Your Locked Luggage Isn’t Safe

Via Bruce Schneier, how anyone can get into your locked luggage without your knowing: a pretty cool video demonstration after an annoying ad you have to watch at the beginning.

This doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’ve never understood locking luggage, or at least believing that its contents are safe once you do. Being separated from valuables introduces vulnerabilities, entirely apart from airlines losing those valuables and the bag itself being shredded or otherwise breached through less than careful handling. Either don’t bring valuables or don’t trust airlines to transport them as checked baggage.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I’ve never locked a bag to truly keep people out. However, I have used a lock before on a full bag that had a zipper that came unzipped a little too easily. The lock was there more to prevent accidental unzipping in transit, which had happened before with that bag, than to keep people out of it.

    I’d never put anything valuable in a checked bag.

  2. i never use the tsa locks either as i realize they are useless and tsa ee most likely will spit on my undies in retrobution for having to take the 2 seconds to open it.

  3. Simple rule: never check anything in your luggage that you would be upset to lose. Clearly, anything with any value would fit here.

  4. Check out Delsey’s securitech. It’s a double zip that prevents this. I actually found out about this technique through a demo they do at the store to prove that regular zips are not safe compared to this one…

  5. Can’t use them to check a bag but for any other place where a bag is stored / left unattended, PacSafe products work perfectly.

  6. Maybe those South American luggage wrappers could start up here in the domestic terminals?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *