radio Shack, etc. they only cost pennies each and will securely lock your bag. Then just use youe nail clippers to cut them off (if they were replaced during a TSA search)
janis is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2004, 08:24 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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Janis and I are referring to the same thing.
They won't deter a determined thief because they can be fairly easily cut off, but those tiny locks wouldn't deter a really determined thief either.
taggie is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2004, 08:27 PM
Original Poster
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Yeah, I know they won't deter someone that's determined... but maybe slow them down or encourage them to move on to the next bag that's not locked especially if they're in a hurry.

Thanks for the info.
skatterfly is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2004, 09:16 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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Yup kat that's all you can hope for - just make it hard enough that they pick on someone else's stuff! And I've heard others say what Janis did - that sometimes they even get replaced by the security people.
taggie is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2004, 09:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Skatterfly-the TSA-approved locks you refer to can be used internationally, without problems. The reason why they work so well is that the TSA has keys for these locks (in fact, a TSA employee opened my lock without a problem on my luggage outbound to London). I recommend using these if you do want to keep your luggage locked-because any other lock you use you risk having TSA personnel break the lock if they can't get the suitcase open. You can reset the 3 digit combination each time you lock it. Go on Yahoo and put in "TSA approved locks" and you can buy them online as well.
Spygirl is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 02:25 AM
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I have stopped locking my luggage after many airlines recommended that. I don't really carry anything so important that it would be a financial disaster if something is stolen. I asked my husband to do the same, but no, he is a "everything under lock and key" man.

Last time we flew both our luggage were checked. Mine had just been opened and closed, his had broken locks and a missing orienteering watch.
elina is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 02:41 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I'd use locks simply as something to make sure the zips don't become opened accidentally. The airline can always open combination locks (which I use) and key locks.

If you're worried about cases being opened when you're travelling around your destination then small locks will suffice as you should notice someone trying to open them before it's too late.

Above all, it is very important to be insured for around 5000GBP per case - therefore if it goes missing whilst you may not be able to replace lost items you can stock up on new season pieces.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 04:08 AM
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Some people have been lucky with the new TSA locks, but the problem seems that not at all airports do the TSA agents have the keys available to open these locks. So they just break them off as they would any other lock.

It seems that the plastic ties work best, are cheap, and can be opened by you (if they weren't cut open by TSA inspectors, and possibly replaced with others) at your destination with nail clippers. The nail clippers should not be in your carryon bag, rather in a outside zipper compartment of your checked luggage.
Aug 3rd, 2004, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi sk,

One more vote for cable ties. They work just as well as the little luggage locks.

We replace them with the little locks after we get out of the airport.
ira is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My husband and I went to the UK from Houston in May (on American via Dallas). We both used the TSA locks on our suitcases. When we arrived at our hotel in the UK, I had a notice inside my suitcase that it had been opened by TSA but my TSA lock was intact.

We used them on the return trip from London back to Houston via DFW and, again, we had no problems at all. I definitely felt more comfortable having my suitcases locked. (We had packed some cable ties in the outside pocket just in case the locks had been cut off, but we never needed them, thank goodness.)

It might depend on if you are flying out of a large airport or not but I won't hesitate to use the TSA locks again on our next trip.
bettyk is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 10:35 AM
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I tried using the cable ties once, only to discover you need scissors to cut them off, and the scissors are, needless to say, in the bag.

Maybe I've taken different airlines than everyone else, but since 9/11, I have not had any problems with using locks on my luggage. At both Virgin and Air France, they check your check-in luggage (this is at LAX, may be different elsewhere) right where you check in, so you just stand there, and they let you know whether you need to unlock the bags. Once they've finished their job, the locked bags go on the plane. Same thing returning from London and from Paris. And same thing on an Aer Lingus flight from London to Dublin and back.
Surfergirl is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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On outbound flights to Europe we use the TSA-type locks. Returning home we use the little red plastic "locks" from Magellan, the sort used to secure liquor before a plane lands.
Underhill is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 01:13 PM
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I love those little red Magellan "locks", been using them for years even before 9/11. These were used mainly on an outside zip pocket which I prefer not to have on any bag; never use outside pockets and hope to avoid any shady character who might choose to put something "in" my bag!
Aug 3rd, 2004, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Large nail clippers can be used to cut off the cable ties. Clippers in the carryon are ok.
francophile03 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 11:39 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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Buy a bunch of plastic ties from the hardware store. Then bring a couple of locks that you can use to lock your luggages at the hotel when you're out in town.
h2babe is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I've given up on the Magellan red security ties. Last trip they had all been yanked off of both our bags and it wasn't done by TSA because at MCO you can watch your bags go thru TSA security. All they take is one strong pull and they are off. Fortunately though our things were rumpled about , nothing was missing. I'm going back to the cheapo cable ties from Home depot that require a nail clipper to remove.

I did buy 2 of the TSA approved locks and will give those a try just out of curiosity.

At CDG,for example, bags were being checked thru security before you approached the ticket counter, so it might be a good idea not to secure the zippers until you actually get to the counter. We had to replace the cables I'd put on at the hotel. And I'd skip the TSA locks coming home from Europe..I doubt if they have the master keys.
jody is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 197
We have had a variety of expeiences with "locked luggage".

My vote is also for wire tires in "bright colors". Domestic and international carriers have no problem with you securing your zippers in this fashion.

Additionally, you know immediately as your bag comes off the carousel if it has been opened or not.

I have had experiences when our bags were opened, but I knew because the zippers were secured by those recycled-plastic, off-white ties-----not the bright colored ones originally put on the bags.

All airports are allowing you to carry-on nail clippers, as long as they do not have a "fingernail file" attached.
Georgine is offline  

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