Secure baggage on USA Trip

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by coco50, Jun 14, 2006.

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  1. #1 coco50, Jun 14, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2006
    I have not travelled to the US since before Sept 11 '01 and I am worried that with my upcoming trip from SYD to HNL (QF) and particularly from HNL to OGG return that the locks that I have on my baggage may not comply with US requirements. These locks are just ordinary padlocks. Can anyone advise me if there are baggage lochs that the US DHS or customs prefer and if so, how can I get some?
     

  2. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    There are TSA approved locks but I would suggest just purchasing some cable ties from ya local electronics store and using them to secure the luggage. Much better, imo, than buying locks and does comply with the TSA requirements

    Dave
     
  3. Thanks for the tip Dave - something to consider
     
  4. NM

    NM
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    I bought a pack of 4 TSA-approved padlocks at a Target store in the USA for US$9.99 a few weeks back.

    Then at a conference last week one of the showcase vendors was giving away TSA-approved combination locks (with both the TSA logo and the vendor's logo), so I scored another 4 TSA-approved locks.

    Prior to having the TSA-approved locks I have always just used plastic cable ties to secure my bags in a mannaer that the TSA can gain access if required without damaging my bag.

    However, I notices that even with a TSA-approved lock installed, the locking lugs on my suit case main zipper have been broken. Not sure if they were cut (unlikely) of damaged by having the lock get caught on something and ripped off during ground handling.
     
  5. Thanks, NM. These tips are really handy and the advice is good. Alittle forewarning and forward planning makes things happen more smoothly when travelling. I'll make a few more enquiries and see if its feasible to get some TSA approved padlocks before travelling - otherwise, it's the cable ties.
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Be aware that even TSA approved padlocks can get cut if you get someone who cant be bothered using the tool to open them.
     
  7. bigjobs

    bigjobs Active Member

    Jun 4, 2005
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    and put nothing even slightly valuable in your checked baggage. if you can only take carry on.

    i put nothing but clothing and my amenities kit in my checked luggage. on the way home it is usually my dirty luggage ;) TSA people steal stuff out of your bags.
     
  8. duffshot

    duffshot Member

    Apr 27, 2005
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    I can vouch for that. Made the stupid decision to throw around $100 of foreign currency in the bottom of my checked luggage on my last trip through the LOTFAP and surprise surprise it was missing on arrival... Didn't notice until a few days later (I know but hey it's the travel induced comatosis) so took it on the chin as a punishment for stupid behaviour.

    I always carry my amentities kit in carry on - lost luggage too often

    cable ties are the best locks avail - easy for thieves and TSA to cut and padlocks wont stop them so why bother with anything more expensive.
     
  9. Maca44

    Maca44 Established Member

    Sep 2, 2005
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    In September 2004 on my return from SEA via SFO to SYD, the last thing I packed was a small battery operated shaver and I recall it being the last thing because I nearly left at at my friends place. Anyway, bag secured with cable ties, got to SFO and checked it in and when arrived in SYD cable ties missing and so was shaver. A lot of people blame the TSA for stealing property from pax bags, but there are many people who have access to luggage after it is checked. What surprises me is why someone would want to steal a shaver worth AUD$24. Be that as it may, when I noticed the cable ties missing in Sydney I took the bag immediately to customs to cover myself, but they weren't interested suggesting that it must have been dislodged during transit and I defy anyone to break one with their hands. They need to be cut, so..
     
  10. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    TSA approved locks are easily available in Australia - IIRC, Kmart and Myer will both have them, as will some of the other baggage/travel stores. Ebay also is a decent source for them.

    Look at the TSA's website for the logo you're looking for on the locks:
    http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_multi_image_with_table_0234.xml

    Very expensive in Australia though - you tend to pay around $10-$15/lock.

    I'm really looking for a quad pack of keyed ones, yet can't see them in Australia anywhere. Or alternatively, I'd handle a quad pack of 4-digit combo ones, but alas also they are either not found or prohibitively expensive...
     
  11. Good info, Mal. I did have a look online yesterday. Even looked at the LA based business where my son is a software engineer www.shopzilla.com and came to the same conclusion that they are expensive. I didn't know that you could get TSA approved locks at KMart and Myer, so thanks for the tip. I'll have a look on Saturday. If I can't get anything I'll stick with the Korjos until I get to Honolulu and then go shopping. I really need two quad packs.
     
  12. attimo

    attimo Newbie

    May 28, 2006
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    OK, so you secure your luggage with cable ties and then you arrive and they're broken.
    Apart from the risk of your stuff having been stolen, what about the risk of something having been planted in your bags?
    Are you supposed to go straight to the customs people and tell them that your bag has been tampered with?
    If they subsequently found something, would they believe you?
    Or am I just being too paranoid after the media hype surrounding Bali?
     
  13. bigjobs

    bigjobs Active Member

    Jun 4, 2005
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    nah, i reckon your worrying unnecessarily. what are they going to put in your bag? how would they get it back? why would they do it just to screw your life up? they don't know you ... it's unlikely i think

    if i put something illegal in your bag cause i wanted to hide it then i would probably want to get it back ... if you and your bag got done by customs agents then i would have no chance of getting it back. you and it would be with customs.

    i think we ought to be more concerned about these alleged security agents stealing our belongings....

    anyway, i am going through LAX this saturday night and in my checked luggage i will have 1 weeks worth of dirty laundry. it's just my way of getting back at them for stealing my stuff ...

    i know, i know ... George Costanza would be proud of me :mrgreen:
     
  14. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    At least you are more likely to spot that the baggage has been tampered with rather than if they removed and replaced a lock. If you declared at customs before passing through that your bag has been tampered with , then they would believe you

    Dave
     
  15. Maca44

    Maca44 Established Member

    Sep 2, 2005
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    As I indicated in my previous post, when I arrived at Sydney and noticed the cable ties missing I immediately notified customs, but they weren't interested suggesting the ties must have been dislodged during transit. However, I think I would have covered myself should my bags been searched etc.
     
  16. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

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    Customs in certain countries may believe you when you say that your baggage has been tampered with.

    Other countries may immediately assume guilt on your behalf (eg a chickened out drugs run) and not believe your story.

    I'm not sure how I would deal with a similar situation, and how I could prove that my bags were tampered with. I think the risks of things being added to your bag is very small though for the reasons given here and a few others.
     
  17. NM

    NM
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    If the locks or cable ties are missing, then look inside the bag. If the TSA have opened you bag for inspection, then they are supposed to leave a note indicating so. I have had such a note inserted into my bag.

    No note can mean someone other than TSA has been in the bag, so you may need to report this fact to baggage services, customs or even your travel insurance company.
     
  18. serfty

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    Twice last week I had this.... a little sticker was also put on my luggage tag both times.
     
  19. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
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    The TSA locks are the way to go.If you use plastic ties anyone could cut them off.At least with the TSA locks it is usually the nice honest officials doing it.It doesnt appear to worry them as I have had the TSA note in my luggage with the lock replaced and found that items were missing-a new case of makeup for mrsdrron.Try and report it in the good ole USA and the response is Hey it happens all the time.So as has been said never ever put anything valuable into you checked luggage to the states even if you have to answer embarrassing questions such as is this makeup for your own personal use drron.
     
  20. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    I would not trust TSA locks not to be removed given that there are master keys for them to remove them. Cable ties are harder to replace typically ( the person would actually have to have similar ties to do it unnoticed) should someone nefarious interfere with the luggage and will be, imo, much more obvious if someone interferes with it.

    Dave
     
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