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Jansan May 28th, 2003 12:48 PM

What's the Story?

I have luggage locks and cable ties. I've heard/read so much that I'm confused.

No locks, they'll break them off.
Cable ties, how do you cut them off - I heard all this.

My question is "when" do you put them on?

When one gets to the airport? Then they check your luggage and if ties are on, then inspectors cut them off - therefore luggage isn't locked. OR
Do you put them on after inspectors check luggage, but are you around when they inspect checked luggage? OR
Do you only put them on at disembarkation?

I have colored ties to help locate luggage. Do you just put them on the luggage, but not for the purpose of locking but for locating?

I have no idea. Can someone explain all this too me? I thank you in advance and appreciate all.


LindaE May 28th, 2003 03:34 PM

Re: What's the Story?
Not all airports do it the same way. At some, you are standing nearby while they x-ray your luggage. If they see anything they want to see closer, or if you're the unlucky random selected for further search, you can hand them the key and wait for them to satisfy themselves and return it. I saw several people doing this. We, also, bought the brightly colored cable ties. I pinned a zip-lock bag to the lining of the lid with spare cable ties and a note asking that another be put on after inspection. The only suitcase that got inspected, was in an airport where we could see and talk to the inspector. He commented how good an idea this was. He did have some spare, colorless ones to use, though, if we hadn't suppplied our own.
In other airports, you show your ticket as you check your luggage, and that is the last you see of it till you retrieve it at the end of your trip.

I have read that sometimes they will replace the cable and sometimes not. They will break the lock though if you lock it and they want to inspect it, so I'd try the cables if I were you. We also used the colorful straps to go around each suitcase. It helps for identification and keeps your luggage closed if a lock got broken. Mine had a combination lock, so I taped the combination right under the dial. That way it could be opened for inspection without having it cut. The inspector spun the dial for me after he inspected my bag. No, it's not completely safe, but it would slow someone down if they wanted to pinch something and run. Most people just leave their luggage open now.

bella c May 28th, 2003 06:34 PM

Re: Re: What's the Story?
what exactly is a cable tie. Do you mean the kind they sell in the hardware stores.
Where do you get colored ones? How safe is your luggage. We are on the Coral Princess july 12th and are coming from new jersey via minni.

Karen16 May 28th, 2003 11:25 PM

Re: What's the Story?
I flew last in March, I don't know if the above poster is more recent. All baggage checked and carryon is now inspected. Checked bags are checked within view and you could give instructions to the inspector- but you can NOT have any contact with your bag. They were locking bags and handing back keys and applying cable ties in Syracuse, Seattle and Fairbanks. All were the same proceedure.

Jansan May 29th, 2003 01:25 PM

Re: Re: What's the Story?
Cables ties can be bought at Wal-mart or I bought colored ones at the Dollar Store. 50 ties for $1.00 and they come in three colors.

Sterling Silver May 30th, 2003 02:31 AM

Re: What's the Story?
Those cable ties are a real hassle getting off, since you cannot even carry a small swiss army knife on your person onto the plane. I usually carry a small nail clipper (which are now allowed,) and they seem to cut off the plastic ties pretty easily.

Sterling Silver May 30th, 2003 02:33 AM

Re: What's the Story?
Oops, I should have read the earlier post and I would have seen that the nail clippers have already been mentioned. Sorry 'bout that.

Luanne May 31st, 2003 10:57 PM

Re: What's the Story?
In May, Delta inspected some of our luggage after it was out of our sight. We bought the zip ties and used that to lock our luggage and then in one of the front zipper compartments of one suitacase, we put a pair of scissors to cut the ties off when we got to our cabin. They had a bright blue tag on our luggage saying it had been inspected and bright blue zip ties were put on by the airlines.


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