Non-TSA locks on carry-on bags at the checkpoint

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by CelticWhisper, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    So, as an IT professional and general all-around nerdy d00d, I carry a lot of electronic equipment with me and I wanted to get some clarification on a topic I'd read about here and there but which I'd never seen become the focus of a discussion.

    I know that checked baggage, if locked, has to be done so with a TSA-approved lock. I don't pack valuables in my checked bags so I don't normally bother to lock it.

    However, I've seen many discussions mention locking carry-on bags with real, secure locks that TSA can't open to prevent theft at the checkpoint (e.g. when your groper is giving you a groping and your back is turned).

    I know common sense dictates to demand that your belongings be brought with to the groping grounds and kept within your direct line of sight at all times, and that's sound advice, but acknowledging that extenuating circumstances do...extenuate...

    What is the exact legality/permissibility of locking your carry-on bag shut with a non-TSA-approved and actually-really-truly-SECURE lock, thus forcing TSA to wait for your presence to open your bag?

    Any links to official information regarding this are, of course, most appreciated.
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Unless you use one of the really heavy duty padlocks that require a grinder to cut through, you won't have a lock when the bag reaches your destination.

    A better way (if it's legal on both ends) is to put a gun in the suitcase. Then you and only you are allowed to lock/unlock it, and they have to hold it for you in a secure location.

    Of course, some employers might take issue with your choice of "tools". :D
  3. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    Carry on should be no problem, they are technically supposed to wait on you (I know, it doesn't always happen) to screen the bag anyway. It may take a bit longer for your trip through, but it would prevent entry into the bag until you could open the lock. You can keep the one lock key in your pocket unless you get selected for the AIT (that may cause an anomaly and a patdown). There is no regulation that I know of that prohibits it.

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