Does anyone rate having a TSA padlock for the US security in the airports? We were advised to get these padlocks so we don't have our back packs cut open, but are they really necessary? The man who suggested them worked in a shop selling them, so we don't really know how useful they are or if he just wanted a sale! Also, we can only find them online and adding on postage makes them quite expensive.
Thanks for any advice.
Yes, you need them. Shop around.
If not, plan on having your personal locks cut off by authorities.
I don't both with locks on my luggage. Carry everything of value on your person, and then you don't have to worry about locking your luggage.
Try Ebay or just list them in a search and see who has the best price.
Like Greg said, I don't bother with locks anymore. Keep anything of value in your carry on and you don't have to bother with locks. If someone really wants to get into your luggage they will cut it open anyway - TSA employee or not!
I used to believe that crap that the ticket agent said about TSA cutting off the lock to inspect the bag - so I used to leave a cheap 50 cent brass lock on the bag.
Wrong move - TSA simply ignores the cheap brass lock and forces the zipper open or cuts the tab the lock is attached to causing damage that more than exceeds the value of the cheap lock.
After getting burned about 3 times I stopped using locks. Haven't used a padlock on a bag in over 4 years and with lots and lots of overseas trips under my seatbelt too!
I do use a cheap plastic electric ties to fasten the zipper together on my check in bag. SO FAR (fingers crossed) I have never had my bags broke into! I bring some of these plastic ties with me when I travel so that I can re-fasten my bags when I return home. TSA uses a simple scissors or knife to cut the ties if the bag needs to be inspected.
You can pick up the plastic lock ties (electricians and compute geeks use them to tie a bundle of wires together) at a hardware store or even a cheap discount store like Walmart.
When I am in hotels overseas or when traveling on local transport I do use padlocks on my bags. (Regulations differ from country to country, this special lock or no lock deal is in effect for the U.S.A flights going and coming into the country.)
Karazyal is right, they just stick a pen between the zipper and force the bag open which usually wrecks the bag.
I don't bother with locks, I have never had anything stolen in 10yrs of travelling.