Improve Luggage Security with a TSA Lock
TSA locks have been around since 2003 and most travellers are now familiar with them however a lot of people are unsure as to whether they need one or not.The simple answer is that you only require a TSA lock if you are visiting the USA, since their inception there have been persistent rumours over other countries adopting the same system including UK and New Zealand however at this time they are not required in any other country other than the USA.
If you visit the USA without a TSA approved lock fitted to your checked baggage you run the risk of your suitcase being damaged in the process of TSA agents gaining access to your bag. The TSA lock uses a system developed by Travel Sentry and then licensed to luggage manufacturers who produce many different kinds of TSA locks including key, combination and cable.
The system allows TSA agents in the USA to unlock your suitcase by using a master key on the lock which is different from the key that came with your lock, so basically, the TSA lock opens with 2 different keys. If you have a TSA combination lock then you will not receive a key and the key slot will solely be for TSA Agents.
Should you buy a TSA lock?
If you already have a good luggage lock and are not travelling to the USA then you do not need to purchase a new TSA lock. Should you need a new lock then we do recommend you purchasing a TSA lock, for these three reasons:
- Other countries may adopt the system. Whilst this may never happen there is always a possibility as more and more passengers use the TSA locks.
- TSA locks are generally better quality. As the USA is the biggest travel goods market in the world and the home to most of the biggest luggage brands locks are produced with this market in mind and then distributed to other markets including TSA locks. Smaller manufacturers without a USA market may not have the same quality control as USA locks.
- Your future travel may include a trip to the USA. Even if you have no plans to visit , things can change over time or you could even win that once in a lifetime trip to the Grand Canyon!