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Non-TSA Luggage in USA?

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Many zipper pulls have holes in the ends of them that you could add a lock to, if the zipper body itself doesn't have the interlocking rings.  

Yes, it could be broken into, but it would be obvious that it had been done, just like with any other lock.

 

two-way-zipper-on-garment.jpg

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On 3/13/2019 at 2:36 PM, cb at sea said:

I just use keyed Master locks (they make packs with several locks that open with the same key)...it's not a LAW that you have to use TSA stuff, you know!

 

No, but TSA reserves the right to cut off your locks or break your luggage to get into it, if it does not have TSA locks.

 

Up to you.

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7 hours ago, brillohead said:

Many zipper pulls have holes in the ends of them that you could add a lock to, if the zipper body itself doesn't have the interlocking rings.  

Yes, it could be broken into, but it would be obvious that it had been done, just like with any other lock.

 

two-way-zipper-on-garment.jpg

 

Those are VERY easy to break.  Normally removing the pull tab totally.  Leaving it VERY hard to zip or unzip.

 

Trust me, I KNOW. 😄

 

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2 minutes ago, SRF said:

No, but TSA reserves the right to cut off your locks or break your luggage to get into it, if it does not have TSA locks.

 

Up to you.

Of course, it's also "up to you" as to whether you'll read the original post, which included the sentence, "The goal isn't really to lock it during transit, but rather when at the hotel/ship. " , and therefore rendered the TSA irrelevant... before adding your off-topic comment.

 

Or are you bizarrely claiming that the TSA reserves the right to break into your hotel room just to inspect your luggage, cutting locks off as they go?  That seems like an odd claim.  I certainly don't expect them to send frogmen out to the ship while it's at-sea.

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3 minutes ago, SRF said:

 

Those are VERY easy to break.  Normally removing the pull tab totally.  Leaving it VERY hard to zip or unzip.

 

Trust me, I KNOW. 😄

 

I've experienced that too.  The ones with the interlocking loop are much stronger.  

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13 hours ago, SRF said:

 

Those are VERY easy to break.  Normally removing the pull tab totally.  Leaving it VERY hard to zip or unzip.

 

Trust me, I KNOW. 😄

 

 

13 hours ago, TechSurfer said:

I've experienced that too.  The ones with the interlocking loop are much stronger.  


Correct, but so are most locks that are small enough to fit in the connecting loops on the other kind.  

If someone is going to break into the suitcase to steal what's inside, they're going to break the lock or break the zipper, period.  

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23 hours ago, TechSurfer said:

Of course, it's also "up to you" as to whether you'll read the original post, which included the sentence, "The goal isn't really to lock it during transit, but rather when at the hotel/ship. " , and therefore rendered the TSA irrelevant... before adding your off-topic comment.

 

Or are you bizarrely claiming that the TSA reserves the right to break into your hotel room just to inspect your luggage, cutting locks off as they go?  That seems like an odd claim.  I certainly don't expect them to send frogmen out to the ship while it's at-sea.

 

No, just commenting on the realities of if you fly.

 

And I have had locks cut of luggage broken for access.

 

And yes, if you want to lock things up in your room, you need luggage that will accept a real lock, and use it.  But even the famous Pelican cases, if you look at the lock tabs, it is not hard to break the case and defeat the locking.

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23 hours ago, TechSurfer said:

I've experienced that too.  The ones with the interlocking loop are much stronger.  

 

Not really.

 

I have had those broken also.

 

But with a zipper, you can just pop the zipper with a pen or pencil.  Or just the fabric part.

 

Or, unless hard sided, just cut the suitcase.

 

I am in an office where most people travel 35 - 45% of the year.  In 18 years here, we have had two instances of things stolen from luggage.  One, they cut the suitcase (softside) to remove a digital camera (when they were worth stealing).  


The other was lost luggage, that was returned, eventually, empty.  But considering how the person was yelling and screaming at everyone he talked to, I am pretty sure this was revenge.

 

 

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Whatever you are carrying that is so valuable that you can't rest without keeping your luggage locked whenever you are not with it is too much to take on vacation, IMO.

 

I carry my valuables in my carry on backpack and it is not away from me until I can use the safe. I do not bring much with me on vacation, since I don't need it with me constantly, but my camera and laptop stays with me until I can lock it up.

 

We've never had any theft from a cruise cabin or hotel room. We don't carry anything flashy.

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1 hour ago, dreadpirate3 said:

Whatever you are carrying that is so valuable that you can't rest without keeping your luggage locked whenever you are not with it is too much to take on vacation, IMO.

 

I carry my valuables in my carry on backpack and it is not away from me until I can use the safe. I do not bring much with me on vacation, since I don't need it with me constantly, but my camera and laptop stays with me until I can lock it up.

 

We've never had any theft from a cruise cabin or hotel room. We don't carry anything flashy.

The "until I can lock it up" is the whole point here... we are regularly on the move in bursts.  Check with the business in bursts, check emails, etc, go scuba dive, paddle board, sunning, hiking.  

There are some super-paranoid folk here who keep claiming that a locked suitcase is less secure, because it's advertising, than an unlocked one.  These poor souls apparently believe that the staff is checking every case, but only opening the ones that are actually hard to open.  That doesn't happen.  Stuff does go missing from unlocked cases, but I've never had a locked case damaged in my room, nor stolen.  I have had cases opened, damaged, etc., in TSA control, but that's explicitly not this conversation.

It's a bit like putting your laptop in the trunk before you head to the parking lot, rather than leaving it in sight or putting it in the trunk once there... it's almost always sufficient.

For what it's worth, for about a total of six of the last eighteen years, I was on the road at least a quarter of the time.  These ideas y'all have that staff ever steals locked cases, or breaks the locks off, are just delusions.  When stuff went missing, it was small items, easy to conceal and when it wasn't locked up.  So yeah, lock your bag with a non-TSA lock, use a Racquet Coil zipper or similar (although I've never had a zipper compromised that I'm aware of), and don't use the hotel safe, and you'll be fine.  Even if you don't do all that, you'll usually be fine.  But the odds may catch up to you.  Travel more and they probably will.

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Back to your original post, we currently have Hey's luggage and a piece of Tag hard shell luggage.

 

I will be upgrading our carry ons to cases similar to the Pelican carry on. I have one Pelican, but it's too big to fly with.

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21 hours ago, dreadpirate3 said:

Whatever you are carrying that is so valuable that you can't rest without keeping your luggage locked whenever you are not with it is too much to take on vacation, IMO.

 

I carry my valuables in my carry on backpack and it is not away from me until I can use the safe. I do not bring much with me on vacation, since I don't need it with me constantly, but my camera and laptop stays with me until I can lock it up.

 

We've never had any theft from a cruise cabin or hotel room. We don't carry anything flashy.

 

Flashy does mean it's the only thing worth stealing...  one example: prescription drugs.  Besides my wallet and my laptop, I always lock up my drugs.   Two reasons - I can't live without them and they are unfortunately easy currency nowadays.   I've traveled with extras on some humanitarian trips I've taken to some locations to donate to the local medical clinics.  They are so desperate, they really do not care where the meds come from.  

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2 hours ago, slidergirl said:

 

Flashy does mean it's the only thing worth stealing...  one example: prescription drugs.  Besides my wallet and my laptop, I always lock up my drugs.   Two reasons - I can't live without them and they are unfortunately easy currency nowadays.   I've traveled with extras on some humanitarian trips I've taken to some locations to donate to the local medical clinics.  They are so desperate, they really do not care where the meds come from.  

 

I take a few medications that have a similar abuse risk, but only carry enough for my trip plus 2 days and have not had an issue. I can't tolerate the class 3 meds anymore.

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If I pack in plastic garbage bags I figure I can add another 9 pounds of stuff because I'm saving the weight of the suitcase.  And, who is going to waste time with a plastic bag of stuff.  

 

You all know I'm just joshing. . . Well, actually I kind of like the idea of being able to take another 9 pounds of golf shirts.   Might have to give this more thought.   TSA won't like seeing duct tape, so will need to invent a TSA approved closure for 33 gallon garbage bags.  

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12 hours ago, ldubs said:

If I pack in plastic garbage bags I figure I can add another 9 pounds of stuff because I'm saving the weight of the suitcase.  And, who is going to waste time with a plastic bag of stuff.  

 

You all know I'm just joshing. . . Well, actually I kind of like the idea of being able to take another 9 pounds of golf shirts.   Might have to give this more thought.   TSA won't like seeing duct tape, so will need to invent a TSA approved closure for 33 gallon garbage bags.  

 

Actually, I HAVE seen people travel like this.  Not plastic garbage bag, but the fiber/plastic tote bags.

 

Strangest one was one of my colleagues, who saw a fish with a luggage tag on the belt.  Yes, a "fresh" fish, with a tag stapled to the tail.

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21 hours ago, dreadpirate3 said:

 

I take a few medications that have a similar abuse risk, but only carry enough for my trip plus 2 days and have not had an issue. I can't tolerate the class 3 meds anymore.

 

It's not just abuse, trading in medically necessary meds happens.   Can't pay $300 for that insulin you need?  Black market is where you go.

 

I see people traveling with all sorts of "luggage", from ancient Hartmann to Walmart quality to boxes to garbage bags.  Whatever works is what will work.

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17 hours ago, SRF said:

 

Actually, I HAVE seen people travel like this.  Not plastic garbage bag, but the fiber/plastic tote bags.

 

Strangest one was one of my colleagues, who saw a fish with a luggage tag on the belt.  Yes, a "fresh" fish, with a tag stapled to the tail.

 

Haha - must have been a flying fish!  (sorry)

 

I had a co worker back in the 70's that brought a whole salmon home from Alaska.  He put it in the overhead storage. The fish was wrapped in paper but it still did not go well.  He just didn't think things through I guess.   

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I think you will only be keeping out the honest people with any lock or any type of bag. Any crook would be able to break into any bag or get past any lock if they have the time and opportunity. Luckily most people are not interested in breaking into other peoples bags.

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That's not realistic.  Every study, every single one, of crimes such as burglary and of how criminals work, has shown that most crimes are "opportunistic."  You could claim (as you essentially just did) that no car is theft-proof because all a dedicated criminal needs to do is flatbed it or similar... but locking your door and not leaving the key in the ignition is huge step #1.  Not driving an easy-to-steal car (e.g. Honda) is #2.  

Take a look at the theft (called "pickpocket" even though most were from purses/bags) studies out of London.  The thieves aren't dedicatedly going after a Rolex or a specific iPhone; they're grabbing what's visible and easy to grab.

(To Jeannie... most people probably are, but there are enough people that bad eggs are still a significant issue.)

Using your logic, you might as well leave your wallet, loaded with cash, in plain site in your cabin while you go on excursion.  Because putting it in the room safe or hiding it only prevents "honest people" (your words) from stealing your money; anyone with motivation can get it..

 

Edited by TechSurfer
Corrected numbering

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A lifetime of travel has changed my attitude about luggage.  We could care less about luggage locks since a thief can easily defeat any lock (or ruin a bag working around a lock) in seconds.  Luggage is not intended to be a place for safekeeping.  In fact we usually secure our luggage with zip ties which serve the simple purpose of letting us know if anyone has tampered or been inside our bags.

 

As to the kind of luggage we have become big fans of the very lightweight Travelpro stuff.  This is an excellent brand (used by most airline crews) although the lightweight is not nearly as strong and some of their other lines.  You do sacrifice strength to save weight but a large 7 pound bag carries 5 more pounds that the same size bag that weight 12 pounds.  And with the 50 pound airline limits those extra pounds of "stuff" come in handy.

 

Are other pet peeve is not to be expensive luggage.  Our large Travelpro bags cost about $100 (when purchased from online discounters).  One could go out and buy a much better made bag for $400.  But consider that professional thieves are attracted to expensive luggage much more then cheaper stuff (one expects expensive luggage to be packed with expensive items).  And the reality is that an airline or cruise line can break a wheel on a $400 bag just as easy as on a $100 bag.  We travel a lot (away about 6 months a year) and luggage will eventually be ruined by airlines/cruise lines.  So rather then get carried away spending big bucks we simply expect to replace our luggage every few years.  As to filing claims for damage, you can sure try but it often turns out to be an exercise in frustration.  

 

Hank

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21 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

A lifetime of travel has changed my attitude about luggage.  We could care less about luggage locks since a thief can easily defeat any lock (or ruin a bag working around a lock) in seconds.  Luggage is not intended to be a place for safekeeping.  

 

As to the kind of luggage we have become big fans of the very lightweight Travelpro stuff.  ...  Our large Travelpro bags cost about $100 (when purchased from online discounters).

A ton of business travel has set my attitude, that locking is essential.  The staff isn't going to cut your ziptie or defeat my non-TSA lock, but the rare bad egg will take easy-opportunities, including inside unlocked or TSA-lock bags.

Have you tried the Kirkland (Costco) luggage?  I loved my TravelPro, absolutely agree, but I wasn't finding it so affordably priced.  And you're correct... an airline broke a wheel. :classic_angry:  The Kirkland carry-on spinner, especially, is an amazing deal for a great bag.  

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Traveled on business most of my career.  Extensive personal international travel.  

 

We have never locked our luggage.  Never had anything stolen.  

 

Best luggage I ever had was a 21 inch Kirkland brand roller from Costco.  It was far better that any of the more expensive brands that we have had in the past.  Price and brand are not necessarily an indication of quality. 

 

A number of years ago I took a leather briefcase to be repaired at a luggage shop.  It so happened that this shop did all the repairs on damaged luggage for a major airline.  The owner gave me a quick education on how/why not to select based on brand and price.  Stick to wheels, zippers, etc, including an explanation of how the major luggage manufacturers produce two lines of product that can appear to be identical.  One for the usual outlets, the other for the discount stores, factory outlets, or dept stores that typically offer product at 50 or 75 off list.    What astonished me was the number of bags that were there because one or more of the spinner wheels had been broken of shaved off completely.  His message....select your luggage on the basis of quality and how/where you travel.  Brand name can be very misleading.

 

Since we switched to carry on only, luggage is fortunately no longer a real concern for us.

Edited by iancal

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4 hours ago, TechSurfer said:

A ton of business travel has set my attitude, that locking is essential.  The staff isn't going to cut your ziptie or defeat my non-TSA lock, but the rare bad egg will take easy-opportunities, including inside unlocked or TSA-lock bags.

Have you tried the Kirkland (Costco) luggage?  I loved my TravelPro, absolutely agree, but I wasn't finding it so affordably priced.  And you're correct... an airline broke a wheel. :classic_angry:  The Kirkland carry-on spinner, especially, is an amazing deal for a great bag.  

We have not tried any of the Costco luggage although we do like most things, Costco :).  As to Travelpro, we buy their relatively low cost Maxlite line and they hold up OK.  When purchase through decent online discounters like ebags our cost is usually about $100.  If they break (the wheels are usually what defeats most bags) they just become trash when I get around to it.  Just bought a new bag a few weeks ago and DW made me promise if I buy 1 bag I must throw away 2 other old bags :).

 

If anyone wants to get inside our luggage I would prefer they just open it rather than damage the luggage to get inside.  We do not put anything of value (other then clothes) in our checked luggage.   If that rare "bad egg" wants our dirty laundry...so be it.

 

Hank

 

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Just buy some Keyed MasterLocks....any hardware store/section will have them.  One key opens all the locks in the package.  They are not those cheap luggage locks that come with some suitcases....these are REAL keyed locks.  There is not a law that says locks have to be TSA accessible.  I refuse to use a lock that others have a key for....makes no sense.  If they want into my bags, they can call me, or cut off the lock....but then I'll know, won't I?

 

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