New Baggage Policy-No Locks!

Old Dec 19th, 2002, 03:16 PM
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I have had dirty clothes stolen from locked luggage! Whateer hits someones fancy is gone!
Old Dec 19th, 2002, 03:47 PM
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I had some things stolen from my luggage on my way home from Paris to Boston, including an old coffee grinder I bought at the flea market and my cheap portable radio. Next time I went to Paris, my daughter and I both put locks on our luggage, and when we retrieved our bags both locks were gone. Nothing was missing; I guess they didn't want our clothes.

So I no longer believe in locks. It's just extremely inconvenient that the carryon luggage is being limited to smaller and smaller amounts, making it very difficult to buy things abroad and bring them home.
Old Dec 19th, 2002, 04:55 PM
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What I want to know who exactly has the ultimate we go to the airline, to the airport or just exactly who do we report loses to. And there will be many more loses to report> And who pays to have the broken locks repaired if we do lock them?
Old Dec 19th, 2002, 05:15 PM
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From now on, you should examine your unlocked bag BEFORE going through customs. If someone puts drugs in them and you go to Malaysia, you will be put to death. This happened to someone in Mexico. However, after 3 months in prison, he was able to convince the judge (by a bribe according to one newspaper) that it was his drugs. What had happened was someone put it there and the baggage handler at the other end didn't search the correct bag to retrieve it.
Old Dec 19th, 2002, 05:43 PM
Book Chick
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It's my understanding that the airlines did not WANT to have to be put in this position, but the U.S. government is essentially making them do it. I agree that locked bags mean nothing, because on the way back from Rome last year, my checked suitcase (unlocked, 'cause I think if someone wants in, they'll get in) came off the carousel at JFK with tape wrapped around it! Clearly someone had opened the bag & had NOT been able to get the contents to fit back into the bag quite the same way!

I would think that since all travelers will be informed of this new restriction (at the airport, when you go to check your bags) and still insist on leaving the bags locked, and the locks get damaged, legal liability would be on the traveler for failure to comply.

And a regular on this board flew back from London and Paris on BA last month and discovered that about half the contents of her suitcase was missing--including a nice handbag and some presents she'd purchased.

Careful travels,
Old Dec 19th, 2002, 06:12 PM
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Hmm... Funny, a friend of mine went home from Toronto airport and his luggage got pilfered too. That's what happens when you check in 3 hours early and the airline puts the "VIP First Class Customer" tag on your bags. ("Hmm, must be rich.")
It says that this is only in case they have to open the luggage (presumably, it failed an Xray or sniffer test). Wash all fertilizer off your hands before handling your luggage!
Locks on your luggage are like locks on your house. If someone WANTS to get in, and thinks they won't be caught, they'll find a way in. So, you also want to help them not WANT to get in... hide the obvious goodies, make it difficult to see what's in there, etc. The usual clever traveller stuff.
Old Dec 19th, 2002, 07:44 PM
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I don't like this at all..i kind of like my privacy and this is kind of invasion of it.I don't mind them searching it all they want as long as i am preasent and then i can close it.I never carry anything of value with me but the little memories that you bring back is what i hate to lose.
I think from here on pack some stuff i dont mind losing and just mail all the stuff that i care about ,now where is the post office?????????
Old Dec 19th, 2002, 08:26 PM
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This is for Debbie (and anyone else interested):
For years I have used plastic cable ties (buy them at Home Depot or any electronics store) to secure my zipper talons. Keeps the zippers from opening and lets you know if anyone tampered with the luggage. I carry plain nail clippers in my pocket to cut the ties. Never had any problems, even on recent trips. Hope this helps.
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 04:47 AM
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Our Jacksonville paper informed us today about the potential for a search of checked bags: (our airport is one of 5 nationally that has installed the new system)
"JIA's new baggage screening system, which started 10 days ago, requires workers to hand check 10 percent to 20 percent of the luggage because some harmless items, even chocolate, set off the system's alarm. Security workers are placing notices inside inspected luggage to let travelers know why their bags were opened."
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 05:00 AM
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I think the plastic ties are a great idea. At least you know when you pick up your checked baggage whether it's been tampered with or not and you can go straight to the claims office if anything is missing. I will be using them on my next trip next week.
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 05:12 AM
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Does anybody know if travel insurance covers stolen items from your luggage?
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 05:54 AM
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Luckily , nail clippers have now been removed from the "banned in carryon" list. Otherwise, you would have to find another way to remoe the cable ties.

I don't have a problem with security, but I do not like the idea that my bag can be opened by people out of my sight and I have no idea what is actually happening.
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 05:59 AM
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It is still a good idea to pack locks, so luggage can be locked in hotel rooms. This is not 100% protection, but it does reduce the risk of theft from your hotel room.

I plan to use the plastic ties for the luggage en-route, and then use the locks for when I arrive at my destination. Locks are also still useful for train travel.
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 06:06 AM
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My son accidentally took a look alike piece of luggage home with him from the airport once, leaving his at the airport.
He called as soon as he got home and the next day picked it up.
It had the lock broken off and was closed with a plastic tie. There was a note from the Security people saying that all unattended/left luggage was opened and searched for security reasons. There was a form to fill out if something was missing. Nothing was missing.
Nothing will really change, baggage handlers have been going through our luggage for years, whether they had to break locks or if it was unlocked.
A locked suitcase never stopped a dishonest employee.
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 06:17 AM
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I guess the best thing to do is to carry all your valuables in the carryon luggage. Stealing from checked luggage-even stealing the checked luggage-has been going on for a long time.

The govt. says that security cameras will be trained on the people who are checking the unlocked luggage now. They'll find ways to still pilfer. And if your luggage is indeed opened they'll put a note inside with a phone number for you to call. Have you ever tried dealing with a government agency? You'll get nowhere. Better to take carryons only.
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 07:10 AM
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I would love to just take a carryon - but that doesn't work for me . First off- Carryons for international flights are getting smaller by the day.

Besides - when I travel overseas I am usually going in cooler months ( more sweaters) and for 10 - 14 days. Even conservatively, there is no way I could pack for that kind of trip in a 9x17x18 - which is a hard size to find anyway.

I suppose until this new system is tested out, I am just going to have to be uneasy.

It certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth about traveling. Kind of like they are trying to make it so un-appealing, that people won't want to travel anymore.

Does anyone know if procedures are changing in over seas airports? Or if you lock your luggage on the return trip from Europe, if once it goes through customs again in the States , if the whole "no lock" rule applies?
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 07:14 AM
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oops - read the baggage list wrong
1st class 9x17x18

Economy - 9x14x18 EVEN SMALLER!!!
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 07:32 AM
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So what do I do with my hard shell luggage, which has a combination lock? Can't use a plastic tie there. And if it's not opened by the security folks I hate the thought of it passing thru the system, ready to be popped open without effort or popping open by accident.
Old Dec 20th, 2002, 07:43 AM
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Ellie - EXACTLY!

I don't use locks because I believe they are keeping people out of my luggage that REALLY want to get in.

I use them more to keep all my socks & underware inside and not flying across the baggage claim. That said, I feel for people with combination locks - my problem can be solved with the cable ties. Your problem now requires substancial cash outlay to comply with the new regs.

Old Dec 20th, 2002, 08:15 AM
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I don't use locks, either, but I don't like the idea of having unsecured luggage going through handling. I know of more than one airport where there have been handlers arrested for pilfering and/or smuggling. It was so bad at MIA a few years ago that kiosks were set up to allow passengers to shrink-wrap checked bags (for a fee) to discourage it.

The obvious answer is that the bags should be searched in your presence when you check them, and the security employee should have to put a sticker seal across the opening saying that it has been searched and cleared, and by whom. They also should put the plastic loops on zippers. (For what they are charging us, I think they can afford it.) If the seal is disturbed when you claim it, you would be able to report it and make a claim immediately. If it must be opened en-route by security for some reason, a notice should be placed inside the bag and a new seal put on the outside that makes it clear what happened. If that seal is broken and there is no notice inside, the airline should be liable; no excuses.

The last time I checked a bag, it was pretty full, and after it was searched the guard had trouble getting it closed.
I offered to lean on the lid while she secured it, but she said that if I touched the bag she would have to search it again. Both hands flat on the top in plain sight? Some of these regs are ridiculous beyond belief!

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