View Full Version : Luggage: Lock it or Not?

09-19-2005, 11:31 PM
We haven't flown for several years. It used to be that locking your luggage was recommended, but lately I've been hearing that you shouldn't lock it since they search it all now? Those of you who've flown recently, please tell me whatcha all know about it :confused3

09-19-2005, 11:53 PM
.. Airlines have the right to break locks and inspect your luggage at any time since 9/11. I am a single mom who flies with 2 kids and they have opened and inspected suitaces once enroute home from Fla and twice from Houston last year. They reseal with a plastic tag and leave a note that basically tells you they have the right to do it in the interest of national security.
We hand carry video game consoles and laptops and anything else of value.
But - I fly SWA all the time - best routes and fares for me - it may be different for others in other parts of the country..
Enjoy - no locks and don't worry!!!

09-20-2005, 06:10 AM
No locks. If you need to hold your zippers together you can use twist ties or cable ties. Pack a pair of fingernail clippers if you use the cable ties.

09-20-2005, 06:45 AM
We use cable ties, they work great. We do bring locks to lock the luggage for when we are checking it with hotels and such though.


09-20-2005, 07:13 AM
It depends on your comfort level. You can now buy locks that are TSA-approved. This means that you can lock your luggage but TSA can unlock it to inspect it and then will re-lock it. These locks are widely available -- you can find them at any luggage store or in the travel section of stores like Target or Wal-Mart.

09-20-2005, 07:17 AM
There are now available TSA approved locks for luggage. Thes locks can be opened by TSA with a special key. I have seen them at most stores that sell luggage. They say right on the package that they are TSA approved.


09-20-2005, 12:26 PM
We used the TSA approved locks on our recent trip to Hawaii. One of our bags was opened and inspected, they zipped it up and re-locked it using our lock. No problems, no hassles. We bought the locks at Target for about $7 each.

09-20-2005, 01:34 PM
We did not lock the luggages after 9/11, however, we used the cable ties during our recent WDW trip.

09-20-2005, 01:41 PM
Have a friend that works at the airport and he says even though they are allowed (and will) search your luggage, it is still a good idea to use the TSA approved locks. And obviously, don't check anything that is valuable.
You can get the locks at your local AAA office or at their online store for about $7 each.

09-20-2005, 01:55 PM
No lock is going to stop a thief. Don't put anything valuable in your suitcase that you can't afford to lose.

09-20-2005, 07:42 PM
SafetyMom was absolutely right. We lost our camera bag on our August trip. We had our underwater digital camera, battery charger, extra battery, few extra memory sticks, blank tape for our camcorder. We normally put those in zip lock bags but this time, we decide to put them in our extra camera bag and they took the whole thing. I guess we made it easy for them to steal.

09-21-2005, 08:50 AM
Don't lock it. They check every bag. Take anything of value in your carry on.

09-21-2005, 01:47 PM
I never pack anything in checked luggage that I am worried about losing. That said, I still use cable ties to 'lock' the bag.

Last year on our trip to Utah our ties were in place. Coming home, flying on 9/11, one bag had been opened, but the TSA closed it with one of their cable ties and left a letter inside the bag. We pretty much just tossed stuff into the bag that was opened, so the contents of it were probably questionable when viewed in the scanner; the bag had some hiking boots, umbrellas and some other random items. Nothing was missing, and it didn't look like they messed up our "packing" job either!


09-21-2005, 02:09 PM
I don't use cable ties since I don't have anything to clip the ties.

I use........... wait for it.......... the twist ties off bread bags.


Works great, no need for clippers. I use them every two weeks, replace them every two trips or so...........

09-21-2005, 05:03 PM
You can buy disposable luggage locks at Target. It is just a flat plastic tag that clips on the zipper. If TSA is interested they can just twist it off, otherwise you twist it off yourself at the hotel. The disposables are about $3 for a pack of 12.

We use the regular key locks on all of our bags in the hotel room because I figure someone would have to be REALLY motivated to dig in a locked bag.