What is a TSA lock? Why do we need to use it?

Let’s talk about the most common misconception around TSA lock. Many people think that they will receive a key for luggage locked by TSA, however that is not the case.
The TSA lock is essential for security authorities, not for the owners of luggage. This is the major difference between the TSA lock and other locks on the market. So, do not be surprised when you don’t receive a key to your luggage that is secured with a TSA lock!

What is a TSA lock?

TSA Lock is a global luggage lock security system developed by the Transportation Security Administration (Abbre. TSA) of the USA. The system allows security authorities to inspect passenger luggage and other shipped packages to ensure safety during transportation.

To avoid repeating a tragedy following the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, luggage inspection has become a critical stage for security authorities in every country. Thus, the TSA lock was born. Starting in January of 2003, the TSA requested each and every piece of luggage entering U.S airports needs to be inspected, and announced that security authorities have the power to open and inspect a piece of luggage in the event of any concerns. Therefore, using a TSA-approved lock allows authorities to inspect your luggage without damage. Otherwise, they may cut or damage your lock to ensure everything follows safety guidelines.

Note:The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that has authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States. It was created as a response to the September 11 attacks.


Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

How do I distinguish a TSA lock?

Most TSA locks are authorized by Travel Sentry, therefore the easiest way to check your lock is to see whether it has a Travel Sentry logo on it. (Refer to image below). This logo signifies that the lock is officially approved by the TSA. However, people may still be worried about spending money on a fake product. If you are one of these people, you can use this link to ensure that your purchase is TSA-approved. Check and see if the luggage you are intending to buy is listed on the site. If the answer is yes, that means the brand has been approved by Travel Sentry.


Travel Sentry

Note:Travel Sentry is a company that develops and licenses standards used in travel security, including a standard for luggage locks that can be opened by aviation security agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration.

Did you know… Departure TSA lock luggages are also approved by Travel Sentry? Currently we are listed in page 5 (Refer to the picture below)

Let’s learn more about TSA lock. When you are picking a luggage, you may find out that the numbers on the TSA lock are different. Why? Because there are 8 series number of TSA locks: ranging from TSA001 to TSA 008. Different types of TSA locks represent different keyholes.

What countries use TSA lock?

When you travel to the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, New Zealand and several other countries, the security authorities from these countries will be able to inspect your luggage with a TSA key if necessary. It is expected that the TSA lock will gradually become more common in additional countries.

Note: You can check out this link to find out what countries are using Travel Sentry.

Alright, now you should have some knowledge about TSA lock, let’s sum up again:

When you purchase a new piece of luggage, we suggest you use a TSA lock approved luggage. This will help to avoid getting a damaged luggage lock when you pick up your luggage at the baggage claim. Of course, some people say that you won’t have any problems if you just simply don’t lock the luggage, but this is not a wise idea either.

If you have any questions or other topics you’d like to know, you’re welcome to leave your comments below or click here, and we’ll answer all your questions within a short time.


  • Suzuki Wimon

    แต่เวลาเปิดโดยใส่ระหัสดังกล่าวเปิดกระเป๋าไม่ออก ควรจะทำยังไง

  • Suzuki Wimon

    Lockกระเป๋าใส่ระหัสเรียบร้อยแล้วเปิดไม่ออกเลย ไม่ว่าจะใส่ระหัสที่ใส่ไว้ก็ตาม

  • Teknik Telekomunikasi

    What major event in 2001 prompted the implementation of stricter luggage inspection procedures, leading to the creation of the TSA Lock system? Regard Telkom University

  • Ravinder Singh Deosi

    How to use TSA lock

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