If you want to know what is TSA lock is, then you should read the complete information regarding TSA given below.
It can’t be avoided that there are instances when TSA or Airport Security agents need to open and inspect your traveler’s suitcase. Sometimes they may see something suspicious while running the bags through an X-ray scanner, or the briefcase seems to weigh too much. If that happens, agents will need to open the bag and leave a notice that the baggage has been inspected for the owners to see.
There’s no problem if the bag doesn’t have a lock. A problem arises when there is a lock and no other way of opening the load without causing damage. We don’t blame travelers, though. Who wouldn’t want to protect their valuables when venturing into the airport?
In some cases, agents must cut open the bag or the lock that came with it, leaving owners with a damaged suitcase. So to avoid this mess, the TSA Lock was introduced.
What is TSA Lock?
The TSA, which stands for Transportation Security Administration, is a global safety combination lock that allows travelers to secure their baggage while allowing security authorities to open them using special keys that only airport security officials can access.
A US Department of Homeland Security company was the first agency to use this unique locking system. They are in charge of doing airport security at all US airports.
How do TSA Locks work?
Every TSA lock has a three-digit code that comes along when purchasing it. It is stamped somewhere in the lock itself, and these numbers have a corresponding “master” key that only TSA agents carry and have access to.
Any bags that can’t be thoroughly inspected in the x-ray scanner will be removed and set aside for more thorough instruction. This involves opening the bag itself. If the bag is equipped with a TSA lock, the TSA agent will cross-check the lock’s code and the key they have to open the bag. After the inspection, the agent will re-lock the bag and send it to be loaded if no problems are found.
Types of TSA Locks
The good, old-fashioned, traditional padlock. This type of lock needs a physical key that owners must carry to open the device. It’s a bit harder to pick since there isn’t any particular process you can do once you lose that key. You may need to break the lock itself or hire a good lock-picker.
The most common type of TSA lock uses a combination of 3 or 4 digits that owners can set and change at their leisure. You can lock your belongings away without worrying about where to put the key to your lock safely. It is the most popular choice with travelers because of its compact nature and ease of use, assuming you don’t forget the combination you set.
Cable locks also use the combination lock system, but they are more versatile. Cable locks have, as you guessed, cables that can be bent and flexed to suit your needs. It’s not only for traditional luggage like backpacks or trolleys but also for lockers or cabinets.
They are a great alternative to regular combination locks for their flexible cables that provide versatility.
Retractable Cable Locks
Similar to cable locks, only retractable. Hence its name. However, many reviews say the locking mechanism frequently fails and that the cables are more accessible to break than the traditional cable locks.
Key Card Locks
These types of locks work similarly to hotel keycards. But like the traditional key lock, there’s an additional thing that you need to keep track of to open your luggage. But unlike the bulky and easily misplaced physical key, you can just put the card in your wallet, which will fit nicely with all your other cards.
How to set TSA Lock?
- If the number combination isn’t already set to zero, correctly align all digits on the lock to zero.
- Remove the zippers or cable from the lock by sliding a button on the side of the trolley.
- Press down on the metal piece that opens and closes around your trolley, called the shackle.
- Press the small button between the numbers and the zipper with a pointy, but not sharp, object like a pen or the tip of an earring.
- Set your numerical code and ensure it’s a code you can easily remember.
- Press the button again until you hear a click.
- Release the pressure on the shackle and return it to its original position.
Which country needs TSA Lock?
As TSA locks are not mandatory, no country requires them. However, these locks aren’t limited to US airport security.
In countries like Canada, Japan, Israel, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, South Korea, and New Zealand, their airport security have a master key for TSA locks that allows them to open, inspect, and re-lock luggage if necessary.
What is the difference between TSA Lock and Number Lock?
Every time you travel with your luggage by plane, the Transportation Security Administration inspects your luggage in various ways. In many cases, TSA agents can use a scanner to check bags and suitcases to see what’s inside without having to open the baggage. Otherwise, the agent will open the luggage and inspect it manually. If the item does not have a TSA-approved lock, there is a risk of the safety being damaged.
Numeric locks are locking devices that use symbols (usually numbers) to open the lock. The sequence uses a single rotary dial with multiple dials or cams, a set of various rotary discs with engraved symbols that interact directly with the locking
mechanism, or an electronic or mechanical keyboard. You can enter it. Types range from low-cost 3-digit luggage locks to high-security safes. Unlike regular locks, numeric locks do not use keys.
How do I reset or change TSA Lock combinations?
If you’ve forgotten your TSA lock combination, you may try the same process you did when initially setting the mix for the lock. If the default combination isn’t 0-0-0, try every possible combination starting from 0-0-1 up to 9-9-9. This sounds like a long and tedious process, but with only three digits, it would only take up to 30 minutes max. A bit longer for 4-digit combinations.
You can also follow this process while going through the different combinations:
- Put pressure on the lock by pressing down or pulling on the lock
- Turn the first dial to any number and listen carefully until there is an audible click. That means that is the correct number.
- Leave the first dial with the correct number and repeat the process for the next two or three dials.
- When all numbers have clicked, the lock should open.
What should I look for in a TSA-approved Lock?
There are a few things to remember when buying TSA-approved locks for your luggage.
An essential thing to look for is the unique” Travel Sentry” logo. If the lock does not have this logo or designation, it is not a TSA-approved lock and cannot be accessed with a universal key.
Many TSA-approved locks are designed and can be opened with a key or combination. If you like the idea that you can use combinations to open locks, I recommend buying a TSA-approved lock with a three-digit or four-digit combination option.