The flight to the USA has run smoothly and behind the airport doors is already the well-earned vacation. But then the shock! The padlock is gone and the rest of the suitcase looks meddled up.
The American officials wanted to control the locked case and that’s why they broke it up. Annoying, but from the point of view of the staff absolutely legitimate. To avoid this story, we recommend a TSA castle.
TSA Castle – what does it really mean?
Since 2002, all suitcases in the US have been screened by the North American flight safety TSA (Transport Security Administration). It does not matter if the owner wants to enter directly into the USA or just a stopover until the flight continues.
If the official is caught up, or if your suitcase is selected as a sample, the suitcase is opened and searched. In contrast to other countries, e.g. In Germany or Canada, you will not be informed about the investigation, only an information leaflet will be enclosed. If the TSA officials are not able to check it, since you have locked your luggage, they are entitled to break the suitcase. You will not receive any compensation for the lock and / or any other damages.
This is, however, only if you do not have a TSA lock on your luggage. For these “special” locks, the TSA has a general key, which allows them to have a look into your suitcase without the number code or the “right” key.
This key is, by the way, officially not available in trade, but is used only by a few selected TSA officials. So you do not have to worry about the fact that every x-person can simply buy the key in the store.
The security officers in other countries do not have a TSA key, which is why most of the luggage is searched in the presence of the owner.
How do I know if a lock is TSA-capable?
The TSA-compatible padlocks are either already integrated into the case or are purchased and installed separately. The locks are closed either by number code or by key. There are also TSA-approved luggage bags.
TSA locks are produced by two different manufacturers, the company “Travel Sentry” is the world-famous. TSA locks can be seen on the logo of the company Travel Sentry (A red diamond shape on a white background) or the company “Safe Skies” (A red-white torch).
A number is always indicated on the locks (TSA001, TSA002, TSA003, TSA004, TSA005, TSA006 and TSA007). These serve as an indication to the authorities which TSA key they must use.
This is how you set the numeric code
You have got a TSA-compatible data lock and would like to adjust it? Here is a small general guide for you:
- The start combination should be set to 0-0-0. (This is the factory setting. If you have changed the code, you must set it)
- Now press the adjusting knob with a pointed object, e.g. a pin, until it clicks audibly.
- Now turn to the wheel to enter your personal number code. Make a note of it on a piece of paper, so you do not forget it.
- Then move the opening slider until the setting knob returns to the starting position.
- Your number combination is now set. If you have not already done so, you can now hook the zippers in the lock to close your suitcase.
- Please note that this is a general setting and that the approach may vary depending on the type of lock and the manufacturer.
So if you are ready to start your own luggage production think about a TSA lock. That might be a good choice for your customer.