Sunday, July 29, 2007
TSA Security Locks for Luggage
I'll admit I've been skeptical from the start when it comes to those TSA-approved locks you put on your luggage. If any TSA person can open them at will, how hard can it be for anyone else? And will they really take the time to carefully open it up before inspecting your bag in a hurry?
If my last trip was any indication, they deliver as promised. I couldn't be bothered, but my wife bought a couple of them and they came through with flying colors. Upon unpacking, the little "we have inspected your bag" note was inside, but the lock was back on the zippers just as when we departed.
If you don't want to shell out money to buy locks that could get broken after being thrown around, there are cheap alternatives that will do almost as well. This article notes that you won't get reimbursed for items stolen in transit anyway, so use some cheap zip-ties instead. I've even met people that swear by the wire and paper twist tabs you get when you buy garbage bags. As any cop will tell you, it's the deterrent value that really matters. If your bag is a royal pain to get into, they'll move on to someone else's.
Then there is the obvious solution. If you're carrying something valuable, bring it in your carry-on. Yeah, I know that doesn't work for knives, firearms, or 5-ounce bottles of $100 goop to put on your face, but nearly anything else of value can be carried instead of checked.