TSA lock

Apr 3rd, 2006, 09:11 AM
  #1  
pat
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TSA lock

Recently returned from Hawaii. First thing I noticed was my TSA lock was gone. Then I saw the TSA sticker that my bag had been inspected by the TSA. So what good is a TSA lock if the TSA just cuts them off, which is what probably happened?
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 09:48 AM
  #2  
P_M
 
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Interesting, I bought a TSA lock because it was my understanding they can open it with a key and not cut it off. My best guess is one of the following occurred:

A. They forgot to put it back on.
B. The lock was jammed and they couldn't get it to unlock, so they had to cut it off.
C. The person who cut it off was a silly fool who didn't realize he/she had a key.

Personally, I vote for option C as the most likely cause.
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:28 AM
  #3  
 
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Definitely C.
When I check in my bags, I point out to the screener that the locks are TSA approved. I have yet to have one cut off, though I have had a couple of them mangled by the luggage machinery.
ChristieP is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:45 AM
  #4  
Neopolitan
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Call me a cynic, but I've often tried to figure out the idea of those TSA locks.

I think the idea is that only the TSA agents have the special keys to them so that ground crew can't open them. Is that right?

If so, how naive would I have to be to believe that a ground crew person who is a crook hasn't figured out a way to get one of those keys and use it?
 
Apr 3rd, 2006, 11:54 AM
  #5  
 
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Use the cable ties. TSA is supposed to replace with their tie, if they inspect.
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Eh, I just leave my bag unlocked and carry anything with me of real value.
J_Correa is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:11 PM
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I have had two of these broken at JFK. Each time I returned them, as per their guarantee, to Brookstone, where I had purchased them. I think they are a total waste of time and money; maybe the agents are too lazy or too harried to deal with oopening them the right way with their keys.
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Our small airport here in Grand Rapids, MI allows you to wait for security to scan your bag, then lock it afterwards. Coming home is an entirely different story though. I've had more than a few locks broken off then.

But, oh boy, do I feel SO much safer knowing security is digging through my dirty laundry on the way home! Ha!
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:27 PM
  #9  
 
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I've only been to USA once thus far and on the way out of USA, one of our 2 checked in luggages was opened. We had TSA locks on both. The peculiar thing was, the luggage that contained the more innocuous stuff like clothing, cosmetics, my wife's stuff essentially, was the one that was opened. My bag which contained my electronic/electric stuff (chargers, connectors, cables), my heavy academic books, a cast iron clock we bought which had an irregular shape, was not opened at all.

Is it purely random, or as my wife worried about then, did some perv just go through her clothes? I'd have thought they xrayed the luggage, and if found suspicious, would open it up!
saidean is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:44 PM
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I work in the travel industry and it seems people were giving these locks away for about 12 months. I have about 10 of them and have never even bothered using them... I have a big ol box of blue cable ties. I keep a dozen or so in my bags to use if I have to check my bags at the hotel or if I want to lock my bags during the day.
They take no space and weigh nothing.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 02:46 PM
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PS... I keep nail clippers in my purse to cut the ties.
The Blue ties in the color I have seems to be pretty unusual which is nice because I can clearly see when they have been replaced or cut.
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 06:52 PM
  #12  
pat
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So where did you get your cable ties? I am going to Thailand and definitely want to lock my bags.
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 08:04 PM
  #13  
 
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Wal-Mart... in the hardware dept. I seem to recall seeing them at Home Depot, too.
I got a tube of 1000 or so for 10.00 and I have found 100 uses for them, from tidying up electrical cords, to anchoring my Platinum tags on bags. I travel every week and depending on the trip, I may take a big suitcase, a small one or even a duffle... and I only have 2 AA Plat tags.
I think they are more careful with Premium travelers bags, so I attach them to whatever bag I am taking. The ties make for a really fast, secure switch.
The police also use the big ones for handcuffs! Crazy!
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Apr 4th, 2006, 03:16 AM
  #14  
 
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You can also get them in various sizes and in at least two different colors at Home Depot.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 05:25 AM
  #15  
Jed
 
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I got a package of 50 colored plastic cable locks for $1 at a "dollar" store.

But of course they are useful only in keeping the tabs together. If someone wanted to open the suitcase, they would not be deterred by them. And I feel the same way about TSA locks. I use regular locks on my suitcases in hotels.

When flying, I use multicolored snap-together straps to keep the suitcases closed. They are easy for the examiners to take off and reapply, and are easily spotted on the luggage carousel.
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