What is a TSA lock?

Travel relaxed on vacation and not have to worry about your luggage. Reliable locks on your luggage are essential to prevent theft and misuse by smugglers. When traveling in the USA, you should also make sure that your suitcase is fitted with a TSA lock. Every suitcase can be opened and searched by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Locked suitcases and trolleys are sometimes opened by force.

To avoid this, so-called "TSA locks" have been developed. They are accessible with a master key that only TSA employees can use to open and relock the suitcases. For this reason, TSA combination locks are also equipped with a key lock which is only available to authorized officials. Approved locks can be recognized by the red diamond-shaped logo (Travel Sentry) or the red torch (Safe Skies).

You can of course also find suitable locks for retrofitting to your existing luggage in our travel accessories category. Please note that this regulation also applies to any luggage straps!

All locks approved by the TSA authorities bear at least one of these two logos.

How to set the TSA lock on your trolley

  • By default, the start combination is set to 0-0-0.
  • Press the setting button until it clicks. (Ideally with a pointed object)
  • Now turn the dials until the desired number combination appears.
  • In case of emergency: Please make a note of the numerical code!
  • The setting/reset knob can be moved to its original position using the opening slider.
  • If there is no setting/reset button, simply press and hold the opening slider and set the personal number combination while doing so. Then release the opening slider and the lock is set.

What to do if you have forgotten your number combination?

It sounds worse than it is! There are 1000 number combinations that you have to try out to find your own number code. This normally takes no longer than 30-45 minutes

A structured approach is the key here: start with the combination 000 and count upwards step by step, i.e. 001, 002, 003, 004..011, 012, 013...099, 100, 101, 102...999

As soon as you have found your code, you should write it down as quickly as possible or set a new numerical code.

How do I know if my trolley has been opened with a TSA lock?

If your suitcase has been opened by security officials, a note will always be left in your suitcase.

How secure is the Travel Sentry system really?

The Travel Sentry tools are exclusively in the possession of security officers and are not available to normal airport staff. Each tool set is controlled government property! Most baggage screening locations are also equipped with video surveillance.