Thursday, May 7, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Master Lock TSA Approved Luggage/Baggage Lock

Last week, there was a breaking news story about one of the larger baggage theft rings ever seen at Oregon's Portland International Airport. Baggage handlers literally stole hundreds of items from travelers' checked of them even sold some of the property on eBay. Think about how easy it is to gain access to someone's don't even have to be an airline passenger to go to the baggage claim. With crime in general escalating in today's tougher economic times, it's no wonder that baggage theft is on the rise as's certainly one of the easier crimes of opportunity.

The Daily Kool family travels often by airplane. Although we would always prefer to carry on our luggage, we have to face the reality of traveling with young children. We need to be as unencumbered as possible, so that we can focus on keeping our most precious assets (our kids, of course) safe in the chaos of the airport. That said, we are often left with no choice but to check some valuable items, particularly for trips lasting longer than a few days. Locks are a great theft deterrent, but a waste...since 9/11, TSA agents can (and likely will) cut them right off your bags risking damage to luggage. We cannot count the number of times our baggage was selected for inspection by the TSA.

Thank goodness for our Master Lock TSA approved luggage/baggage locks. We never travel without them. Master Lock joined with TSA and Travel Sentry™ to use the special Travel Sentry symbol on luggage locks that meet the requirements of the TSA. Airline check-in staff are trained to recognize the Travel Sentry™ mark so they understand that baggage with this special mark is permitted to remain locked. The TSA agents have access to special tools that allow them to open TSA-accepted locks in the event that your bags must be opened for inspection. If necessary, TSA will simply open your locks, inspect, and re-lock your bags.

We love that the Master Lock TSA approved luggage/baggage locks are affordable (we paid around $12 for the set pictured) and dependable. Master Lock is well known for their quality, and they don't disappoint here. We also like the variety of options that Master Lock makes available for their customers. Be aware, though...we have heard the occasional complaint of TSA agents removing even Master Lock TSA approved luggage/baggage locks and neglecting to replace them. We have never personally experienced this problem, and feel that the minor risk is well worth the extra effort to protect our valuables.

Remember, even the slightest deterrent can make a thief think twice about taking a bag. Though, we absolutely recommend keeping your most valuable and/or irreplaceable items in your carry on bag, a Master Lock TSA approved luggage/baggage lock is definitely a great way to stay "kool" if you have to check your luggage at the airport. Now, the only thing to do is sit back, relax and concentrate on entertaining the kids for the next several hours. Did we say relax? Oops. Oh, never mind...enjoy your flight anyway!

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