5 Great Reasons to Use a TSA Luggage Lock on Your Next Trip

December 11, 2014

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?

What is a TSA Luggage Lock?

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.

5 Great Reasons to Use a TSA Luggage Lock
  1. When you check in at a large hotel and hand your bags to the hotel porter, you may not see your bags for quite awhile. Having your luggage locked will help deter any “helpful” hands digging into your bags while they are out of your sight.
  2. When using a luggage delivery service. If you have heavy or oversized bags, or just have more luggage than your airline permits without extra charges, you may want to send your bags ahead with a luggage service. Your personal belongings will be out of your sight for days, a luggage lock will give you an extra piece of security and peace of mind.
  3. Your locks are less likely to be cut off at the airport if you are using an approved TSA lock as well as helping keep your bags closed when loading and unloading of the airplane.
  4. Securing your carry-on if your bag can’t be above you in the overhead bin or if you are forced to check it at the boarding gate.
  5. Lock up your luggage when leaving your hotel room, helps discourage hotel staff from “handling” any of your stuff.