Will you be locking your checked luggage?

The new airport regulations state that you should not lock your checked luggage so they can access it during hand searches, noting that if you do lock your luggage and they have to break the locks to gain access, it will be at your expense.

I don’t feel comfortable leaving my baggage unlocked, and my latches aren’t the most reliable if they aren’t locked - my suitcase will probably swing open!

Will you be locking your checked luggage this holiday season?


I’ve had things stolen out of my bags, and the airlines really don’t care or do much to prevent it. They won’t replace anything but clothes and such (so if you get a camera stolen, you’re screwed). So, I think I’d lock the bags and take the chance of them cutting the locks.

I wonder if the new security measures are doing anything about catching the luggage theives that work for the airlines?

They should have an option that if you do want to lock your luggage, you can get to the airport early and be present for a handsearch, afterwhich you can lock your luggage.

…Or invent some sort of luggage lock skeleton key, so you don’t have to destroy people’s expensive luggage!

This bothers me because there is expensive equipment for checking for explosives and for xray use. Also, sometimes my checked in luggage is stuffed and I doubt if the luggage handler could re-stuff my items and close it. I must decide what to do by Mon. because I plan to check on two items.

I also wonder what happens to boxes that people bring to the airport in lieu of luggage. I’ve seen huge boxes all strapped with tape and ropes.

Same here, Violet - I need to decide by Tuesday.

This new regulation sucks even more since most airlines are really limiting the size of your carry-on luggage. So, if you have expensive gifts, camera equipment, etc., you’re screwed.

Utter brilliance!!! I’m a photographer. My equipment includes stuff that I can no longer put in my carry-on because it’s pointy. There is no way in hell that I’m going to leave my luggage unlocked because I’ve already been the victim of petty theft. If I can’t keep my expensive gear with me, and I can’t lock it up safely either – then I don’t fly. I have no faith that they will be able to keep theft under control.

Lola your idea is incredibly brilliant! Show up early, they search through you luggage and sort your socks and undies, then they lock it up, put a big ugly “Hand Checked by Security” tag on it, and take it away so not even I can fiddle with the contents.

Thanks, Eats_Crayons.


They can and will cut the containers open.

I saw a guy get mighty pissed when he brought a huge pack wrapped in duct tape. It looked like 8 tires in a stack wrapped in silver like a giant roll of Lifesavers. Not a sliver of the box or packing material to be seen. So of course they took him asdie and cut it open! (What the hell was he thinking???)

The duct tape was essential to the structural integrity of his bizarre, home-made container. They tried to help him seal it up with regular packing tape, but I don’t know how successfull they were. He was mad, mad, MAD, but really, it wasn’t their responsibility of he was a moron and tried to bring a really, really bizarre looking package on a plane.

Oh, and another thing they’re saying is NOT to wrap your X-mas presents - as they may ask you to unwrap them!

I’ve already wrapped mine. :frowning:

The news report that I saw said to use ties like the ones cops use to subdue a lot of people that need to be brought in (like demonstrators) - basically a one-way plastic cinch tie that needs to be cut off to be opened.

Now, if the tag was a sticker placed in such a way as to prevent unauthorized tampering (like the warranty-revocation warning sticker found on some electronics), you would get the added benefit of security from thieving baggage handlers.

I agree…this is a great idea!

This actually isn’t a new regulation, even in the United States; I recall seeing news reports each year telling holiday travelers to not wrap gifts before getting on the plane.

That tie wouldn’t work on my suitcase. My (Samsonite) handle is on one side - I’d have nothing to tie it to. :frowning:

I saw this early last month at Burbank CA airport. But I suppose with the holiday crowds, it would take too long. I just checked my airlines’ web site, and they do not cover many items for loss or damage. I understand no wrapping paper on carry on items, but not for checked in luggage.

I decided to put little cheap locks on my luggage because I’m concerned about the contents falling out. I’ll have the keys in case the curbside sky cap requests that I open them. If the airlines would deduct a hundred or more from my ticket, I’d ship my stuff UPS instead of checking on luggage.
Not a happy camper. :mad:

And hardside suitcases like many Samsonites cannot be locked with ties.

I brought boxes back and forth from Portland in October with no problem. I wouldn’t bother with the wrapping paper until you reach your destination though. If you have too many valuables to bring on the plane, it might not be a bad idea to mail or FedEx them ahead of you. IME, as long as you package everything conventionally (read: no tires wrapped in duct tape :p) there’s not a big chance of things getting messed with. I do like the sticker idea, though.

Lola, there’s got to be some kind of latch you could put on your luggage that doesn’t require a lock. OR you could use one of the cheapo locks that comes with the luggage, and leave the key attached with a twist tie.

I suspect that the searches would be random, even in a voluntary handsearch line, just like regular checked luggage. Just more security questioning - kinda like going through customs.

I’m locking mine. The cheap-ass little lock can be broken almost by hand, it’s just there to keep it from opening. A tie-wrap replacement will be perfectly adequate.

I’ve never locked my luggage. In fact, I thought some years back (when they first started asking for your photo ID at the check-in, and those stupid questions about your bags) that they also instituted the rule about locked luggage. I’m sure I saw it posted in at least one airport.

I’ve never had anything stolen, but then, I carry on all valuables.