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padlocks on luggage?

Travel Forums Asia padlocks on luggage?

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1. Posted by LEARNER 01 (Budding Member 14 posts) 7y

Hi,

I'll be traveling to Thailand for three weeks in June.

Can anyone please advise me on what precautions to take regarding the security of luggage while traveling?
I have been advised to purchase TSA padlocks for my check in luggage.
Apparently airport staff have a master key to these padlocks in case they need to open my luggage for some reason.
I was told that ordinary padlocks could be cut off by airport staff so they would not be appropriate.

I have even thought about only taking carry on luggage and purchasing toiletries and clothes that I need in Thailand.
Can anyone please let me know what the best option would be ?

Thanks!

2. Posted by KevinRB (Inactive 76 posts) 7y

Hi

I have lived in Thailand now for 5 years, have travelled extensively around Asia & Europe since residing here, and I have NEVER even locked a suitcase in all my travelling !!.

IF you feel the need to buy locks for your suitcases, buy Samsonite locks, they are very secure, and not that expensive.

BUT, always be aware that IF someone is determined to get into your suitcase THEY WILL, and no matter what precautions you take, they will just use bolt-croppers and remove your locks !!.

Thailand is not the den of iniquity it is painted as being, I would suggest there are considerably more "light-fingered" friends at Heathrow & JFK, than there are in Thailand, or the whole of Asia for that matter.

Relax & have a great holiday.

Regards

Kevin:)

3. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting KevinRB

Hi

I have lived in Thailand now for 5 years, have travelled extensively around Asia & Europe since residing here, and I have NEVER even locked a suitcase in all my travelling !!.

IF you feel the need to buy locks for your suitcases, buy Samsonite locks, they are very secure, and not that expensive.

BUT, always be aware that IF someone is determined to get into your suitcase THEY WILL, and no matter what precautions you take, they will just use bolt-croppers and remove your locks !!.

Thailand is not the den of iniquity it is painted as being, I would suggest there are considerably more "light-fingered" friends at Heathrow & JFK, than there are in Thailand, or the whole of Asia for that matter.

Relax & have a great holiday.

Regards

Kevin:)

I use TSA locks for my luggage when I go abroad. I think they're very useful actually because if Customs does open the padlock, it pops up a red indicator so that you can see it's been opened. There's a small key which you get with the main one to unlock the padlock which is used to depress the red indicator before you use it again the next time.

OK, I agree with you that if somebody is determined to get into your case, then they can use a pair of bolt cutters to break open the lock, but you'd be able to see that that had happened and could subsequently file a police report and claim on your insurance.

But the main purpose of locking luggage is the deterrent effect. So if your luggage is locked, then it's easier for a potential thief to open a piece if luggage which isn't padlocked rather than bothering with yours. ;)

4. Posted by LEARNER 01 (Budding Member 14 posts) 7y

Thanks for the info guys,

I might even give zip ties a go, that way if there cut off it's no great loss.
The suitcase I have has 4 zips to lock, so buying the TSA locks might be an expensive exercise.
I've just read on another website that a lot of people are complaining that the locks are broken when they collect their luggage. As you said if someone want's to get into my luggage they will no matter what precautions I take.
It may even be a better idea to take carry on luggage and buy clothes and toiletries over there.
I won't be taking anything of great value so I'm not really concerned about theft. I'm more concerned about people planting drugs, or other contraband in my luggage although I must admit this is extremely unlikely.

And yes Kevin RB I think your right people do exaggerate the crime and other problems in Thailand.
Here in Australia there was a man beaten to death at one of our major airports the other week, and yet people are still telling me not to go to Thailand as it's not safe. Crime can happen wherever you are.

I plan on going with an open mind an treating the good Thai people with the respect they deserve.
I'm not going with any preconceptions about the Thai people or there country as I think that would be ridiculous.

Cheers!

5. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

The tiny padlocks can easily be opened. I learned the hard way.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1656 posts) 7y

Quoting LEARNER 01

Hi,

I'll be traveling to Thailand for three weeks in June.

Can anyone please advise me on what precautions to take regarding the security of luggage while traveling?
I have been advised to purchase TSA padlocks for my check in luggage.
Apparently airport staff have a master key to these padlocks in case they need to open my luggage for some reason.
I was told that ordinary padlocks could be cut off by airport staff so they would not be appropriate.

I have even thought about only taking carry on luggage and purchasing toiletries and clothes that I need in Thailand.
Can anyone please let me know what the best option would be ?

Thanks!

When TSA first came out with those rules they said if there was a lock on the bag they would cut the lock off if they needed to inspect the bag, I thought it was worth the risk. They never did cut my cheap locks off - what they did was rip the bag zipper apart or cut the zipper ruining your bag! I had cheap Chinese made brass locks and didn't care if the lock was cut but got sick of fixing my bag! (I really believe that they were screwing with people on purpose not because of any thing in the bag was suspicious. I have a bag within a bag with a cheap lock on it - that bag was never cut open for inspection it was just the outside bag!)

Got tired of fixing my zippers or replacing bags and switched to plastic electricians ties. Lots and lots of flights all over the world for many years and not one bag had the plastic tie cut off for inspection and not one bag has had the zipper ripped apart either! In a pocket on my check in bag I have a letter opener type cutter that I use to cut the ties off when I get to my hotel. In Thailand or other countries I use combination locks on those bags when they are left in my hotel room or even when I use buses or trains. Only when flying I use the plastic cable ties. Link below shows you what they are. They can be picked up at hardware stores even some discount stores. Real cheap so bring spares with you.

http://www.lecoplastics.com/zip-ties-Cable-ties.aspx

Good luck.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Apr-2009, at 10:46 by karazyal ]

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1656 posts) 7y

Quoting LEARNER 01

Hi,

I'll be traveling to Thailand for three weeks in June.

Can anyone please advise me on what precautions to take regarding the security of luggage while traveling?
I have been advised to purchase TSA padlocks for my check in luggage.
Apparently airport staff have a master key to these padlocks in case they need to open my luggage for some reason.
I was told that ordinary padlocks could be cut off by airport staff so they would not be appropriate.

I have even thought about only taking carry on luggage and purchasing toiletries and clothes that I need in Thailand.
Can anyone please let me know what the best option would be ?

Thanks!

In Thailand or other countries, anytime you travel keep your valuables with you on your person or within sight. On buses I do check a bag in but my important stuff goes on the bus with me. Same for any flight I take what is in the checked in bag can be replaced.

It is not always the hotel staff or bus employees that may rip you off - a fellow tourist could be a thief too!

Good luck.

8. Posted by LEARNER 01 (Budding Member 14 posts) 7y

Thanks for the info guys,

I wont be taking anything valuable.
Even the camera I'm taking is a very old model and not worth much.
I think your defiantly right though, I've probably got more chance of being robbed by another tourist than the Thai people.
More worried about my own personal safety than anything else.
But I've done a bit of research and I think I'll be fine.

Cheers!

9. Posted by laos_info (Budding Member 42 posts) 7y

have spent a lot of time in region and have never bothered with locking bags - however I do not travel by the tourist VIP buses. As mentioned, if people are determined they will get into your bags anyway, but why make it easier for them?

10. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 7y

Hi Learner01,

What i have done throughout my travels over the years was to purchase a rucksack cover/holdall and when you get to an airport or somewhere similar is to put your entire rucksack into the bag and put a single lock on it.

As people above have said, if someone really wanted to get into your belongings they will do, this is just a great way to deter people and also prevents the straps on your rucksack getting caught in the airport machinery.

Try looking at one simialr to this - Rucksack cover

People have no idea what is inside, so don’t tend to go looking and I have had no problems using this method.

Hope it helps

JS