On my tenth birthday, I received a beautiful, super stylish, tweed carry-on bag as a gift (oh, I wish I still had it!). It had this tiny little lock on it and as any 10-year-old would, I locked all my “important” stuff in it – away from my sisters’ prying hands. As I got older and actually used the bag for traveling on overnight trips that little lock secured my belongings along the way.
The technology of securing our luggage has come a long way since then, now we can track our bags via GPS, use a luggage wrapping service, or take a photo with our smartphone of our checked bag before it leaves our side. For most people, a luggage lock is still the simplest way to go, but are all luggage locks created equal?
Every single piece of luggage is screened by the TSA and if further inspection is needed they will open your bag, even if you are not there. So if your luggage is locked what are they going to do? Cut the lock off of course, unless it’s a TSA approved luggage lock!
Unfortunately, not everyone knows that if you are traveling by plane you need to use TSA luggage locks, otherwise there is a good chance they will be snipped off. So not only is your bag being rummaged through by someone you don’t know, but your luggage could be possibly damaged in the process of the lock being cut off, yikes! Doesn’t seem so secure, does it? That is why the TSA worked with two companies, Travel Sentry, and Safe Skies Locks, to develop padlocks, locks on luggage straps and built-in locks on luggage. The TSA has a master key for these locks so they can simply unlock your bag if it needs to be further inspected.