sejtam
Topic Author
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:46 am

TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:00 am

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?
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6007
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:46 am

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.
 
rwy04lga
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:21 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:54 am

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
 
silentbob
Posts: 1538
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:26 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:59 am

I know of a few bag manglers that carry keys for TSA locks
 
rwy04lga
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:21 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:02 am

Quoting silentbob (Reply 3):

Then, obviously, you should report that.
Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
 
Maverick623
Posts: 4632
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:13 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:52 am

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
 
skywaymanaz
Posts: 636
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 1:00 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:20 am

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.
 
yeginleduc
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:12 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:16 am

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]
 
FCAFLYBOY
Posts: 560
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:03 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:25 am

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.
 
ushermittwoch
Posts: 2530
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:18 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:52 am

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 avatar
CrimsonNL
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Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:34 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:07 am

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
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
n757kw
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 3:08 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:25 am

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 avatar
kgaiflyer
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Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:22 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:16 pm

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.
 
aerosol
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2000 10:31 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:37 pm

After my TUMI Locks got stolen two times I do not put any locks at all! Thieves!
 
B707100
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:41 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:41 pm

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.
 
Kiwirob
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:32 pm

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.
 
YLWbased
Posts: 834
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:09 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:45 pm

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.
 
AirCanada787
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:56 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:38 pm

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.
 
sk909
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:38 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:48 pm

Why bother. Use cable straps!
Life's for Living!
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2637
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:07 pm

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.
 
coachclass
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:59 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:29 pm

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

Where do you buy them? Hardware stores?
 
B707100
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:41 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:43 pm

Yep, most hardware stores carry them.
 
jetstar
Posts: 1366
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 2:16 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:53 pm

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
 
varigb707
Posts: 1236
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:02 am

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:03 pm

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.
First, I said 'hey' and then I said 'now'. "Hey Now!" - Hank K.
 
copter808
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:14 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:46 pm

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?"
 
copter808
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:14 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:02 pm

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...
 
CXfirst
Posts: 2875
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:13 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:21 am

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
 
copter808
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:14 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:27 pm

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!!
 
aklrno
Posts: 1164
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:18 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:48 pm

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?
 
copter808
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:14 pm

RE: TSA 'stealing' Locks?

Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:14 am

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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