Unable to open suitcase after BA flight

Old Jul 19, 19, 2:47 pm
  #1  
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Unable to open suitcase after BA flight

I flew LGW-AGP last night with 23kg checked baggage (78cm Samsonite Aeris with TSA lock) and cabin baggage. I packed everything that I needed for the first night and first day in my cabin baggage. I tried to open my checked baggage this evening, at the end of the first day. I noticed that the two latches on the sides were no longer locked (but nevertheless refastened) and the combination has been changed, which has remained unchanged for 5 years. Therefore I cannot open it. The side catches being unlocked indicates that the suitcase was searched at LGW.

I believe that I (or hotel staff) will need to break the suitcase open in order to access my essential belongings, given that the combination no longer works. I have tried to phone British Airways but they don't answer. Given that time is of the essence and I can't wait days for BA to respond to a written enquiry, what should I do?
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:02 pm
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Find a pen and watch YouTube videos on opening a zip?
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:05 pm
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Assuming you have a 3-digit lock, there are 1000 combinations to click through.

It sounds a lot, but having had to do this myself once, while it's a bit of a pain, just grab a bottle of wine to dull the ache in your fingers and you will get there within an hour or so...

Also you will be nicely sozzled by the time you finish !!
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by chistery View Post
Find a pen and watch YouTube videos on opening a zip?
It's not a zip, but something much more secure.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:13 pm
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It would likely take much less than an hour to try all the combinations (probably less than 30 minutes), that's far less destructive and could avoid a lot of time down the line trying to resolve compensation over a broken bag. Just remember to release pressure on the latch after each 'try'.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:14 pm
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A hotel engineer managed to force it open without significant damage.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by NFH View Post
A hotel engineer managed to force it open without significant damage.
I'm very impressed at your hotel's abilities! There again it does demonstrate the silliness of these combination lock devices.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:30 pm
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Good news and well done to the hotel staff member. Double positive is the weather is fantastic down there having just returned myself and s***t in London (if you’re based in LON)

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:33 pm
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I had a similar with a Samsonite case a few years ago. After one flight it just didn't seem to want to open, I worked through all 1000 combinations and still no joy so prized it open. My father-in-law at the time was very handy and he took the lock apart, noticed one of the longer metal pins seemed to be slightly bent and straightened it out. Put it back together and it worked just fine.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:37 pm
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If your lock has been damaged, because it is a part of the baggage, file a baggage claim.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:43 pm
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And don't buy bags which lock. TSA or not.

As you have seen, they do no good. Imagine that you did not care about preserving the bag and needed to open it and you are aligned with what a baggage thief would do.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Fitch View Post
Assuming you have a 3-digit lock, there are 1000 combinations to click through.

It sounds a lot, but having had to do this myself once, while it's a bit of a pain, just grab a bottle of wine to dull the ache in your fingers and you will get there within an hour or so
From experience, it will take just under 22 minutes assuming the lock is actually broken and none of the combinations work. That’s without wine.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
And don't buy bags which lock. TSA or not.

As you have seen, they do no good. Imagine that you did not care about preserving the bag and needed to open it and you are aligned with what a baggage thief would do.
I see both sides of this one. The locks do no good for actual protection and draw attention to the bag as potentially containing valuables. But the counter argument is that since so many crimes are those of opportunity, if someone has 30 seconds to rifle through a bag's contents, they are more likely to choose the one without a lock.

I am lucky that the valuables I travel with can fit in an under-seat backpack so I'm never relieved of them even if the cabin is full. Not everyone can do that.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 5:03 pm
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Wow - impressive skill from the hotel stuff - I shall start locking my valuables in the in-room safe.
This happened to me once - I never lock my suitcase and when I got my back it was locked and I didn't know the default lock code. Turned out I picked a wrong bag at the belt - very embarrassing.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by luitje View Post
Turned out I picked a wrong bag at the belt - very embarrassing.
Always, ALWAYS, check for either your name on the label, or your Exec number on the BA bag tag. It takes less than 5 seconds, but can save a lot of trouble and embarrassment. I know it's unlikely that someone else on my flight has checked the same black Samsonite as me, but it's never impossible...
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