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TSA breaks TSA-approved locks in Houston, TX

Santa Cruz, CA
2 posts
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TSA breaks TSA-approved locks in Houston, TX

My $600+ German Rimowa suitcase was used twice, then it appeared with flimsy tape on the carousel. It wouldn't close because TSA ignored the writing on the lock which told them to use "key #6" and it looked like someone had used a crowbar on it - possibly damaged the rear hinge too. I thought these cases were almost indestructible.

What's the point of having TSA-approved locks that fit special TSA keys if they are going to bust there way in and even endanger my losing everything when the tape gave way?

Does anybody know where I can register a serious complaint inside the TSA organization?

Never mind about getting two estimates of the damage. I'll probably get it fixed with the warranty if they didn't beat up the back too badly. There are very few factory-certified places to ship the huge case to - to have work done, and TSA requires two written bids. (Ordinary luggage repair places just stitch cloth, etc.) I'm angry and want to complain to management.

Houston, Texas
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530 posts
165 reviews
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21. Re: TSA breaks TSA-approved locks in Houston, TX

IAH is the worst in the country. I carry tools & test equipment.

Contents are thrown back in the box haphazardly, and the cover forced closed every time. When I arrive at my destination, I find tools jammed in the cover, all test equipment is left in the ON position with dead batteries. (I started removing batteries when I departed IAH) Items not returned to their protective cases, and found broken. (and all the nice wood cases have disappeared)

I've sent countless reports, complaints, and photos to TSA, and heard nothing, or got one of their lame form letters. Oh yeah - since 2001, I've gone through 14 TSA Locks.

luckily I stopped flying, so I don't have to deal with them anymore.

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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19,073 posts
38 reviews
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22. Re: TSA breaks TSA-approved locks in Houston, TX

I only have my own experiences to base my view on but complaining to TSA is a waste of time. Despite acknowledgement that my complaints were valid when we lost possessions (of little value, fortunately), they did effectively zip. I did have travel insurance that would have covered any claim, but the value of the removed and not returned items was less than the excess! I complained as a principle to register my displeasure as I don't see why TSA should get away with careless behaviour and not returning passengers' belongings to cases as they do their checks.

Also, again, just my own observation for travel to, from and within the US of recent, but they are also getting less careful about luggage in general. We use cable ties and they always used to put a new one on after checking our luggage, but recently, more than once the zipped back has not had the cable tie replaced and the zips have either not been closed back together all the way or, because they aren't tied together, baggage handing further down the line has caused the zips to become unzipped enough that items could fall out of the baggage.

Oh, and what's always so attractive in our luggage? My hiking poles which we take to hike in USA national parks, to help support my creaky knees! I've now lost 3 of them to TSA over the last 7 years!


Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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14,103 posts
243 reviews
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23. Re: TSA breaks TSA-approved locks in Houston, TX

Could you carry your hiking poles onto the plane with you? If they support your creaky knees it would seem that they would be an allowed medical device. Recently in my home town TSA agents were arrested for stealing lap top computers, iPads and cell phones, but no hiking poles. It does not really seem that they would be that universally attractive, but if you have lost three of them, I would take my next one on board with me.

24. Re: TSA breaks TSA-approved locks in Houston, TX

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