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Have Luggage Locks Become a Thing of the Past?

April 15, 2010 at 10:37 AM | by | ()

Wow, locking luggage feels like something the traveling public stopped doing ten years ago, when in reality it's a practice that goes on, albeit in much decreased numbers since the TSA kicked into high gear with their TSA-special locks.

These days, if you're flying in the United States, it's either a TSA lock or no lock at all for checked baggage, since they must check every bag and non-approved locks can be cut. As we typically go completely carry-on luggage only (even for a two-week stint in South Korea and the like), luggage locking is something we fortunately no longer have to consider. So who out there, in the year 2010 when airport security makes you do everything short of stripping naked to go through the metal detector, is still dutifully turning the combination on little orange, TSA-approved locks?

Are you holding onto your locks? Do you see them as theft deterrents or is it really just for peace of mind?

Related Stories:
· Baggage Locks [TSA.gov]
· Should You Pack a Gun to Make Sure the TSA Takes Care of Your Baggage? [Jaunted]
· Luggage [Jaunted]

[Photo: elPadawan]

Archived Comments:

The TSA is not universal

Of course we lock our luggage! Outside the US of TSA, locking luggage is still considered essential by the locals in many destinations. Sure a flimsy little luggage lock isn't going to stop someone who's determined to get into your bag, but if a casual thief has a choice of rifling an unlocked bag versus a locked bag, it's a pretty straight-forward decision.

Besides, airplanes aren't the only time you might want to lock up your bag while you're traveling. Who knows when you'll encounter nosy housekeeping staff or a dishonest hostel cohabitant? And for a filled-to-the-brim backpack, locking the zipper pulls together brings extra reassurance that your bag isn't going to spill open unexpectedly (not to mention making you a less easy target for pickpockets).

More than the TSA hassles, the checked luggage fees are likely chipping away at the travel lock market. But unless you plan to keep an eye on it at all times, the arguments for locking your bag still apply to carry-on luggage.

Locks still selling

We're still selling locks. So people are continuing to use them in some capacity. I agree with kaisatsu2, it still provides some security... and peace of mind.