Key-lock a suitcase internationally?

Old Jun 8, 18, 6:07 am
  #1  
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Key-lock a suitcase internationally?

Traveling DL DCA-JFK-CDG, then AF CDG-TLV. I have an old hard-sided Samsonite that has two keyed locks. I haven't needed to use it in years and don't know how current security measures would affect it. Should I lock the suitcase or leave it unlocked?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 8, 18, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by mglvrug View Post
Traveling DL DCA-JFK-CDG, then AF CDG-TLV. I have an old hard-sided Samsonite that has two keyed locks. I haven't needed to use it in years and don't know how current security measures would affect it. Should I lock the suitcase or leave it unlocked?

Thanks!
Flew AF/DL DXB>CDG>ATL>SAT in December and we locked our four bags. Granted they were TSA-approved locks but there was no indication any of them had been tampered with or opened. Not sure about the pre-TSA old style key locks. Our old hardsides are long gone but Id probably not use them for fear theyd be forced open with no easy way to be resecured.
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Old Jun 8, 18, 11:04 am
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If either TSA, French security and/or customs or Israeli services decide they want to open a locked bag they can break it without really any recourse.

Assuming the bag with locks are preTSA approved locks, which have universal keys for security services to use, locking them comes with a risk. You could get one of the bands with a built-in TSA approved lock that goes around your bag and then you leave your existing locks open.
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Old Jun 11, 18, 9:42 pm
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Don't use locks. Use zip ties, and keep a supply of spares in the bag itself. Secures the bag from random thieves, doesn't present any problem to security to open, and is cheaper than replacing locks on bags or bags themselves if the locks are integral. It's also very easy to see if the bag has been opened: count the zip ties left.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by JamesBigglesworth View Post
Don't use locks. Use zip ties, and keep a supply of spares in the bag itself. Secures the bag from random thieves, doesn't present any problem to security to open, and is cheaper than replacing locks on bags or bags themselves if the locks are integral. It's also very easy to see if the bag has been opened: count the zip ties left.
The problem for the OP is the old style hardsides were latches so there no way to use zip ties or other locks. As mentioned here, or maybe another thread, the other option is to buy a locking strap that can be secured under the hand and around the bag.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 11:55 am
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Yes, Randyk47, I followed Yoshi212's advice and got a band with a built-in TSA lock to go around the suitcase and I left the case itself unlocked. I'm glad to report it arrived intact (on a later flight than my other bags, but that wasn't an issue). Thanks for the help.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 2:00 pm
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Locking a bag will not deter thieves and may even flag it as a bag from which it is worth stealing. Thus, pointless for most travel.

Whether a lock is "TSA-approved" will make little difference as to whether TSA (or anyone else) cuts or pries the lock. It is often faster to cut or otherwise force it. For built in locks while traveling, you either spend time getting the thing fixed or buying a new case.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 4:11 pm
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I also lock mine mostly so people don't put stuff in. I've nothing worth stealing. I carry all my valuables. I use mostly Rimowa suitcases and only once have I found evidence of prying. Someone tried to pry the locks open to no avail. Now zippers to worry about.

Anyways I have a little luggage tag with a throwaway contact email on there that says, if they want to open it, I'm available to open it.
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Old Jun 12, 18, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Locking a bag will not deter thieves and may even flag it as a bag from which it is worth stealing. Thus, pointless for most travel.

Whether a lock is "TSA-approved" will make little difference as to whether TSA (or anyone else) cuts or pries the lock. It is often faster to cut or otherwise force it. For built in locks while traveling, you either spend time getting the thing fixed or buying a new case.
I agree that a locked bag will not deter thieves. We lock ours more to keep them from accidentally coming open. Sure we could use zip ties but we have a dozen or more TSA locks weve accumulated over the years. We have rejected bags with built in locks for exactly as you wrote.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:38 pm
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DH uses the TSA approved locks, I use zip ties. Can't remember the last time bags were opened.
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