TSA locks Instructions

Updated February 16, 2017

If you fly to the USA, your luggage will be inspected by the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, on your return journey. The TSA screens each passenger's baggage before it is allowed to be taken on the plane. This typically involves sending the bag through a machine that allows the TSA agent to view the contents without opening it. On occasion, an agent may need to open the bag for further inspection. If your bag uses a traditional lock, it will be cut open. TSA-approved locks, however, are designed to open with a master key held by all TSA agents.

Set the tumblers to the preset factory combination. This is generally all zeroes, though this can differ depending on the brand of your lock.

Pull out the lock's shackle, then turn it around halfway and push it in. Hold the shackle down, then turn it one quarter turn in any direction.

Set a combination of your choosing while still holding the shackle down. Do not use any number that could be easily guessed, including your address, birthday or part of a phone number. Avoid using the same number for all digits of the combination.

Replace the shackle in its original position without turning the lock's dials. Pull the shackle back out, then turn it 180 degrees.

Push the shackle in, then turn the dials to lock it. Open the lock by turning the dials to the chosen combination.

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About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.