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lost luggage locks

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Williamson, West...
posts: 95
lost luggage locks

On our recent trip to Hawaii, we purchased TSA approved luggage locks. When we checked in our hotel, my daughter's lock was missing and perfume was sprayed inside her luggage. It was plain to see that her luggage had been ramsacked! She searched the luggage and could not find the lock. When we arrived back home, my lock was missing also! We purchased the locks that were approved by TSA and a master key could be used without knowing the combination. We paid $10.00 each for these locks and would love to have them back. I wonder if they resell them. Makes a body wonder, doesn't it?

Is there a phone where they could be reached to find out about our locks?


Della Blankenship

Honolulu, Hawaii
posts: 9,529
1. Re: lost luggage locks

Frankly, Della, in today's world of air travel.....

You should count yourself lucky if you got home with all of your belongings and your suitcases intact, with just a little perfume "damage", after having your things rummuged through.

Those locks are sooo worthless on so many levels.

First, it's been my experience that TSA in Hawaii and the West Coast generally doesn't fool around much with locks. They may give a key a quick shot, but if it doesn't work cleanly and they want access, they just cut the lock off.

They have thousands of bags to check every hour, there are hundreds of different locks (all claiming to be "TSA Approved"), and they are allowed to cut them off if they "need" to.

Second, how much security do you think a small lock actually gives your suitcase when it is out of view?

There must be a bazillion master 'TSA Approved" keys out there by now. And, if someone really wanted to get into your baggage they would have lock cutters or rip open the side.

There is no doubt a number at HNL International or TSA where you can lodge a complaint. The probability of successful remuneration is probably not so good.

Unfortunately, our "public servants" likely won't care too much.

posts: 31,087
reviews: 14
2. Re: lost luggage locks

I never lock my luggage these days. Works out much better that way. Just don't put valuables into checked luggage (keep that with you in your carry-on). Use a kitchen twist tie on the zipper if you are worried they might come open. A luggage lock, even a TSA one, is a hassle & basically of no use imo (as you found out). -suze

posts: 7,608
reviews: 27
3. Re: lost luggage locks

We, too use "Twist Ties" to secure the bags....never had one go missing...or damaged (Whew..)

The TSA folks are pleased to see them on the Bags.

Once you get your head around the fact that traditional locks are no better than a twist tie...for keeping "someone" out of your luggage......the less traumatic your travel days will be.

Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
posts: 22,231
reviews: 6
4. Re: lost luggage locks


TSA is **supposed** to place a slip in your luggage advising you that it was opened and inspected by them.

If there were no such slips, the bags ***may*** have been opened by a ramp or airline employee.

On the other hand, TSA doesn't always follow its own procedures.............so narrowing down who opened the bags is pretty impossible.

20.00 worth of missing locks won't get much investigative effort, Della........sorry.

Honolulu, Hawaii
posts: 2,650
reviews: 59
5. Re: lost luggage locks

I don't bother locking my luggage anymore either. I just refrain from putting anything in a suitcase I wouldn't want stolen. If I can't fit it in my carry on, it just doesn't go.

posts: 452
reviews: 2
6. Re: lost luggage locks

Guaranteed TSA didn't even attempt to use the key. Too much hastle and too slow.

I use tie wraps on my luggage, ones strong enough so you must work to get the off without a knife, but not so strong that a knife is 100% necessary. In addition, they don't fall off like twist ties.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 14
reviews: 13
7. Re: lost luggage locks

Just to restore a little faith in the TSA, during my trip in February (MEL-LAS-HNL-LAX-MEL) only once was one of our three suitcases opened. The TSA placed a slip in that case informing us that they had opened it and relocked our TSA approved lock on the suitcase. So at least one TSA employee is following procedure correctly.

Destination Expert
for Oahu
posts: 33,169
reviews: 15
8. Re: lost luggage locks

Hey -- I use safety pins! Two of them for each zipper. They keep the end of the zipper together, and TSA can get them off -- and back on. Works for me!

Yorba Linda...
posts: 171
reviews: 15
9. Re: lost luggage locks

I agree with the other posters. I never lock my luggage anymore. All of our items of value (including medicines) are carried on. Hawaii TSA is good about placing a notice inside of you luggage to let you know it has been inspected. Is it possible that the perfume leaked out of the bottle during transport and pressure changes??

La Mirada...
Destination Expert
for Kauai
posts: 11,650
reviews: 104
10. Re: lost luggage locks

Another tip - put your shampoo, perfume, sunscreen, or whatever could leak or break into gallon zip lock bags.