There was a thread here a while back about using tie wraps on your luggage. It is a great idea.
I have some questions.
Do you "lock" your luggage with the tie wraps at home for the start of the trip or do you wait until after the luggage is inspected? I assume the high quality mini-locks that come with luggage are now obsolete.
Are you with your luggage when it's inspected to allow you to replace the tie wraps for the remainder of that leg of the journey?
Where is the luggage inspected? Before checking in at the ticket counter?
If you're not with the luggage, will the inspectors re-apply tie wraps if packed in the luggage?
Is all luggage manually adjusted this day and age or is it a random process?
I just ordered some see-thru vacuum packing bags to hopefully speed up the inspection process.
I will remember to carry nail clippers or some other approved cutting device so I can "unlock" the luggage in the cabin.
I urge you not to use vacuum packed bags. Had a horrible experience at a colo airport. The inspector says she cringes when she sees the commercial. Had my luggage inspected and it slowed everything up because they had to take them all apart. Plus I wondered if the plastic in the bags set the machine off for explosives. I didn't have them with me at the start of the trip, but I did when I came back and when they wiped down the suitcase something triggered for search. It was a royal pain! My luggage was inspected right after I got my boarding pass. I think every airport is different. One airport had luggage ties and one airport didn't. The inspector said you should even roll your clothes, just lay them flat in the suitcase. A friend had his luggage searched after he gave it up. Just a note in the luggage saying it was inspected.
I traveled 3-03 and inspections were done in your sight, but you had no contact with your bags. I did ask that my tripod be rewrapped and they were accomdating. I don't bother locking bags, but I would assume they would lock them for you. One airport had the inspection before the ticket counter and the other after. Depends on the individule airport set up. So no don't have your bags locked before.
I just returned from 10 days in Alaska via Princess and I did not lock any of my luggage.
More important is that you use some kind of ID dots, belts, duct tape as when you need to identify your pieces is is a lot easier. I had one black piece that looked like a thousand other ones and that was our biggest problem. Remember don't bring too much. there are great stores along the way and this is not a fashion statement area. Most people are nature lovers and don't get caught up in the hoopala.
We always put bright "day-glo" tape on our luggage for easy retrieval at the airport and harbor. And then once aboard the ship we take one piece of the tape and stick it on our balcony railing so we can see our cabin from ashore.
I put my tie wraps on right before they take my luggage. I don't know specific airline procedures and would imagine that they change daily. I would believe they'd be too busy to put on the tie wraps for you, so don't depend on it. I guess you could attach some in a baggie near the handle and see what happens.
I have no experience with the vacuum bags but think they're a great idea. I used extra large zip lock bags for our underclothes and t-shirts (just rolled them to get the air out) and made a lot more room in the luggage.
I put mine on before we leave, so far, after 2 cruises they've stayed on the entire time. We did notice, however a few broken ones on the luggage belt at the airport, so keep in mind they could get caught on something and be gone??