Are TSA Locks Safe? And Are TSA Locks Worth It?

So are the TSA locks safe? And what’s the point of TSA locks?

The TSA recommends to use their approved locks in checked luggage otherwise if needed The TSA officer will break the lock, but this may leave you wondering if having a TSA lock is worth it and if they are safe to use.

Let’s see first what the TSA approved locks mean.

When it comes to the TSA approved locks “approved” means that the lock can be opened with the TSA officers at the airport using a universal “master” key, the purpose of this is to inspect the bag without need to break the lock, to ensure the bag is free from any dangerous and prohibited items.

But still the question is, are these locks safe to use?

Let’s dive right in.

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SURE LOCK TSA Compatible Travel Luggage Locks / courtesy of amazon

Are TSA Locks Safe?

Most of the TSA locks are not well built and secured, just like a regular lock it can be opened using a paper clip or cut off the cable using a wire cutter.

So a TSA lock can be break just as a traditional lock . And if it comes to thieves, even a good lock can be cracked or broken.

But using a TSA approved luggage lock is better than using a cheap traditional lock and will keep your suitcase safe, and prevent your other lock from being broken by the airport security.

A cheap TSA approved lock will work just as a zip tie.

Do The TSA Locks Really Work?

If you don’t use TSA-approved locks, there is more chance your luggage zipper will be damaged if the TSA can not open the lock easily if your suitcase needs inspection. the TSA agents will break non-approved locks and they will never ask for the owner, that may even make them think that there are some kind of dangerous items in the suitcase.

so keep your suitcase safe by using a good TSA approved lock.

Just to know not all suitcase will be opened at the airport, you can take the risk using your preferred lock if you feel confident that your suitcase will not be opened.

The best safety tip for your luggage is to avoid placing expensive items inside your check bag. Cash, rings and any jewelry can go in your pocket, purse or personal item. In addition most airlines will not cover expensive items and won’t take custody for any damage also.

In some cases even using a TSA lock some passengers still find that their locks are destroyed.

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You can see that the TSA answers that they won’t guarantee that a lock will not be cut off, which is a confusing answer.

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How Does TSA Unlock Locks?

All the TSA recognized locks, whether manufactured with Samsonite, American Tourister or Travelon, can all be opened by the TSA officers at the airport, using their special TSA key “Universal Master key”.

The TSA won’t figure out the combination of your lock.

Is The TSA Lock Mandatory?

No, it is not mandatory to lock your bag with a TSA approved lock, but if you don’t and the TSA needs to open your bag, they will cut off your lock.

But as you can see above sometimes they may tend to break locks even when they are considered approved locks.

Personally I prefer to use a TSA lock rather than taking the risk of breaking my high end lock.

Where To Buy TSA Locks?

Finding the right lock lock often involves plenty of research, as you compare models, features, and price. However, where you buy a lock is an important part of the process, too. Product selection, fast delivery, and price.

You can find a variety of TSA locks in many places but Amazon is always the ideal place. You can find locks that are designed by different brands like Samsonite, and other popular brands.

Here are some of our top picks locks.

LocksDetailsView on Amazon
Nanuk 935-LIDO Lid Organizer for Nanuk Case & TSA Approved Case Lock, Black (900-TSA Lock NANUK)View
Forge TSA Luggage Combination Lock - Open Alert Indicator, Easy Read Dials, Alloy Body- Ideal for Travel, Lockers, Bags (Black 4Pk) Forge TSA Luggage Combination Lock View
SURE LOCK TSA Compatible Travel Luggage Locks, Inspection Indicator, Easy Read Dials TSA Approved with Zinc Alloy SURE LOCK TSA Compatible Travel Luggage Locks View
Black 2 Pack TSA Approved Travel Luggage Locks Ultra-Secure Dimple Key Travel Locks with Zinc Alloy Body Forge TSA Approved Travel Luggage lock Dimple Key View
TSA Lock Security 3 Digit Combination Suitcase Luggage Bag Code Lock Padlock (Blue-4-Pack)TSA Approved Code Lock Padlock View
Fosmon TSA Approved Luggage Locks, (4 Pack) Open Alert Indicator 3 Digit Combination Padlock Codes with Alloy Body and Release Button for Travel Bag, Suit Case and Luggage - Blue, Pink, Silver, BlackFosmon TSA Approved Luggage Locks View
TSA Approved Travel Combination Cable Luggage Locks for Suitcases & Backpacks - 1 Pack of Orange TSA LockTSA Approved Travel Combination Cable Luggage Locks for Suitcases & Backpacks View
TSA Approved Luggage Lock - 4 Digit Combination Padlocks with a Hardened Steel Shackle - Travel Locks for Suitcases & Baggage Anvil TSA Approved Luggage Lock View
Tarriss TSA Luggage Lock with SearchAlert Indicator | Extra Large Numbers | Resettable Combination | Total Luggage Security | 2 Pack (Midnight Black) Tarriss TSA Luggage Lock with SearchAlert View
Samsonite Travel Sentry 2-Pack Key Locks, Brass Samsonite Travel Sentry 2-Pack Key Locks View
Keyless TSA Approved Luggage Locks with Lifetime Card Keys & No Combo to Forget (4 Pack)View

How Do You Unlock a TSA Lock If You Forgot The Combination?

Using a combination lock is always the best choice, but if you are forgetful, you can save your combination on your phone or a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet or somewhere safe.

If you forget your combination code check out the videos below.

Here is the Video on how to Unlock forgotten TSA combo dial lock (on YouTube ).

Final Thoughts

Without being said, to ensure that your luggage will not be opened by force with the TSA officers if needed, it is better to use a TSA approved lock.

The lock can be opened easily with a universal master key accessible only for the TSA officers, and whenever they do they leave a note inside.

If you have to use a TSA approved lock just make sure to pick one that is solid and is not easy to cut, it is rare that thieves cut somebody’s lock at the airport.

We hope this helps.

Happy travels

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