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TSA 'stealing' Locks?  
User currently offlinesejtam From Singapore, joined Sep 2011, 46 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7361 times:

For the second time, i have lost a TSA-compatible lock on one of my duffels whle travelling SFO-SIN.
The bag was properly locked, and arrived sans lock (but afaict all contents still there and intact).
Of course I cannot be sure whether this happened in SFO or KIX (last time SFO or NRT), but it is
a bit disturbing. There was no note that they inspected my bag inside, and the lock was simply missing. They could have just forgotten to re-lock the bag, but I would like to avoid having to purchase a pair of locks frequently.

Has anyone else experienced this?

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinecx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6585 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7210 times:

Yes two weeks ago experienced the same thing out of LAX. No note and lock missing. Contents all there though. Having said that, it is the first time it has happened to me. I normally get a note and the lock is there.

User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7170 times:

While working the ramp I've seen 'many' locks on the bag cart after all the bags have been loaded on the plane. I can only assume that when TSA opened the bags to inspect them, they didn't lock them properly and the locks fell off while on the cart. So, they didn't steal them. Hope this helps put your mind at ease.


Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2051 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7149 times:

I know of a few bag manglers that carry keys for TSA locks

User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7117 times:

Quoting silentbob (Reply 3):

Then, obviously, you should report that.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5564 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6652 times:

I find TSA locks on the ramp all the time. They either get caught in something and break off or aren't relocked correctly.

Quoting silentbob (Reply 3):
I know of a few bag manglers that carry keys for TSA locks

Oh please.  



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6481 times:

TSA either forgot to put the inspection note in the bag or the screener deliberately didn't put in since they won't give out their names when you ask them at the checkpoint (we are required to give them our names). Either way they probably were to lazy to relock it correctly. I'd think differently if you had items missing but since you don't that probably is the correct answer. As villified as TSA is, and rightly so in many cases, never assume malice for what can easily be explained by incompetence.

User currently offlineyeginleduc From Canada, joined Mar 2007, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6383 times:

Keep in mind that TSA locks are a US program. If security and/or customs wants to go through your bag in other countries, they do not have 'standard' TSA keys like they do in the USA. I know here in Canada, we use bolt cutters on any type of lock that we see when customs needs to go into the bags.

[Edited 2013-06-16 01:38:18]

User currently offlineFCAFLYBOY From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 587 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6353 times:

TSA are not only the worst airport security I r ever dealt with, but also the biggest thieves. A very blanket statement I know, but my personal opinion, so not surprised at all.

User currently offlineushermittwoch From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2964 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6249 times:

If you contact the airport you departed from, you will usually get a new lock sent to you. This worked for me two out of two times so far. Ex MSP and SEA.


Where have all the tri-jets gone...
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1844 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6197 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Bag locks are actually one of the most common things I encounter on the ramp as FOD (Foreign object debris). They generally aren't strong and break off all the time!

Martijn



Fly DC-Jets!
User currently offlinen757kw From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 435 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6146 times:

This is why I prefer the cheap lock method, using a zip tie. Tends to stay on and you can easily tell if the bag has been opened.

N757KW



"What we've got here, is failure to communicate." from Cool Hand Luke
User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4236 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5845 times:
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Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 2):
While working the ramp I've seen 'many' locks on the bag cart after all the bags have been loaded on the plane. I can only assume that when TSA opened the bags to inspect them, they didn't lock them properly and the locks fell off while on the cart. So, they didn't steal them. Hope this helps put your mind at ease.

I connected through SEA's FIS (AS YYJ-SEA / UA SEA-IAD) and had my checked bags delivered pre-TSA completely unzipped. Btw, YYJ doesn't have USA preclearance.

How nothing fell out on the baggage belt is a mystery to me. I don't think locks would have helped.


User currently offlineAerosol From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5389 times:

After my TUMI Locks got stolen two times I do not put any locks at all! Thieves!

User currently offlineb707100 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 38 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5345 times:

I like to use heavy duty zip ties. Even though they aren't locks, they do secure the bags well. If TSA wants in, they can find the knife to cut it. They sure should have plenty of them around. As to anyone else that wants in, well...go for it. LOL Zip ties are also great at hotels when not in the room. Same thing, you'll know if someone has been in or not. Just don't keep the spares with the luggage.

User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7119 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4869 times:

Quoting yeginleduc (Reply 7):
If security and/or customs wants to go through your bag in other countries, they do not have 'standard' TSA keys like they do in the USA.

Security in Norway have TSA keys, so I have no idea why they don't have them in Canada.


User currently offlineYLWbased From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2006, 824 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4264 times:

ooh please, those locks are a joke. You own 3x Samsonite luggage and have my keys gone missing multiple times. When that happens, I simply call up their CS hotline, tell them the little code engraved next to the key hole and a new sets of keys will be available for me to be picked up within 24 hrs in any Samsonite outlets in town, and it cost merely HKD$65/pair (approx USD 8), NO RECEIPT, NO ID, NO PROOF needed at all!

YLWbased



Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
User currently offlineAirCanada787 From Canada, joined Nov 2010, 281 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3853 times:

Last June I was travelling with friends SFO-YYZ and when we arrived in YYZ one of my friends had a lock on his suitcase. When he had left it at the bag drop in SFO it didn't have a lock at all.... So mix ups clearly do happen.


The mind, like a parachute, functions only when open.
User currently offlinesk909 From Denmark, joined Nov 2005, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3392 times:

Why bother. Use cable straps!


Life's for Living!
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3392 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3251 times:

Quoting YLWbased (Reply 16):
ooh please, those locks are a joke. You own 3x Samsonite luggage and have my keys gone missing multiple times.

unless they have changed, you can open them with simple tools. The tweezers from a swiss army knife unlock them only slightly slower than the correct key. Mind you this is with exactly 0 locksmith or lockpicking training.


User currently offlineCoachClass From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 427 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3103 times:

Quoting b707100 (Reply 14):
I like to use heavy duty zip ties.

Where do you buy them? Hardware stores?


User currently offlineb707100 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 38 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3007 times:

Yep, most hardware stores carry them.

User currently offlinejetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1639 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2938 times:
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Quoting CoachClass (Reply 20):
Where do you buy them? Hardware stores?

Home Depot, Lowes, etc. You can by them in packages of 100 for a few dollars

Some hints, remember to carry with you a small nail clipper to cut off the tie wrap, and don’t lock the nail clipper in the luggage, keep it in a side pocket along with some spare tie wraps, also leave a loop about 1” in diameter so you can fit the cutting edge of the nail clipper inside of the loop, it usually takes 2 separate cuts to go through the tie wrap.

This is what I have been doing since the TSA rules about opening luggage for inspection went into effect, I can tell immediately if the TSA opened my luggage for inspection because the tie wrap will be missing or replaced with another and they usually pull the tie wrap tight.

If I find my luggage has been opened, right in the luggage area I will open my luggage to make sure there was nothing stolen or damaged, you have a better chance of a claim if you spot anything missing or damaged before you leave the terminal.

JetStar


User currently offlinevarigb707 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

Quoting sejtam (Thread starter):

Has anyone else experienced this?

On a recent trip, DFW/ATL/BSB, i had 2 large duffel bags inspected by them (TSA), with a note left inside of each bag. One of the bags i had 6 sun glasses clip ons, which went missing.. My bags had TSA approved locks. Those which can be opened by any TSA agent with that "special" key they have.

Oh well...C'est la vie.


User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1059 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

Quoting sejtam (Thread starter):
Has anyone else experienced this?

I can tell you FOR A FACT that thousands of others have experienced this!!!

The average passenger has NO idea how many locks are broken off during normal handling. I used to say that one could send their kid(s) through college by just collecting the lock parts on the ramp and selling them as scrap!

Ask yourself why anyone would want to "steal" your lock.

A much better way to secure your zipper locks is with small wire ties. I have been using this for years and have never had a problem. It's nearly as secure as a lock and much less likely to get caught on anything during handling. TSA or their counterpart should have no trouble opening them with a knife/nail clippers/whatever. My "key" is a nail clipper that I carry on my carry-on bag.

You may get some questions about why you have a bunch of wire ties in your carry-on, but I have never really had a problem with it. Twice I was told that they were a "security risk" because I could use them to "bind" someone. My question was; "And what is that "someone" going to be doing while I'm stringing them together to make a them long enough to bind them?"


User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1059 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2539 times:

Quoting CoachClass (Reply 20):
Where do you buy them? Hardware stores?

Yes, and if you buy them in bulk of 1000 or so, they will cost about one cent each.

To prevent the bag from opening I use a bag strap. If you can find one with a metal buckle, buy it. In all my travels, I have only lost ONE with the steel buckle--probably because security did not refasten it properly. Straps with the plastic buckles are as common on and around the ramp as lock parts! They are worthless!!!

The metal buckles are pretty hard to find now, but I'm working on a solution for that...


User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3033 posts, RR: 1
Reply 26, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2496 times:

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 2):
While working the ramp I've seen 'many' locks on the bag cart after all the bags have been loaded on the plane. I can only assume that when TSA opened the bags to inspect them, they didn't lock them properly and the locks fell off while on the cart. So, they didn't steal them. Hope this helps put your mind at ease.

Not just in the US. Working here in Australia as a ramp handler. We find multiple locks every single day. They are not strong, and really do not protect your bag, but are more a deterrent for anyone to try. (as a pratical joke at work, we usually lock unlocked locks we find on the ID badge of colleagues, funny, but never takes long for them to break the lock off)

So, I would agree with many here, it could be that the lock has fallen off. Baggage handling is semi-rough, and it does happen, regularly.

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1059 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (1 year 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2243 times:

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 26):
never takes long for them to break the lock off)

I had trouble with a cheap lock on my locker at work. Got the bolt cutters, but the lock broke before I could cut it!!


User currently offlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 921 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2195 times:

Two days after the original post my TSA approved lock disappeared LAX-LHR. I'm switching to cable ties as soon as I resolve the problem of how to take a carry on device that will cut one. I thought nail clippers were banned. Is that correct?

User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1059 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2180 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 28):
I thought nail clippers were banned. Is that correct?

You should have no trouble with the small nipper type, I've traveled hundreds of thousand miles with one and never had a problem. I had another one--an assault nail clipper--that security in Manila gave me a problem with. Said because it had a "point" on it. They didn't say anything about my pen which could also be a weapon


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