Question regarding TSA luggage locks in USA..

    The only time i would have hit USA customs was a long time ago on a trip to Hawaii,and i had no problems,,but i have been reading some travel sites,and the problems people have had world wide,,and i am wondering why USA has a problem with TSA Locks,a lot of the stories are regarding why USA will cut off a TSA lock instead of using their universal key to unlock it,,so i thought i would put it out there and see what,if anything AKA might know about this..>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<..Image result for TSA lock photos

    +4  Views: 1263 Answers: 3 Posted: 4 years ago

    3 Answers

    I don't find anything conclusive, but here are my thoughts as to why the TSA approved locks are being cut open instead of opened with a  key.


    It's not just one key that opens all the TSA locks. There are several types because not all TSA locks are the same.  Have you ever watched someone with several keys on their keychain fumble through a bunch of keys before finding the correct one?


    The airports are so busy, especially during the holidays and special events such as the Super Bowl and Presidental campaigning etc.  Customs has a schedule to keep so they need to get the luggage inspected and sent through as quickly as possible.    


    It takes a lot less time to snap open a lock than it does to hunt through a mess of keys until the correct key is found.


    If the lock is cut open for no foreseeable reasons like what  I've mentioned above then it could be the officer was having a really bad day and running short on patience. 


    Final conclusion would be the customs officer is just a complete and utter a**hole.  (I should know, I was married to one for several years) LOL LOL LOL LOL



    terryfossil 1

    They should not have to fumble through a whole bunch of keys to find the right one is an oddly shaped key marked with a red symbol..and that key is universal and will fit any TSA lock..mind you i do not think it would be to hard for a crim to get hold of one..however you still lock your house and car knowing someone can still break into them..keys and locks are really only meant to keep the good guys out..>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<..
    country bumpkin

    Let me have another go at this because I think my first answer has been misunderstood.

    I know all about the TSA approved lock with the identifiable red diamond.

    I understand that the TSA has a master key to open the TSA approved locks when a package or luggage comes through that requires further inspection.

    But........It's my understanding that there is more than one master key to open the TSA locks because not all TSA approved locks are identical. For example, there are keycard locks and dial locks and different companies make the approved luggage locks. This would mean that the agents must have more than one type of master key on hand to be able to open every type of approved TSA lock.

    The picture I provided in my answer is supposedly the types of TSA master keys used to open the TSA locks, and as you can see, there are several of them. This is why I mentioned in my answer above that it's possible a TSA officer (Homeland Security, US Customs or whatever you choose to refer to them by) may be running behind schedule and too impatient to fumble through a mess of master keys to find the exact key to match the particular TSA luggage lock on a person's suitcase. It may just be a lot less time consuming to break open the lock with one quick snap.

    The link I'm providing below for you to read is from the Transportation Security Administration. You will see at the end of line number seven and at the beginning of line number eight, the words, " Master Keys".
    I stick by my original answer that there may actually be a lot of key fumbling! LOL

    ( TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal "master" keys so that the locks may not have to be cut.)

    country bumpkin

    I found another link for you to read Terry. Some of the information is referring back to the year 2003, but it may still be reliable. This link also mentions "Master Keys". If I'm reading it correctly, there were eight master keys held by TSA agents at one point in time and probably still do.
    terryfossil 1

    Thanks CB,now i feel less secure than i did before,,oh well,back to the calming pills..:):):):)..>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<..

    I've never locked my luggage,,......,,...... If they wanna sniff my dirty underwear more power to em.


    Petunias, Ducky, petunias.

    Luggage is screened electronically. IF there is something that needs closer inspection,  the bag is opened. Locks are only broken if they can't be easily opened.  Combination locks have a master key and so do TSA locks. There's no big ring of keys through which to muddle. Safe Skies and Travel Sentry will replace locks broken by TSA at no charge.                                                    

    terryfossil 1

    G'day understanding is that they only have a universal key for TSA locks??????,>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<..

    In my search for info, I came across an article saying there is a master key for combo locks. Since I use my phone as computer, I can't copy and paste here.

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