Since Sept. 11, airport security has been of the utmost importance. But travelers who still wanted to secure their belongings often found their luggage locks cut open by transportation officials. Companies are now offering locks that still protect clients’ property without interfering with security screening. We field tested each of these TSA-approved items to see how they stacked up.
This mini-key lock by Eagle Creek comes in a variety of colors, along with three keys. While this makes for a cheaper choice, travelers notorious for misplacing their keys might want to opt for a combination lock. $4.85.
Previously, travelers could tell their luggage had been opened by finding a disheveled suitcase or a broken lock. These resettable combination locks by SearchAlert feature a security window that changes from green to red when the lock has been opened by TSA or anyone else. About $18 for two.
SearchAlert also offers more heavy-duty locks for the likes of golf bags, camera cases and tackle boxes. Like those designed for luggage, these combination locks are key-free and turn from green to red to show if baggage has been inspected by TSA officials. The locks are for larger items only — their shackles will be too thick to use on most luggage. $10.95.
If clients would rather avoid locks but still want to know if their bags have been opened, luggage seals provide an inexpensive option. Designed for one-time use, the plastic seals loop through zipper tabs and are removed by twisting or tugging until the seal breaks. About $8 for a bag of 20.