luggage locks

Old Oct 8th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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luggage locks

We are travelling to Prague next week and will be checking luggage, of course. What kind of locks have everyone been using. On recent short flights, we haven't bothered to lock luggage, but would like to this trip.

I know about TSA approved locks--is that best choice? I saw some mention of plastic loops that fit thru the zippers. I didn't quite understand the security of those!

Thanks everyone.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Don't pack anything of value in your checked luggage.

TSA locks only apply for within the United States.

I use twist ties or plastic cable ties only. They don't keep a thief out of the bag (nothing will), but do keep your zipper from accidentally opening.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 09:04 AM
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TSA approved locks are available at Target for about $7.99.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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A lock is useful to keep the luggage from opening while in use because it gets hung in the conveyer system or it might deter someone wants to do some casual pilfering.

If you get a lock, you should buy one that is TSA approved. Those locks are supposed to be designed so that TSA inspectors can open them without breaking into luggage, and the TSA approved locks have an indicator that lets the user of the luggage know if such a TSA inspection has taken place.

Moreover, TSA has the authority to break any non approved lock if there is a reason to search any passenger's luggage.

Otherwise, do you really think a luggage lock does any good if someone really wants to get inside your suitcase? I do not, and don't bother with one. If I have something valuable enough to attract a thief, I put it in my carry-on. Otherwise, I simply trust that my old shirts, shoes, and underwear are not something a thief would want.

You cannot control what happens to your luggage for a long time after you check it. If someone in the baggage room really wants to get inside, opening a suitcase is very easy with the right tools: Simply break the zipper, pop the hinges, smash the lock, cut the hasp, pick the lock, or take a knife and cut the fabric if the case is soft-sided.

Having seen accredited locksmiths open locked containers by any one of several methods, I am convinced that any container other than a thick vault or one rigged with an explosive charge is quickly vulnerable.

I really don't see what the length of the flight has to do with locking or not locking luggage. Rarely is anyone going to bust up your luggage while it is in the airplane. It will happen between the time you check it and the time it is loaded onto the aircraft.

At least that is my view. Some thieves work on the principal that the more elaborate the lock, the more valuable the contents.


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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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Are there any other countries that insist on unlocked bags / "special" locks.

Or is the TSA sponsored by the Locksmiths of America?
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 10:44 AM
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Plastic ties must be cut, thus discouraging the opportunistic pilferer.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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I have used the pastic which you can get a package of along with the nail like clipper at AAA. I have used them in Europe and never had anyone cut them off. I also use them on the luggage when I go out for the day keeping any valuables in them. That way I would know if someone got into the luggage. The only time it has been cut off (and I was standing there) was a TSA person told me he had to cut it off in Lawton, Oklahoma - so funny. After he cut it off he asked me if I wanted to put another one on.
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Old Oct 8th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Just use cable ties - secure as a lock, and MUCH cheaper. They only cost pennies apiece in any hardware store and then you cut them off w/ nail clippers after you land.

Be sure to pack the nail clippers in your carry-on - otherwise you are screwed
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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I just use small saftey pins..two to each zipper..one going one way, the other going the other. Easy to open but not fast. I hope it keeps someone from just trying to quicly open my suitcase to see what might be there to take.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 02:54 PM
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I just use sandwich bag ties when I take my suitcase overseas. Twist it a bunch of times. Easy.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 05:28 PM
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I have used the TSA locks in E. Europe including Prague, Moscow, and St. Petersburg.I also use them in Western Europe. It will keep the bag from accidently opening and deter a casual pilferer.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 08:03 PM
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We prefer to use cable ties. You can tie two zippers with one tie. If you need to take off the ties just bring a nail clipper.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 02:39 AM
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I use the TSA locks. I figure thieves are lazy so they'll go for the easiest bag to get into.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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Use something--whether a lock, plastic ties, or a piece of string--it will reduce the chance of accidental opening.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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"TSA locks only apply for within the United States."

Not true. TSA-approved locks can be used traveling to anywhere FROM the U.S. but cannot be used on the return flight. You could use one on your flight to Prague but not on your return flight to because security agents there do not have the TSA keys to open the locks and would cut them off if they wanted to check your luggage. You could use the ties on the way back. They'll keep your suitcase closed if it's dropped (this happens) and you might be able to tell if it's been opened.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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What are "cable ties"? I'm not familiar with these.
Jane
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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I still think using safety pins is the easiest method.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 08:34 AM
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A lock accompolishs ONE thing IMHO when placed on checked luggage.


It tells the thief that you have something you value and want to protect... so they might want it to.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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JaneB

Cable ties are plastic ties that are primarily used to tie computer wires together in a bundle. You often find them in product packaging too. Toys are sometimes bound in a box with these ties. It's annoying trying to free something from a box when it's tied to the box with cable ties.

One end of the tie has a box shaped slot through which you string the opposite end. The slot has teeth which grasp the end so it doesn't come undone.

You can buy them in hardward stores really cheap. Pack a toenail clipper in an outside pocket of your luggage. If you forget, you have to ask the desk clerk at the hotel for scissors.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Thanks, Bonise. I'm going to look for them today.
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