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  1. #1

    Default TSA Locks vs Regular Locks

    I have never been on a plane before in fact I just purchased my first set of luggage a couple of weeks ago . For my veteran flyers which type of lock do you prefer? I dont want any of my stuff being stolen and I know that all my valuables should be kept in my carry-on. I am just wondering if you prefer one over the other or does it not really matter at all....thanks

  2. #2


    we always use zip ties on our bags and keep spares and a pair of nail clippers in the front pocket which is left unlocked. You can tell right away if someone has opened you bag as they have to cut off the zip tie. Never had a problem and never had a bag opened.

  3. #3


    I'm not sure if the TSA has amended their policy of not being able to lock the gabs. that came in around the time of 9/1 We flew not to long after the miserable incident in N.Y. I had a very tine lock on the bag and they made me take it off. I have used some very strong plastic zip tie. It doesn't really offer me very much protection. Anyone with even a dull knife would no problem. Then again, it just may discourage the would be thief enough to move on the next unlocked bag. As you ;mentioned, keep your valuables with you. I also tie strong string around things inside the bag. Again, I am hoping to discourage a person who really doesn't have much time. If there are items of some value in the bags, try to cover them as best you can. The whole idea is to as much in the way for the thief to have to deal with.
    But hey. You're flying to Jamaica. It can't be all bad.


  4. #4



    You want "TSA Approved" locks. This way if your bag needs to be opened by TSA, they can open and re-lock for you. Otherwise your lock will be destroyed.

    FYI I travel almost every week on planes and have NEVER locked my luggage or found things missing (I better knock on wood for this statement).

    Good luck with your travels!

  5. #5


    They just cut the other locks off so don't use those.

    Every single time we have used the TSA locks that tell you how many times they have been opened, they just remove the locks and put them in the pockets. I noticed that the only time our luggage would get opened was when we had the locks on them. This was happening on different airlines and airports though so I thought maybe I was just imagining it or they were neglecting to put the little "We opened your bag" papers in there. I decided to do a little experiment because I was curious. Sometimes I would use a lock and sometimes I would just tie a small piece of thread around the zippers so I would know if they opened them. The thread was never broken and I flew a lot. When I used the TSA locks I saw that they were opening the bags almost every time. Most of the time they did not even put the locks back on the bag, they just put them in the pocket. I think there was only one time when they left the lock on the bag and did not open it at all. I started thinking that maybe the locks indicated to them that there might be something good inside of the bag. I never left anything good in there though so nothing was ever taken.

  6. #6


    TSA locks are recommended in case of search through security or customs. However, they break mine off all the time. Sometimes with the zipper still attached.

  7. #7


    We uswe the TSA approved locks. One suitcase was searched once and a TSA note was in it.

  8. #8


    We will be getting some TSA approved locks. We had things taken going and coming home. On our way to our HOME in Jamaica, someone opened up a bag of fun-sized Twix and took 3/4 of the bag. No big deal, just creepy. On the way home, someone dumped all 4 of our personal hygiene bags out into the luggage (probably looking for something worth taking) and ended up taking a full carton of cigarette-sized cigars. I complained about it and ended up with $150 credit with the airline. In the end, if you think someone else might want it, take it with you. Sun_princess

  9. #9


    I have read on other forms even if you put a TSA lock on your bag they will just cut it off some of the time.

    We have never locked our bags. But we don't leave anything of value in them.

    We did fly to Florida once, and at the last minute my wife needed her curling iron in the bag. So I just rolled it up and stuck it in the front part of the check bag.

    Well when we got to our room we had a nice little note in our bag from TSA that they had checked our bag. I guess a rolled up curling iron looks suspicious under x-ray.

  10. #10


    You can legally use zip ties or TSA approved locks. Other locks are not legal. Don't even bother to use non-approved as they will be cut off. We just use zip ties and they work fine.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  11. #11


    When we went to CSA in September we both had TSA approved locks on our luggage. My bag did not arrive when we did. I had to go to the resort and have my bag sent to me later. It arrived at the resort without the lock on it, nor was the lock in my luggage. When we came home, my husband's lock was on his bag when we checked it in Montego Bay, but was not on his bag when we arrived in the states (I can't remember if we noticed it was missing when we landed in Charlotte or when we got home to Kansas City). They are relatively cheap so it wasn't a big deal, but we could have saved ourself $10.

  12. #12


    Both times I went to Couples I used regular locks. Nobody said anything, nor were the locks broken.

  13. #13


    I have traveled extensively for work and pleasure and have never once locked my checked baggage. Fact is, anyone who wants to can set your luggage aside and get into it. Don't waste your money on locks, TSA or other.

    The best defense against having anything stolen is 1) don't check anything valuable and 2) have durable but not obviously expensive luggage. Nobody is going to notice your 5-year old black Samsonite bag, but they will notice your bling LV duffel.

  14. #14


    Wow I don't have that much confidence or trust in the tsa agents to not lock my bag at all.

  15. #15


    We never lock our suitcases anymore either, and travel quite a bit. Never had a problem.

  16. #16


    I don't bother after seeing this:

    Bruce and Kelli
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    CN 2006, 2008; CTI 2009, 2010, 2011
    CSA 2014; JRB 2015; CSS 2017

  17. #17


    I once had someone steal all my sundries out of my bag. I checked my shampoo, body lotion, and makeup -- and it's all decently expensive stuff -- and it was swiped right out of my suitcase. Pretty crappy, considering that you CAN'T carry the stuff on with you.
    Ragnar Relay 2014 - MIAMI to KEY WEST!
    Marine Corp Marathon: 10/12 4:09
    NYC Marathon 11/6/11 - 4:21
    Chicago Marathon 10/10/10 - 4:19
    Marine Corp Marathon '09 - 4:26 / '08 - 4:28[/FONT]

  18. #18


    A little off topic here to Crabracer:

    Richie, dude, you alright? Your posts are usually pretty tightly written and the one above seems to be a bit off kilter.

    Seriously, you OK?

  19. #19


    Don't lock, never have, never had anything taken, have had notes from TSA saying my bag had been opened and checked, which if the note had not been there I would not have known. I don't pack anything in my bags that I would really regret losing. But I and my wife must just be lucky, we even made it through Venezuela and Brazil without losing anything.

  20. #20


    Quote Originally Posted by marguline View Post
    Wow I don't have that much confidence or trust in the tsa agents to not lock my bag at all.
    I don't think the locks really do anything since anyone who handles your bag can open them if they want to, one way or another. They can be broken into with hardly any effort unless your suitcase is made of metal and closes with something other than a zipper or something like that.

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