Don't do it!! Unless you have TSA approved locks they will cut your locks off!
Yes, I have actually had TSA approved locks broken in US airports. That is why I asked. I wanted to know if others had similar experiences.
TSA will take the locks off even if they have that universal key. I do not lock. If there is something of great value I need to move I will insure and ship; or try to carry on.
Just use a carry-on and don't worry about it!
But that carry on is soooo tiny.
No it's not....we (yes wife included) travel for a week in Europe and each time a roll-a-board each is what we take. It's all about how you pack it and not over packing, and most times the carry-on will actually arrive with you!!!!
A carry on for me is impossible. Maybe one day I will master the art of less is best when traveling.
I think using a lock gives the traveller piece of mind, and whilst there are 'tricks' to getting into a locked suitcase, for the majority of time your luggage should be safe. The main issue i usually find with luggage is the lack of care taken (bags in perfect condition when they leave me, yet when i collect them from the turntable at my location, the bags are ripped or partially crushed :-( )
The TSA will open any locked suitcase they want, so if that gives one piece of mind then lock it up.
Don't use a lock. If you want to secure the suitcase, use colored zip ties. It also makes your bag easier to identify.
Regardless of how you try and lock your suitcases, a lock, ties, anything if the TSA wants to inspect it those measures you used for security are GONE.
I have had them cut off a TSA approved lock. They do what they want and we have to just take it. I think that a lock might imply that there is something of value in the suitcase.
Which is why I do not lock! I prefer them to just open the things and look around at all my neatly pack belongings. Anything of real value to me I will insure and ship.
I'll bet it wasn't neatly packed after they'd rummaged around in it. In my experience they'll open closed containers and bags and not bother closing them again. So my toiletries that were in sealed containers in case they leaked will be in open containers, and dirty items, like shoes, that were in tied shoe bags will no longer be.
Given the incidents of theft by agents I always try to lock my suitcase. Whether domestically where TSA agents have been accused of allegedly going through suitcases and stealing items, or internationally where some airports and countries are notorious for going through bags.
I always buy the TSA approved lock. For international flights, they usually go through your bags so you can wait by the area where the bags are checked to see if your bags are going to be checked. Alert the agent that you have a lock and that if they need to check your bags to let you know. Most of the times, they have no problem with that as it makes their job easier when you can easily open the lock. If they don't check it, you are good to go. If they do check the bags, they do allow you to come in, unlock the suitcase, they go through whatever they want, and then give it back to you so you can repack and lock the suitcase.
Giving the bag back to you after checking doesn't seem very sensible. You might slip something in it without them noticing.
When I was able to watch them checking my bag they wouldn't let me near it. They opened it using the combination I gave them, and then closed it again and locked it without me being allowed near it. What they didn't do was close it properly. It had 5 or 6 clasps round the outside, some of which had combination locks on them. They closed the clasps without closing the lid properly, so the clasps were then preventing the lid from closing fully. It was only held closed by one clasp. I was lucky it didn't come open in transit and the entire contents fall out.
twunderli - I voted "yes" to your post, but I only lock my luggage in my hotel room, as I don't think you specified where to lock luggage. Since I seldom check luggage, it's of little use to lock it for carry-on, and if luggage handlers, or security agents, decide to open your luggage they will do so regardless of whether it's locked or not. However, if I do check luggage, I never include any valuables, such as cameras, computers, passports, etc., in luggage.
I only pack in a checked bag what I can afford to loose. My wife after 30 years of traveling is now able to get 10 days worth of clothes into a roll aboard. She packs mostly all black mix and match. the other secret is only two pair of shoes - one you ware and a back up! For Tropical destinations and 3rd world destinations, I pack what I don't want any more and leave my old clothes behind. It lightens the load along the way and the people I give my old clothes to really appreciate it!
Bravo to your wife for being able to use a roll-a-board. My wife does the same and after all, baggage claim is the last chance an airline has to disappoint you!!!
I don't lock checked luggage for reasons stated; however, I carry locks for when I leave my luggage in hotel room while I'm absent.
I use TSA locks. Never had them cut one off. The only hassle I have with locks is that I have a guitar case that has a built-in TSA lock. They open it to inspect (every time) but never relock it.
As far as carry ons are concerned, if you are in zone 3 on a plane your carry on might get involuntary checking. I work flights for Delta and have to take carry ons that are too big, or we reach zone 3 and haven't had enough volunteers to check their carry ons or if the flight attendant tells me we are running out of space. If it's not a full flight by any stretch of the imagination, then this isn't an issue.
Oh, goody, an airline person to pick on. Question for you: When will the airlines decide to simply put an end to this problem and enforce their own rules. 1 bag that fits in the sizer and 1 personal item. Plenty of room on almost any plane for that. Problems arise when the Group 1 boarders bring their pianos, tubas, motorcycles and skis in carry on bags, 3 or 4 at a time, and the airline lets them.
Do you have any insight on why the airlines won't enforce their own rules? Is it a "confrontation avoidance" strategy?
Not an airline person at all John, but think about the delay if everyone had to put their carry-on into the sizer? I remember a flight home from MUC last summer with some 38 Group 1 plus Global Services on UA, must have been 50 people in the line and the Germans decided to have each passenger put their bags in the sizer. It was a mess and they finally quit that non-sense after about 10 people as some would have to open the bag to take stuff out or rearrange it right at the gate.
The best way in my opinion to solve the problem is to have an airline employee at the start of the Security line before they separate you to Pre-Check etc., that way it might take longer outside of Security yet not impact the boarding times.
Remember right after Sept. 11th when for about a month there was no such thing as a carry-on. You could board an entire flight really quick even though there were not too many flying right afterwards. I don't support that idea as my saying about baggage claim might hold true.
Yes, do it before you even get to the TSA lines. It may slow things down for a few days. But once those of us who fly a ton and are the "usual suspects" when it comes to pushing the limits on carry-ons have been turned away and realize we have to follow the rules, we'll quit trying. For a while, at least.
Oh, and if I forgot to mention it, that doesn't apply to people at the front of the plane.
Good to have you around airport1. We really won't pick on you that much (hehehe) and you might enjoy probably the longest running thread on Insiders Aviation Geeks Unite!
Good to be here! I did actually get a nudge to leave first class passengers alone if their carry ons are a little bigger (just good for business was the reason). But time constraints are the reason for everything. Boarding goes much more smoothly when the carry ons are indeed the right size. I hear complaints about consistency all the time because I make people check their bags or move things around in zoned 1-3. But I can only do what I'm told. On a different note, I have seen many passengers carrying on loaves of bread when flying to Hawaii. They go frequently and tell me how much it saves them and tell me they get charged by the egg there. I would love to see a topic where we had insights as to what to bring in our carry on to save money in different regions. I feel lucky to be able to have passengers share these pearls of wisdom with me.
Just to show you how much we love airline people, I just created a question in Travel Tips/Air. Let's see what people bring.
On an overnight train, always use a lock. But not when flying.
Yep, unless it is one of the approved TSA locks they will cut it off within the U.S.
*IF* you're lucky and they are careful. I've had them "miss" when they were cutting the lock and damage the zipper. So I went with TSA locks.
SIMPLE ANSWER: NO
Don't put anything into a suitcase that you don't want to lose or of special value
I wouldn't, unless you are going to a place that is known for theft and you're checking a bag. If you have only carry on then I wouldn't worry about it. Besides anything of value should be in your carry on.
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