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TSA Bag Search

Sheffield, United...
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890 posts
196 reviews
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TSA Bag Search

After years of travelling to the USA and always locking my suitcase, I invested in a new one so decided to use the black pastic ties instead of a padlock or TSA recommended lock.

I have just returned from Arizona (my second trip with my new suitcase) and on collecting my case in Manchester (UK) there was a new plastic tie on it. On opening there was a notice from TSA stating that they had randomly picked my case for searching. They had then put a new tie on it to secure it.

I am so glad I used these ties as had I locked it my case would have been forced open and ruined.

Rockaway, New Jersey
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2,738 posts
66 reviews
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1. Re: TSA Bag Search

The TSA recommended locks are recommended by them because they have master keys to open them. They can get in your bag and relock it if pulled for a search.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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14,103 posts
243 reviews
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2. Re: TSA Bag Search

My husband locks our luggage with at least three TSA approved locks. Very often when we unpack our luggage we find a note that a bag was searched, but we would never know without the note. The locks are always replaced and there is no damage to the suitcase.

Southwest
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332 posts
26 reviews
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3. Re: TSA Bag Search

We traveled Denver, DIA airport, each x (return), we were given a 'thorough' search. My carry-on was inspected and a few questions were asked each time.

On the return trip, I too found a TSA notice indicating my luggage was searched (I do appreciate the TSA notice).

I believe it was back in 2002? when TSA began generating notices - not to lock your bags - but instead to use the plastic tie-ons.

Whatever needs to be done preserve safety of passengers, I am fully support.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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14,103 posts
243 reviews
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4. Re: TSA Bag Search

I also support anything that results in safer flights. I am not convinced that a determined terrorist cannot circumvent all the security measures we have in place. I think the major problem rests with the people employed to provide security checks. In Israel, those who provide airline security are highly trained not only to spot potential terrorist weapons, but also to identify duplicitous behavior. In the US we hire minimum wage workers who are often not that involved in the purpose of their mission.

Having recently returned from Europe we have experienced screening in several nations. In Turkey the security check was very casual. In Italy they did everything but strip our clothing. They inspected the contents of every prescription drug bottle, and spent 20 minutes in intense discussion with one another about a little book light. In Paris the three prosthetic joints that I have did not trigger the metal detector when I walked through it.

Maybe I feel a little safer when I fly post 9/11, but I do not think I feel much safer....certainly not enough safer to compensate for the ridiculous procedures, long lines and silly rules (Why, for example, can the X-ray machine look into my carry-on and determine what is in it, but it cannot penetrate the gift wrap of a pre-wrapped present? Is giftwrap somehow X-ray proof?)

Sheffield, United...
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890 posts
196 reviews
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5. Re: TSA Bag Search

I too am in agreement with as many searches as possible to make flying more safe.

I just wanted people to know that the plastic ties work.

I noticed though, that my suitcase had my husbands name on it - I imagine TSA were surprised when then opened it to find lots of womens clothes!!

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
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6,619 posts
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6. Re: TSA Bag Search

Sorry to say that the only improvements to safety since 9/11 are fortified cockpit doors and the attitude of passengers and crew not to comply with hijackers, or as shown many times, crazy or drunk passengers that cause problems in flight.

Someone determined to blow up a plane could still do it, especially if they plan on killing themselves in the process. X-ray machines don't detect plastic explosives, but we must run our shoes through anyway. They are so focused on taking water away that they miss guns, knives and simulated bombs in testing something like 90% of the time. Cargo is not screened.

90% of what is being done in the name of security is window dressing to make people feel that they are safer and the government is doing something about it.

Calgary, Canada
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3,544 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: TSA Bag Search

tev9999 is exactly right. The sad part is that to the people whose whole goal was to make our lives more difficult, their missions have been quite successful.

Angela, my husband uses my suitcase and I use his all the time. I'm sure TSA is quite used to seeing contents that likely don't belong to the person on the tag.

Aren't the TSA locks supposed to show a different colour if they have been opened?

Rockaway, New Jersey
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2,738 posts
66 reviews
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8. Re: TSA Bag Search

Does Israel's national airline (El Al??) still do background checks and conduct interviews with every passenger? I heard they did that but that was a while back.

And what is the point of locking your luggage anymore when the baggage handlers can go through them and steal stuff then replace the locks and ties? I still use a regular old padlock when I travel and check luggage and have never had a problem but I have a feeling my luck might run out on that one! I am traveling to Italy for a week in October and am seriously considering NOT checking luggage.

Mesa, Arizona
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9,998 posts
7 reviews
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9. Re: TSA Bag Search

Amberm1, there are several types of TSA locks, one of which DOES have the light you mentioned.

I will say that, so far asI know, my bag (with TSA locks) has only been opened ONCE, and they did NOT put the lock back on (but at least they put the lock in the zipper compartment where the luggage handle is.

My only problem with the TIES is: You have to leave ONE outer pocket on the suitcase open and put in a small pr of scissors to open the ties.

Calgary, Canada
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3,544 posts
19 reviews
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10. Re: TSA Bag Search

I don't put the extra ties in the bag, they are in my carry-on. If someone has to find something to cut the tie, they're more likely to move on to an easier target. I've never had anything stolen when I tied it, but we have had stuff stolen from untied bags.

So far, TSA has only searched our bags that have not been tied.