American tsa is a joke and probably thief

Old Oct 14, 19, 8:07 pm
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American tsa is a joke and probably thief

American tsa is a joke and probably thief. Once they opened my tsa luggage without relocking them. Now that lock will never be locked again. Recently my beautiful metal body Yale TSA lock just disappeared after their so called inspection. American TSA sucks!
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Old Oct 15, 19, 10:12 am
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Welcome to Flyertalk and our world. TSA has reportedly had difficulty keeping track of the master keys to open TSA Approved locks. Why that is I can't answer. Where I work I would be held accountable. TSA not so much.
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Old Oct 15, 19, 10:41 am
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Locking your bag is a bad idea in the first place. Just as happy to have an Officer cut the locks as it saves time and that moves bags faster,

The whole "TSA-approved lock" thing is a marketing gimmick for the manufacturers and nobody should count on the time waste it creates.
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Old Oct 15, 19, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Locking your bag is a bad idea in the first place. Just as happy to have an Officer cut the locks as it saves time and that moves bags faster,

The whole "TSA-approved lock" thing is a marketing gimmick for the manufacturers and nobody should count on the time waste it creates.
Why is locking one's possessions a bad idea in the first place? Would you say that locking your home's front door is a bad idea in the first place and that you would be just as happy to have some "random" stranger remove your door locks as it saves times and makes things faster for those who may have whatever intent in accessing your home/possessions?

The whole TSA-approved lock thing is not a marketing gimmick for lock manufacturers; rather it was a TSA gimmick so that passengers could lock their bags while enabling the ability of the TSA to unlock the bags, search them manually and re-lock them ... all while helping the TSA to avoid being hit too hard by lobbyists for lock manufacturers and others over the TSA demand to be able to open bags frequently and generally without involving the bag owners to unlock them and watch the searches.

It was the TSA that led to this situation of there being a "TSA-approved" marketing push by manufacturers of locks and some other items. Blaming people who lock their own bags or blaming the lock manufacturers for this situation is just deflecting away from the history of why there is this "TSA-approved" lock thing in the first place. The TSA made this what it is.

Last edited by GUWonder; Oct 15, 19 at 11:06 am
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Old Oct 15, 19, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Locking your bag is a bad idea in the first place. Just as happy to have an Officer cut the locks as it saves time and that moves bags faster,

The whole "TSA-approved lock" thing is a marketing gimmick for the manufacturers and nobody should count on the time waste it creates.
Yes nothing like having thieves pilfering things from secure checked luggage. We should all want that, right?

TSA approved locks are not just U.S. thing.

History of TSA Locks

The Travel Sentry system is used by security agencies in Austria, Canada, Finland, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA. The system is licensed by over 500 companies worldwide: primarily luggage brands, lock manufacturers and distributors of travel goods.
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Old Oct 15, 19, 12:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Locking your bag is a bad idea in the first place. Just as happy to have an Officer cut the locks as it saves time and that moves bags faster,

The whole "TSA-approved lock" thing is a marketing gimmick for the manufacturers and nobody should count on the time waste it creates.

You're presuming that TSA clerks cannot be trained to master the complex operation of opening a lock with a key. I cannot provide compelling evidence that you are wrong, but this problem can be addressed by the TSA. The TSA purports to have implemented a solution to the problem of locking one's bag in a manner that it can be opened by TSA clerks in a nondestructive way. If the process of unlocking a lock is too difficult for TSA clerks to master, the TSA can solve this problem by raising its hiring standards.
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Old Oct 15, 19, 1:59 pm
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The thing is, it's well known that the zippers on luggage can almost always be easily and quickly opened with a pen or pencil, rendering the lock completely useless.

If it's hard-sided luggage with latches rather than zippers, and an allowance for for a padlock, that would be a little more secure when locked with such. Though, if the hardsided bag relies on internal locks within the latches, those can be picked or forced open without much effort.

Locks can help prevent accidental opening as the bag passes through the luggage handling system...don't get too attached to the lock itself.
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Old Oct 15, 19, 2:18 pm
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All a lock does is send a message to the many people who handle bags, only one of which are TSA, that there is something worth stealing in the bag.
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Old Oct 15, 19, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
All a lock does is send a message to the many people who handle bags, only one of which are TSA, that there is something worth stealing in the bag.
That is the biggest load of <redacted> on Flyer Talk today.

Locks provide a small level of security to keep what's mine, mine. Of course they aren't foolproof.

Do you lock your car? If you do why? Does the lock serve the same purpose on your car as they do on baggage? How about your home? Doesn't locking your home send a message to people walking by that there is something worth stealing inside?

And exactly why shouldn't my checked luggage be secure? Haven't all of the people working for TSA and the airport cleared to not be a security threat?

The TSA can't keep up with the master keys and resort to cutting locks. Do you refute that statement? And yes, I think some locks get caught up in the baggage handling systems and a few locks get pulled off but that would also take the zipper grips with the lock. If just a lock is missing it suggests strongly that TSA cut the lock or failed to put it back on the bag.

Last edited by TWA884; Oct 15, 19 at 4:00 pm Reason: FT Rule 16: Using symbols, spaces or other methods to mask vulgarities is not allowed.
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Old Oct 15, 19, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
The thing is, it's well known that the zippers on luggage can almost always be easily and quickly opened with a pen or pencil, rendering the lock completely useless.

If it's hard-sided luggage with latches rather than zippers, and an allowance for for a padlock, that would be a little more secure when locked with such. Though, if the hardsided bag relies on internal locks within the latches, those can be picked or forced open without much effort.

Locks can help prevent accidental opening as the bag passes through the luggage handling system...don't get too attached to the lock itself.
But the TSA and airlines really shouldnít be damaging peopleís property, be it a lock or otherwise, without the informed consent of the relevant property owners.

Luggage is subject to being tampered with and broken into no matter how it is locked up. But being able to even marginally frustrate a tampering party and being able to recognize quickly and more readily that there has been some tampering with the luggage can be useful still.

What the TSA wants and does with luggage and locks ó TSA-approved or otherwise ó is at least in practice far more frequently invasive than seems to be required in much of the world. And this in itself may facilitate theft and reduce accountability for those parties involved in luggage handling or screening at airports.

Iíve had luggage go missing in various parts of the world, but Iíve never had my luggage get meddled with as much as Iíve had it meddled with by and in the TSA staffed airports. Have I had things stolen from locked luggage? Nothing significant.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
But the TSA and airlines really shouldnít be damaging peopleís property, be it a lock or otherwise, without the informed consent of the relevant property owners.

Luggage is subject to being tampered with and broken into no matter how it is locked up. But being able to even marginally frustrate a tampering party and being able to recognize quickly and more readily that there has been some tampering with the luggage can be useful still.

What the TSA wants and does with luggage and locks ó TSA-approved or otherwise ó is at least in practice far more frequently invasive than seems to be required in much of the world. And this in itself may facilitate theft and reduce accountability for those parties involved in luggage handling or screening at airports.

Iíve had luggage go missing in various parts of the world, but Iíve never had my luggage get meddled with as much as Iíve had it meddled with by and in the TSA staffed airports. Have I had things stolen from locked luggage? Nothing significant.
Oh I agree that since TSA pushes the "approved locks", their airport signage implies that approved locks will be fine, and especially since they are supposed to have master keys (!) - they shouldn't have to break or lose them except in very rare instances (maybe a jammed lock for example). Perhaps the signage at check-in and bag drops should explicitly warn that even approved locks may be broken or lost.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 8:25 am
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Locks on luggage are easy to open. I am no master thief, but a paperclip is all I need for most of them. A screwdriver gets the rest. I usually use cable ties on zipper bags because it prevents the zips from opening through general handling. Other than my beloved Flintstone pyjamas, there is nothing valuable in my suitcase.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Locks on luggage are easy to open. I am no master thief, but a paperclip is all I need for most of them. A screwdriver gets the rest. I usually use cable ties on zipper bags because it prevents the zips from opening through general handling. Other than my beloved Flintstone pyjamas, there is nothing valuable in my suitcase.
If items from the luggage that go missing are items that you need on your trip, isnít the missing stuff valuable enough to potentially cause you a hassle that costs you time and/or money? Itís the primary reason why I prefer to avoid having checked in luggage when and where I can.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 4:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
All a lock does is send a message to the many people who handle bags, only one of which are TSA, that there is something worth stealing in the bag.
Besides being a matter of judgment on which opinions may differ, this is irrelevant to the issue raised by the OP. The OP secured his bag with a TSA-approved lock. The TSA had the tools available to open the lock nondestructively but the TSA clerks were unable or unwilling to make the effort to open the bag according to the rules. The TSA is constantly telling us that they are on the front lines, protecting America from terrorist attacks. They tell us that while the terrorists only have to succeed once, the TSA has to succeed every time. Here we have an example of a TSA failure to open a lock with a matching key which they have in their possession. This is a failure of competence at the customer-facing level and a failure of understanding of and dedication to the mission at the management levels. This by itself is evidence of a need for a complete overhaul of the TSA, whether or not one would decide differently than the OP about securing his luggage with a lock.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 11:13 pm
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Locks do provide some security--they make it harder for a thief to quickly and unobtrusively check for stuff worth stealing. Since in practice a thief usually has quite limited time to pilfer a bag this helps.
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