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TSA baggage requirements

Perth
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32 posts
27 reviews
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TSA baggage requirements

I am flying to NYC later this month and was trying to get info from the TSA website with regards to acceptable suitcases.

They say you must have TSA-approved locks on your bags, but I have a Samsonite bag with a pin-code lock built in to the suitcase (and no zips). Does anyone know if I am allowed to bring this into the US? It seems laughable that such a well-known & widely-used suitcase would not comply with TSA requirements.

New York City, New...
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1. Re: TSA baggage requirements

TSA locks are not mandatory. But if you wish to use the lock built into your suitcase -- and you're not carrying the bag on with you -- you run the risk that TSA will break the lock to inspect the suitcase contents:

tsa.gov/travelers/customer/claims/pack.shtm

London, United...
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for Wakefield
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2. Re: TSA baggage requirements

Thing is, isn't the lock supposed to put off people who might actually be working at the airport from snaffling the stuff inside it?

And if a TSA lock is unlockable with a magic key, then why wouldn't they somehow get one, to make it easier.

Feel free to go through my suitcase, because all you're going to find inside are clothes... I've never locked my case yet, and have never had an issue.

M

Oud-Heverlee...
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33 posts
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3. Re: TSA baggage requirements

We bought TSA-approved locks. Some brands like Samsonite have TSA-approved locks build inside there suitcases.

Perth
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32 posts
27 reviews
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4. Re: TSA baggage requirements

The only problem is that the lock is integral with the suitcase and is a pin-code lock. So I don't see how you could open it with a master-key...

And if they need to get it open but can't then they might hang onto my suitcase or something.

Liverpool UK
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292 posts
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5. Re: TSA baggage requirements

If your case is locked I have heard stories of them being torn, ripped and broken to get inside the case. These are only stories though so I would take them with a pinch of salt. Just set the locks to '0' and leave them unlocked'.

We just bought TSA padlocks and they were never opened (they have indicators).

Chelmsford, United...
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for Rafina
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6. Re: TSA baggage requirements

I have been in JFK several times as cabin crew and if someone wanted to inspect the bags we had to open them for inspection after we received them.

United Kingdom
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979 posts
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7. Re: TSA baggage requirements

Hi,

I wouldn't want to scare you but I have now travelled to the US on 6 occasions (Florida x4, Chicago and Las Vegas).

On my first trip to Las Vegas I had a 'normal' lock on one of our cases which was broken by the TSA. After this I purchased TSA locks (I seem to remember they were about £15 for 2) and since then I have only been on 2 trips where I haven't had 1 or more cases opened (we normally fly out with 2 and return with 3).

I would leave the lock on the case unlocked and invest in a TSA lock - less than £10 to ensure a £100+ case doesn't end up ruined - a no brainer really.

Take care

Huddersfield...
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475 posts
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8. Re: TSA baggage requirements

We once made the mistake of locking one of our bags, though we could have sworn we didn't and it was opened. Whether by officials or not we're not sure. Ruined the suitcase. Luckily the airline paid for us a new bag. Ours were combination locks too.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: TSA baggage requirements

Here's a pic of a suitcase with the TSA lock built in; notice that it has a keyhole, in addition to the PIN-code settings, and a button (showing red in this pic) which serves as a signal that TSA opened the bag:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Q5v5TGeGWRs/S_VFi4JiWJI/AAAAAAAAAIA/oZMM5Exqvhg/s200/tsa+lock+remowa.jpg

If your Samsonite suitcase lock doesn't resemble this, then it's not TSA-approved. If you want to use the bag and have some security that will pass muster with TSA, then you'll need to buy a luggage strap with a TSA lock like this:

amazon.com/Pacsafe-Strapsafe-Anti-Theft-Indi…

Like M4RKM, I carry with me everything I care about & don't bother locking a bag I check. Nothing's ever come up missing when I've unpacked.

Perth
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32 posts
27 reviews
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10. Re: TSA baggage requirements

Thanks CockleCove that's what I needed.

I'm not so much scared of losing anything from my bag as I am that TSA will wrench it open and break the lock (it's an expensive suitcase!)