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Old January 16th, 2003, 01:55 PM
Madge
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Default Unlocked luggage

Has anyone done this yet? I can't imagine leaving cases unlocked, particularly when one is taking an international flight. What recourse is there for "opened" luggage and missing articles? There has to be a better way to secure one's possessions. Any thoughts?
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Old January 16th, 2003, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage

Hi Madge,
I certainly don't like the idea of keeping my luggage un-lucked, but I guess if I don't they will just bust the lock and inspect if they see fit. I do forsee a lot of problems down the line. I have no gripes about them looking through my stuff, but I'd rather they asked mt to unlock it and then proceed to search. Time will tell how all this will work out, but next month will be flying to a cruise, so I will leave it un-locked. I did by these neon straps, just to help spot my luggage when it comes off the plane, and now I understand I may have to take those off as well???

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Old January 16th, 2003, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage

Madge,

Yes. Find an airport where they inspect the luggage in the check-in area rather than behind the scenes so that you can lock your luggage, and book your flights out of that airport. I live near Boston, but now fly out of Providence instead for this very reason. If you are there when they inspect your luggage, it's easier to ask you for the combination than to break the locks.

I expect that the present policy will lead to some lawsuits sooner or later -- probably when somebody's suitcase comes open in flight after inspectors broke the locks and something of value is missing as a result. Once the lawsuits get into court, the courts are likely to rule that certain provisions of the law are unconstitutional and that TSA cannot escape liability for missing articles if it breaks locks or other latching devices. Such rulings probably will trigger major changes in policy. Until such rulings are in place, though, we're stuck with the current stupidity.

Norm.
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Old January 16th, 2003, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Re: Unlocked luggage

I travel quite a bit for business. Last week I flew from Savannah to Minneapolis. I left my bag unlocked as instructed. As luck would have it, my bag was chosen for a search.
Although it was unlocked they totally damaged the zipper. I will not need to replace the bag prior to my cruise on 2/1. I contacted the proper officals and they indicated they have no liablility. They said if bags selected are locked, they will break the locks to search the bag and will not be liable for any repairs to the locks. So I guess we leave them unlocked. I have always fiqured that if a crook wanted to get into my bag they could even when it was locked.
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Old January 25th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage

I found that even when we COULD lock our bags, I would find mine had been shuffled through sometimes. I started leaving mine unlocked a few years ago, on the theory that someone who leaves their bags unlocked would certainly not have anything of value in there, and it was never bothered. I just wonder if I can still put my personal things in ziplocs or those vacuum type bags, and not have them opened. Anyone had any experience with that in the new security regime?
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Old January 25th, 2003, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage

I have never locked my luggage. I've been on about 15 cruises with no problems. We have also done many land vacations. Just keep valuables in the carry-on.
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Old January 25th, 2003, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage

I just returned from a cruise on 1/24. At the FLL airport, my big suitcase was chosen to be inspected.......the searched my bag and then put one of those cable ties where the lock had been to sedcure it (I told them to break off the lock as I lost the keys to it!) I also had some dirty underwear and socks in 2 gallon freezer bags and I roll them to get the air out and make them as flat as possible - they were not disturbed in any way....I think that as long as they can see into the bags, it will not be a problem. But, I wonder what triggered them to search that bag, as the smaller bag (which was not searched) had the big aerosol can of hairspray and a power strip in it! lol

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Old January 27th, 2003, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Re: Unlocked luggage

Laine,

Anyone had any experience with that in the new security regime?

Yes. I flew on New Year's Day and again on the 6th of this month. The traffic is flowing smoontly, and the TSA personnel generally do seem to be courteous and efficient.

As I noted in my earlier post, the best approach is to find an airport where TSA does the inspection in the passenger area rather than behind the scenes. That way, you can lock your luggage since you are there to provide the key or the combination if they need to open your luggage for any reason -- and you can also watch the inspection to ensure that they repack your bags reasonably and resecure the locks.

Norm.
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Old January 27th, 2003, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Re: Unlocked luggage

Lisa,

Apparently certain foods -- including chocolate -- look like plastic explosives in the scanners.

Norm.
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Old January 28th, 2003, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage

Flew to Sydney on 1/4 and our luggage went the entire way unlocked. I used twist-ties to hold the zippers together.
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Old January 28th, 2003, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Unlocked luggage

We flew into MIA Dec 13 for a cruise and found the lock had been broken, as well as the zipper it was attached to. I don't know if the Airlines did it or what happened.....nothing was missing. We took the cruise and purchased the same expandable bag for the trip home. When we got to the airport...guess what...the lock and zipper was broken???by the ship handlers...by customs???...we've used that type of bag before with no problem. For the future...?
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Old January 28th, 2003, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage

From Magellan.com you can order something called PrivaSeals to hold your zippers shut if they are not inspected--of course you must ask someone at your destination for something to snip them open
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Old January 28th, 2003, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage

Moprn - the chocolate was in the carryon. There was no food or booze in the checked luggage....the bookes were in the outside compartments and not stacked...I followed all the regs carefully. The only thing I can think of is that I had two souvenier glasses in the suitcase. Otherwise all that was in it were clothes, the two glasses and a 4 refrigerator magnets.

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Old January 29th, 2003, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage, again

Responses are great. However, I think I've outsmarted myself by switching to hard-side Samsonite, with 2 keyed locks and a combination, all built in. (Had bad luck with the frame the soft Atlantic being bent so badly I couldn't get the puller-handle up, as well as zipper damage.) I guess the best way to go is to be EARLY and try to get someone to at least change the combination. Scary prospect! I'd hate to loose my shoes, which "should be packed on top". Thanks, everyone.
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Old January 29th, 2003, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Unlocked luggage

Connie,

I left my bag unlocked as instructed. As luck would have it, my bag was chosen for a search.
Although it was unlocked they totally damaged the zipper.


Before you do anything about repairing the damaged bag, consult an attorney about filing a claim. Although the law requiring inspection of all checked luggage apparently stipulates that the government is not liable for damage to luggage during such inspections, the courts are likely to rule that such a provision is unconstitutional and that the government must assume liability. The problem, right now, is that the law is so new that such provisions have not been tested. A good lawyer also might use your case to challenge the current practice of opening suitcases without the presence of their owners, which is a closely related issue.

If you pursue this and the court rules in your favor, you should receive reimbursement for the cost of repair plus all your legal expenses, with interest. Of course, you'll need the damaged suitcase as evidence to pursue your claim.

BTW, it's likely that a charitable organization that provides free legal assistance to victims of govenment agencies trampling their rights, like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), might be willing to take on this case at no charge to you.

Norm.
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Old January 29th, 2003, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Unlocked luggage

Great idea Norm. Thanks very much!
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Old February 6th, 2003, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Unlocked luggage

We just came back from mexican riviera on the sun princess on January 25. We flew out of Los Angeles on United Airlines, not that I think the airline matters it is the new security processes that cause problems and we will all have to adjust and accept them. Our last day on the cruise I had carefully padded the bottom and sides of my suitcases with our clothing and then had layered my precious new masks for my mask collection between layers of clothing and topped it all off with our new mexican blanket tucked down the sides and over the top zipped it up and put them outside the door for pick up. I did not lock my suitcase as on the way down from Alberta, Canada into the states we had used the plastic zip tags but after they were cut off before we even left Edmonton for a check of our luggage we felt there was no point in putting them on for the return. When we got our seat assignment in Los Angeles our next directive was to take our luggage over to that big machine behind us for x-ray. Well we lined up and our luggage got its turn in the x-ray machine. I should explain first that the area is roped off and you stay outside the roped off area. When the luggage comes out 2 of our suitcases are pulled off to be opened. The luggage that passes goes onto a large dolly and it is wheeled away to be sent to the appropriate planes.One of the inspectors picks up my suitcase and says who owns this, I say it is mine. He opens it and when he lifts the lid I reach cross the rope to stop something from falling out and he politely tells me I can not touch the suitcase. He starts to go through the suitcase can't find what he is looking for so he goes back to look at the x-ray pictures comes back and finds the item. One of my masks. Now many things have changed location in my suitcase and I cannot reach across and help to repack them so they won't break when they are next thrown(we know this will ultimately happen as we are flying first to Denver changing planes and onto Edmonton.). He closes the suitcase and opens the next one same story. He now passes them to the two men with the dolly they throw our luggage on everyone elses. We at this point cannot open the suitcase and rearange them because they are cleared by the x-ray, you can't touch. When we opened our suitcase at home the mexican blanket no longer did the appropriate cushioning and one of my masks was in to many pieces to save. So from this long story the lesson I have learned is carry on anything fragile and if you must pack it pack it near the top of your suitcase and not near the middle. Best Of Luck. candymaker and sweet carol
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Old February 6th, 2003, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Re: Unlocked luggage

Such a drag. I understand the need for security, but It is a shame when personal items are broken, luggage ruined in the process.

So what can you do? I read about the dayglo duck tape to hold the suitcase more securely and also for easy carousel identification. But I suppose that is out too. Just close your suitcase and send it off on a wing and a prayer?
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Old February 6th, 2003, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Re: Unlocked luggage

candymaker,

You have a legitimate claim against the Transportation Security Administration here in the States if the improper repackaging caused the damage. Although the law mandating luggage inspections theoretically exempts the government from such liability, that provision has not yet been tested in court. It's very likely that the courts will throw it out. Since the only way to replace the damaged article is to return to the place where you bought it, you could well get travel expenses as well as the cost of replacement.

Of course, you will need what remains of the damaged article as evidence to support your claim. Some photos of the improper repackaging also would be useful.

Norm.
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