How to set a TSA lock

Written by breann kanobi
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How to set a TSA lock
Write down the combination to your TSA lock and keep it in a safe place. (luggage in hotel room image by Albert Lozano from

New airline regulations require you to use Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved locks on your checked airline baggage when you take a flight from a USA airport. These locks secure your luggage, but allow for TSA employees to use a master key to open it for inspection purposes at the airport. You can buy these locks at a variety of shops. To protect your belongings, you must set the lock combination before you can use it.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Turn all number dials to zero. New TSA locks are designed to open at 0-0-0 until you set a combination.

  2. 2

    Pull the shackle up. Turn the shackle a quarter turn in any direction and press the shackle down firmly. Hold it down for the duration of the process.

  3. 3

    Move each dial to the desired number of your combination. Double check to make sure that you have selected the correct numbers and then release the shackle.

  4. 4

    Pull the shackle up, turn it to the proper direction and push it down into the locked position. Since the lock is currently at it's new unlock position, you must move at least one dial to hold the shackle down into the lock position.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure to write your combination down for future reference and store it in a secure location.

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