TSA locks for luggage

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retire14
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TSA locks for luggage

Post by retire14 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:53 am

I am traveling to VietNam and has heard that luggage theft is very high there. In the past, I normally used zip ties. But I also heard that TSA locks are worthless. What do BHs use to protect your luggage against potential theft (other than just carry-on). TIA

inbox788
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by inbox788 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:59 am

What valuables are you bringing that you're not carrying on?

livesoft
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by livesoft » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:05 pm

I only take things that I would like to be stolen in checked luggage. But why take checked luggage anyways?
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dbr
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by dbr » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:09 pm

Not put anything valuable in checked luggage.

I think people who have to travel with more than they can carry or not allowed to carry and also valuable might make other arrangements to ship things rather than check in luggage.

I don't think there is a means to seriously secure checked luggage. I have seen many airports in South America where they plastic wrap luggage. I would have the impression that is more helpful to protecting luggage from hazard of being left out in the rain, but I suppose it would stop someone from quickly rifling a suitcase.

dbr
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by dbr » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:12 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:05 pm
I only take things that I would like to be stolen in checked luggage. But why take checked luggage anyways?
People can travel for work requirements or to events that just simply require large, expensive, and not carryable luggage. I think shipping ahead can be an option in those cases. There are also the lost my guitar/skis/golf clubs/etc. complaints.

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lthenderson
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:36 pm

I'm always worried about people simply taking the entire bag and cutting the locks off at leisure than them riffling the contents and zipping it back up for me to get. With that thought in mind, I never put anything in my checked luggage that I couldn't afford to part ways with.

Another option is to purchase EV (Excess Value) insurance through the airline that covers above and beyond standard claim limits that they offer. International claims pay back by the pound (and not very much) but I think domestic is capped at $3300 per lost bag. You can also buy travel insurance that covers lost or stolen items from bags.

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climber2020
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by climber2020 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:40 pm

retire14 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:53 am
I am traveling to VietNam and has heard that luggage theft is very high there. In the past, I normally used zip ties. But I also heard that TSA locks are worthless. What do BHs use to protect your luggage against potential theft (other than just carry-on). TIA
Take only one bag (a carry-on) and don't take any valuables other what you plan on having with you in your pockets during all waking hours. For me, that's a small camera, my credit cards, and maybe a cell phone. You don't need much luggage for Vietnam; it's one of the easiest places in the world to travel light.

cherijoh
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by cherijoh » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:52 pm

dbr wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:09 pm
Not put anything valuable in checked luggage.

I think people who have to travel with more than they can carry or not allowed to carry and also valuable might make other arrangements to ship things rather than check in luggage.

I don't think there is a means to seriously secure checked luggage. I have seen many airports in South America where they plastic wrap luggage. I would have the impression that is more helpful to protecting luggage from hazard of being left out in the rain, but I suppose it would stop someone from quickly rifling a suitcase.
+1
I use TSA locks and haven't had anything stolen out of my checked luggage (when I do check luggage which is rarely). I'm with dbr and only pack clothing, shoes, and toiletries in checked bags. Anything the least valuable (e.g., electronics) comes with me as carryon. I generally don't pack anything truly valuable anyway.

I do think that your best option would be to pack in a suitcase or rolling duffle bag that looks like it has seen better days. Make your suitcase look like it belongs to a starving college student - not a prosperous business traveler. I'd leave the Tumi or Briggs & Riley luggage at home. :wink:

thangngo
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by thangngo » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:55 pm

retire14 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:53 am
I am traveling to VietNam and has heard that luggage theft is very high there. In the past, I normally used zip ties. But I also heard that TSA locks are worthless. What do BHs use to protect your luggage against potential theft (other than just carry-on). TIA
I use TSA locks to make sure luggage stay in place.
I don't put anything valuable in the checked bags to prevent theft.

Jack56
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by Jack56 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:19 pm

I travel a lot. I have never locked anything because a lock indicates to a thief that the luggage contains something valuable. Seems to me that if the item is valuable you should either carry it on or leave it home.

tim1999
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by tim1999 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:30 pm

I use TSA locks not to prevent theft, but because I don't want the zipper on the bag to come open while in transit and have my stuff spill out all over the tarmac. I used to use zip ties for this purpose until some point when the TSA began cutting them off to inspect the contents and not replacing them with anything.

Ruger
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by Ruger » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:52 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:05 pm
I only take things that I would like to be stolen in checked luggage. But why take checked luggage anyways?
Sometimes there isn't any choice. I recently flew with two handguns and some ammo and of course it had to go into checked luggage.
The guns had to be locked into a case with non TSA locks inside the suitcase and I wasn't supposed to give anyone-even TSA-the keys. I locked the suitcase itself with a TSA lock. Was worried the whole time about theft, but everything arrived safely at both ends of the trip.
I would have preferred to put the guns in my carry on an avoid checked luggage, but of course neither TSA nor my fellow travelers probably would
have appreciated it :)
Last edited by Ruger on Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ged
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by Ged » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:59 pm

TSA locks are useless. Firstly they have been hacked so that thieves can now open them, and secondly I've had occasions where the TSA just cuts the locks off before searching the luggage.

https://lock-picking.wonderhowto.com/ho ... s-0164446/

TravelGeek
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:12 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:05 pm
I only take things that I would like to be stolen in checked luggage. But why take checked luggage anyways?
I generally agree and rarely check bags. But do note that there are airlines (mostly international) that have much stricter carry on bag weight and size restrictions. Not all of them enforce them, but some do. (and US carriers are starting this with their Basic Economy fares). On a recent trip to Switzerland the gate agent at SFO walked around the gate area with a hand scale weighing people’s rollaboards. It ran out of battery right before they got to me. 8 kg isn’t that much... (pays to have a lightweight bag)

https://www.swiss.com/US/EN/prepare/bag ... ggage.html

adamthesmythe
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:53 pm

I never put anything valuable in check baggage so I have never worried about having it stolen.

To be honest late or lost baggage is much more common and much more of an annoyance. I take what I cannot absolutely do without in carryon bags. I also take essentials in case my bags are delayed a day or so. I go with the idea if absolutely necessary I will buy replacement clothing.

As noted, sometimes you can't get away without checking something.

So forget the locks, and have a plan for lost bags. Sooner or later it will happen to you.

thx1138
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by thx1138 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:16 pm

Recall luggage zippers are defeated by a ballpoint pen and just racking the locked together zippers across the opened portion of the zipper closes it back up as if it was never opened. Locks only work on latched closures, not zippers. As noted TSA locks are trivially opened by anyone who wants to steal stuff from your bag while checked so that's no real help either.

If it is actually important ship it to your destination insured by UPS or FedEx or similar if you can't carry it on.

Gnirk
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by Gnirk » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:50 pm

tim1999 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:30 pm
I use TSA locks not to prevent theft, but because I don't want the zipper on the bag to come open while in transit and have my stuff spill out all over the tarmac. I used to use zip ties for this purpose until some point when the TSA began cutting them off to inspect the contents and not replacing them with anything.
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birdy
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by birdy » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:28 am

I have been to Vietnam. I never felt unsafe there (this was 5 years ago). The only thing of value I ever take with me when traveling is my camera. I put this in my carry-on. I don't wear jewelry or any tee shirts with English writing. I have always used zip ties if I have to check a bag. Usually I just have a carry-on. Someone who wants in your bag will do it by getting in through the zipper anyway. Will be going to Thailand (Bangkok) at the end of the month for 20 days. Spouse talked me into taking a checked bag this time because he doesn't want to do laundry while there. I have some shirts I wear that have hidden pockets where I stash cash/credit cards/passport.

birdy

lynneny
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Re: TSA locks for luggage

Post by lynneny » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:44 am

I put anything that's of value and/or not replaceable, plus clothes for the first couple days, in my fancy Briggs & Riley carry-on bag. Everything else goes in an old, worn, unlocked checked bag. I have no idea if TSA or potential thieves have ever rifled my checked bag, but so far they've shown no interest in my work-out clothes, multiple pairs of shoes, extra clothes or (on return trip) dirty laundry.

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