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Old Jan 23, 03, 2:54 pm   #1
 
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Please do not lock your luggage

As a luggage screening supervisor I will ask you all to not lock your luggage. Those that are locked will be forced open. If you have valuables, use a carry on luggage piece for them. If things are missing the airlines are still responsible. I will say though that after having to remove quite a few locks that a pair of pliers takes care of about most of them.
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Old Jan 23, 03, 3:04 pm   #2
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I don't think anyone locks their luggage thinking that is going to keep a baggage thrower from getting at it if he wishes. The reason I lock mine, particularly folding garment bags, is to ensure that they stay closed.

Why can't we put an unlocked lock through the zippers, and after you're done searching, you lock it up for us?

I had my locks cut off in mid-December. No twist ties were put on the zippers, and no search notification was left in my luggage!

[This message has been edited by csb (edited 01-23-2003).]
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Old Jan 23, 03, 3:42 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by tsadude:
If things are missing the airlines are still responsible. </font>
According to the information at the TSA website, this my not be the case:

Baggage Security Checkpoints

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Missing Contents

TSA screeners exercise great care during the screening process to ensure that your contents are returned to your bag every time a bag needs to be opened. TSA will assess, on an individual basis, any loss or damage claims made to TSA. You may call the TSA Consumer Response Center toll-free at 1-866-289-9673 if you have questions.
</font>
This website also suggests using cable ties as an alternative to locks and states that if your luggage needs to be searched, the ties will be cut and then replaced. Is this true??

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Old Jan 23, 03, 4:38 pm   #4
 
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The notices put in the luggage state that a Tamper-Evident Seal "HAS" been placed on your luggage.

I now have 8 of these notices and NOT one "Tamper-Evident" seal.

So, it would seem that they are not going to bother following there own notices.
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Old Jan 23, 03, 4:40 pm   #5
 
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tsadude,

Just so we are clear:

The TSA does not want us to lock our luggage and if we do and the luggage requires a secondary screening, the lock will be cut off. BUT, if anything is stolen, we have to duke it out with the airlines.

Surely, you must personally think this is idiotic.
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Old Jan 23, 03, 4:58 pm   #6
 
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Btw, the TSA website says the following:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Can I transport guns or firearms?
Guns and firearms are NOT permitted in your carry-on baggage, but depending on the policy of your airline, may be included with your checked baggage. Check with your airline or travel agent to see if firearms are permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. Firearms carried as checked baggage MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided case, and declared to the airline at check-in. Only you, the passenger, may have the key or combination. You should never unlock your bag if the gun is not placed within a separate locked, hard-sided case inside your checked bag. TSA will NOT force open locked baggage if it knows the baggage contains guns or ammunition. If we have to open your checked bag containing a gun or ammunition, we will make every effort to contact you and have you open the bag for our screeners. If we cannot clear your bag, then your bag will not make your flight.</font>
http://www.tsa.gov/public/faq.jsp

I hope all TSA employees are aware of this. Incidentally, this seems to be one method of forcing a landside check at airside airports albeit with the risk of the luggage not making the flight.
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Old Jan 23, 03, 5:03 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by CameraGuy:
tsadude,

Just so we are clear:

The TSA does not want us to lock our luggage and if we do and the luggage requires a secondary screening, the lock will be cut off. BUT, if anything is stolen, we have to duke it out with the airlines.

Surely, you must personally think this is idiotic.
</font>
Just because your luggage has a lock does not mean it is a automatic search, but if the machine does not like what it sees in your bag and it is locked, it will be forced open.You always had to duke it out with the airlines for stolen stuff or did this change?

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Old Jan 23, 03, 5:05 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by csb:
I don't think anyone locks their luggage thinking that is going to keep a baggage thrower from getting at it if he wishes. The reason I lock mine, particularly folding garment bags, is to ensure that they stay closed.

Why can't we put an unlocked lock through the zippers, and after you're done searching, you lock it up for us?

I had my locks cut off in mid-December. No twist ties were put on the zippers, and no search notification was left in my luggage!

[This message has been edited by csb (edited 01-23-2003).]
</font>
Use a plastic zip tie for now. We prefer for you not to leave your lock unsecure, it will probably fall off and we will never see it.

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Old Jan 23, 03, 5:07 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by CameraGuy:
The notices put in the luggage state that a Tamper-Evident Seal "HAS" been placed on your luggage.

I now have 8 of these notices and NOT one "Tamper-Evident" seal.

So, it would seem that they are not going to bother following there own notices.
</font>
Seals are on the way. We are using zip ties for now. Disclaimer, FL is using zip ties right now. I cannot speak for everywhere else.

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Old Jan 23, 03, 5:13 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by tsadude:
You always had to duke it out with the airlines for stolen stuff or did this change?

</font>
Yes, this did change. When the TSA started telling us we had to leave our luggage unlocked.

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Old Jan 23, 03, 5:32 pm   #11
 
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tsadude,

Let me once again thank you for your participation. For you to come here and engage in this debate with us shows me that you take your job very seriously. I LOVE a good debate and I also am very interested in the point of view from a front line TSA employee.

As tazi wrote, in the past, I could lock my luggage. If the lock was tampered with, then I could deal with the airline right there and then. Now, if anything is missing, the airline is going to point directly at the TSA.

As for your suggestion about using a cable tie, I like it, but given the vast inconsistency exhibited by the TSA, I would be reluctant to use one. Knowing my luck, my bag/case would be damaged by a screener with an attitude problem trying to teach me a lesson.

All I really want is consistency. The TSA has had 15 Months to get ramped up. The "give us time" excuse is running out of steam.

They had 15 months to get ready for bag inspections. How in gods name could they have forgotten to order the "Tamper-Evident Seals"?
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Old Jan 23, 03, 5:57 pm   #12
 
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I would try to work something out with the airlines if you really need to have your bag secured. We have worked out deals in the past with no problems so far. We have soldiers deploying through our airports with weapons and all types of secure commo gear that needs to be locked up. As for the tamper seals, I was in the very first class of TSA screening supervisors in Mar 02. As a matter of fact my certificates read "prototype class". Yes it has been 15 months, but some things were only accomplished yesterday. Our crew will treat your stuff with the utmost respect. Last week we searched a bag that had an urn with someones remains and we were very careful to pack things back the way they were. The tags will be out there soon.
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Old Jan 24, 03, 6:54 am   #13
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by CameraGuy:
tsadude,

Just so we are clear:

The TSA does not want us to lock our luggage and if we do and the luggage requires a secondary screening, the lock will be cut off. BUT, if anything is stolen, we have to duke it out with the airlines.

Surely, you must personally think this is idiotic.
</font>
Idiotic? Sure. But I'll bet the airlines absolutely love it! Finally, they've got somewhere else to point the finger!

I fully expect that luggage loss claims are going to quickly devolve into a "he said, she said" p***ing match between the airlines and airport TSA representatives, with the real net loser being the poor schmo who got his valuables stolen. Fun, fun!

Being an elite and thus able to preboard with my just-barely-allowable rollaboard has never been more important.

Mook
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Old Jan 24, 03, 9:23 am   #14
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by tsadude:
I would try to work something out with the airlines if you really need to have your bag secured. We have worked out deals in the past with no problems so far. We have soldiers deploying through our airports with weapons and all types of secure commo gear that needs to be locked up. As for the tamper seals, I was in the very first class of TSA screening supervisors in Mar 02. As a matter of fact my certificates read "prototype class". Yes it has been 15 months, but some things were only accomplished yesterday. Our crew will treat your stuff with the utmost respect. Last week we searched a bag that had an urn with someones remains and we were very careful to pack things back the way they were. The tags will be out there soon.</font>
15 months is more than enough time to order the seals. The fact that it was only done yesterday just shows the incompetence of those persons running this circus. I certainly don't feel comfortable trusting my safety to them.

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Old Jan 24, 03, 10:28 am   #15
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Mook:
Being an elite and thus able to preboard with my just-barely-allowable rollaboard has never been more important.
</font>
You're not kidding. That and dedicated check-in lines have all of sudden become bona fide major bonuses espeically now that it's a toss-up whether you can use the RCC to check-in.
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