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Travel Locks

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by smartone, Nov 3, 2015.

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  1. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    So my new job will have me traveling to major west-coast cities (including Vegas) 6-8 days per month, flying out of Reno/Tahoe. I've always enjoyed the "convenience" of checking my bag, though I know most savvy travelers swear by carry-on. Since I carry a laptop shoulder bag (man-purse) on board with me, I just prefer to check the clothes. Previously, my travel was 95% Reno-Las Vegas... hard to lose a bag. My new travel will have me transferring through Vegas and Phoenix for many flights, as Reno has done away with many direct options.

    Question... do you use a travel lock on your checked- luggage or do you use zip-ties or do you even bother? I know that when used they're only a slight deterrent and I'm aware of the pen in the zipper method of opening just about anything... just curious what you do and your experiences.
     
  2. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    I've never used locks. Items of value go in my satchel. The zip tie method won't work as TSA will pop them off. If you want to use locks to deter theft from airline employees/ baggage handlers etc, use TSA approved locks which they will open during inspection and then relock for transportation.

    Nick:beer:
     
  3. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Zip ties. They're deterrents. If TSA needs to get in, they can. But in my experience it happens rarely. If they unlock (or cut off - which they do - even a TSA approved lock) it's gone. I'd rather lose a zip tie that costs a penny and does the same thing.....

    Plus they come in fun colors :thumbsup:

    Of course, I try not to ever have valuables or irreplaceable items in my checked bag....
     
  4. Krh2o

    Krh2o MIA

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    Never flown to Reno so don't know how their baggage claim works, but a lot of west coast airports baggage handling is awful and slow. It's pathetic how long some airports take for checked bags. Vegas has one of the fastest baggage systems, at least for southwest. Others not so much.
     
  5. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    We fly a alot (million miler).. still probably a half dozen times a year, domestic and intl. Never, ever locked our bags. Last time I lost something was in 1969 - long before they had cameras all over the place. Yes, stuff still gets stolen, but way less often than a bag getting lost, which is still very small.

    Assuming you do not leave valuables in the bag, I think you are fine. And, yes, we check bags. My wife has yet to figure out how to do carryon. LOL!
     
  6. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    I realize that anyone who really wants to get in my bag will be able to do it. However, I always lock my bags for two reasons: 1) to deter a lazy thief from getting into the bag when other bags are unlocked and much easier to access, and 2) to prevent the bag from accidentally opening during transit.

    I prefer combination locks so that I don't have to worry about keys. All the locks I've ever used have had TSA access built into them, so that the locks can be removed and replaced should TSA want to open them.

    The golden rule: Never check anything through that you can't afford to be without. Clothes and toiletries can be replaced. Everything else stays with me in my carry-on and in my control.
     
  7. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

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    Count me as always checking a bag. I bring the laptop man satchel as well. I used to lock but I do not anymore. I check clothes and toiletries. Any electronic item goes in my laptop bag.
     
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  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    This is like those evergreen threads on room safes: You'll get every answer from the most paranoid to the most laissez faire, and the only thing relevant to the whole process is what does or does not "happen" to each of us individually.

    Now, anecdotally, I fly internationally several times a years, domestically more often, have done it for years and I've never locked a bag, never had anything go missing. I almost always fly with golf clubs checked so that sucker is opened every single time ... and thank you to our friendly brethren in the Great White North who always clean my golf shoes (unless of course I'm wearing them on the flight). I also valet, check bags with the bell staff, etc.

    So, smart, that knowledge and a quarter ... assures you of having $0.25.
     
  9. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I always use locks for my check bags. Basically I use them more as a deterrent from baggage handlers and others that want to quickly get in and out of bags. My locks are old and worn and bent but they still work. TSA regularly opens my bags, not sure, maybe it's a Hawaii (to and from) thing? Yes, they aren't that sturdy (had someone at the gym use one of them and they are easily broken into) but they are only used as a minor deterrent.

    I never keep things of value in my checked bags, I usually have them in my carry on. even then, I have a rollaway that I use but I have a small master lock and I lock my rollaway at all times. Yes, they can still use the pen in the zipper to open them but I'm with my bag most of the time so I just use it as a deterrent.

    I also use the locks just in case my bags open. Once TSA went though my bag but didn't close it properly so everything popped out when it came out of the chute at the baggage carousel. After that I always lock my checked in bags. And no, it didn't happen because my bag was overflowing or popping at the seams, it was just that the TSA handler didn't reclose the bag properly (left the zipper open).

    Oh well, to each his/her own. lock your bags if you want, don't lock them if you want, whatever you feel comfortable with.
     
  10. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    TSA checks my bags nearly every time I fly. Rarely is most definitely not the case, broad spectrum, despite your stated experience. The zip ties will get removed just because they're there. The prescreeners will actually yank them as well because bags have to be accessible for screening. The TSA approved locks get removed and replaced frequently. Friends of mine swear by them. I just don't see why people need to lock items up. Electronics, jewelry, currency, PII, watches, cards, medication etc. all fit in a small satchel.

    Nick:beer:
     
  11. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Just a personal thing, some people feel safer with their bags locked up, others think the locks aren't much of a deterrent and are easily broken so they don't bother or trust that nothing will be taken from their things.

    I usually pick up things to bring back for friends and family and while they aren't expensive or important I don't want things "disappearing" from my suitcase. About 10 years ago I had some stuff in my checked bags but they weren't there when I opened my suitcase. I called the airline but they said they can't do anything about it since it can't be determined when it was taken or even if it was in the suitcase to begin with. Basically it was some things that I picked up at the CES (unwrapped) so I didn't think anyone would steal them. They were freebies and in original boxes so bulky (many samples) and I didn't want to carry them in my carry ons.

    After that I always lock my suitcase with a tsa approved lock and never had a problem with things missing from my suit case.
     
  12. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    I just tie my bag with a small length of purple "para-cord" mostly to identify it since it was a cheap target bag and I'll see it's twin on the carousel every second flight. The last 3 flights I've taken I've found the TSA inspection ticket, I think the bowling ball tucked among the underwear and socks raises a red flag.
     
  13. newmans

    newmans VIP Whale

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    I have a large Tumi hard sided case. There is a TSA combo lock on the side. I often find that my luggage had been opened and NOT re-locked. I fly into Vegas 8 or 9 times a year. I would say at least half of the time, I find my bag unlocked.
     
  14. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I flew with golf clubs for the first time last this year. TSA removed the lock. I found it inside the bag along with a note that the bag was searched. I find the locks to have very little value and I assume the TSA keys to open them are readily available. Guns and drugs are easily obtained by those looking for such things on the street, it's hard for to imagine that TSA keys are not an easily obtained item by those that wish to steal. Other than some ProV1s and a laser rangefinder, there is nothing of interest worth stealing in my luggage. And I put the rangefinder in my carry on.
     
  15. cphllps

    cphllps High-Roller

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    Interesting, learned something new. I thought under new TSA Rules after 911 you couldn't lock checked bags because all bags are subject to search.
     
  16. shokhead

    shokhead I'm no big spender!

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    TSA approved locks. Used them for years now and not one problem.
     
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  17. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Not saying if you should or should not use them. But, I have used zero locks, zip ties or anything else since 9/11. Not one single problem.
     
  18. VPDana

    VPDana Low-Roller

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    You said exactly what I would say!
     
  19. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    The newer bags have built in TSA locks and theft resistant zippers.
     
  20. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    There are special TSA-approved locks that can be opened by the TSA using a master key.
     
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