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Essential Guides: Choosing the Right Lock

10 July, 2015

Essential Guides: Choosing the Right Lock

There's plenty to consider before you depart on your trip and for most travellers, security is high on the list of priorities. Choosing the right lock will give you the peace of mind to enjoy the adventure ahead.

We explore the pros and cons of keyed and combination locks and explain the use of TSA locks for US travel.

Combination Locks

Combination locks use a 3-4 numbered (and sometimes lettered) dial to enable you to create a combination that unlocks your bag. Line up your combination or word and the lock with open - click the lock back down, scramble the sequence and the lock is secured.

Pros

No need to carry around keys or risk losing them whilst travelling.

WordLocks allow people that have trouble remembering numbered sequences to set a 4-letter word to open the lock.

Cons

If you have trouble remembering sequences of numbers, numbered combination locks can be a less practical lock option.

TIP If you do forget your combination, don't worry! Most combination locks will let you reset your combination if required. Instructions for this will be indicated on the lock's packaging or instructions.

Keyed Locks

Keyed locks use small keys to open the lock. Twist the key to open the lock and push the bars back down to secure the lock.

 

Pros

Usually several locks are provided with keyed lock purchases to ensure you have a spare should you lose one of the keys.

No need to remember combinations or words to open your lock.

Cons

Lose the keys and you potentially lose access to the contents of your luggage.

TIP Keep each key in a difference place whilst travelling. This way, if you lose one of the keys, you'll still access to one of the spare keys to open your bag. For example, keep one in your travel wallet and another in a different piece of luggage.

TSA Locks & US Travel

The increased threat of terrorism and the occurrence of events like 9/11 saw the US introduce stricter policies in relation to aviation security including baggage checks.

The introduction of new laws resulted in frequent and random baggage searches behind the scenes and during baggage security checks. This provides authorised airport staff with the ability to forcibly access any bag they wish to inspect.

TSA locks enable authorised airport staff to use a special TSA key that fits all TSA locks, to access your baggage if and when required.

In US airports, if a bag requires inspection and a TSA lock is not being used on the bag, bolt-clippers may be employed to open the bag.

If you are travelling to the US, it is strongly recommended that a TSA lock/s be used on your baggage. The easier and quicker authorised airport staff can access your bag if needed, the quicker you'll proceed through the airport.

 

Pros

Enables you and your baggage to move more efficiently through the airport in the event of an inspection.

No need to worry that you may need to purchase new locks at the other end of your flight.

Cons

Some people find the idea of providing access to their baggage inappropriate and would prefer to risk having their standard locks clipped rather than risking the possibility of unauthorised access.

TIP If you are security conscious and don't like the idea of providing access to your bag - authorised or not - consider a TSA Alert Lock. TSA Alert Locks use a small alert feature (usually a small colour dial or word) which indicates that an inspection has taken place on your bag.

TSA Alert Locks

TSA Alert Locks work in the same way that standard TSA locks do, allowing authorised airport staff to access your luggage if required. They also take your personal security one step further with the use of a small alert feature (usually a small colour dial or word) which indicates that an inspection has taken place on your bag by way of the TSA lock being opened.

With this information, you can choose to check your luggage for missing items or other signs of unauthorised access before you leave the airport. If you are security conscious, TSA Alert Locks can provide more peace of mind when travelling into, out of and around the US.

 

Pros

Provides extra peace of mind for security conscious travellers.

Cons

None that we can see!




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