Hi! I have been enjoying reading your website! We are getting ready to go on our first cruise next week (can't wait!!) My husband flew last year at this time and he did lock his luggage, however some friends told us that you are not supposed to lock it anymore. Help!!
Since the lock/unlock debate began several months ago, we've opted to use plastic cable ties to lock our luggage. Should our bags need to be opened for security reasons, the ties can be cut and replaced without damage to our costly Tumi bags. So far none of our bags have been opened for inspection. There is, however, a caveat here. You need a scissors to cut open the ties once you reach your destination - but you can't carry scissors in your carry-on! When we get to our hotel, we ask the front desk to borrow a pair of scissors. Then when we leave for the ship, we use the standard locks to lock our luggage since the bags don't go through the same scrutiny as they do on planes.
We use cable ties. Airlines cut my wife's to get into her luggage. Secured using their own cable ties and attached a nice note saying they had rummaged around looking for whatever didn't look right on the Xray. Nothing missing, very civil.
As usual, Jim and others here are right on the mark. I don't worry about TSA opening our bags but there are many "sticky finger" baggage handlers. We use plastic ties to make it easier for TSA if they choose to inspect and harder for any low life thief to avoid detection of their deed. I must add here that the majority of Baggage Handlers are honest and hard working HOWEVER as in all jobs, there is the 10%. Needless to say, NEVER transport valuables in checked baggage!