Can You Put Locks On Your Luggage – Secure Your Luggage

Travelling can be a stressful experience, and the last thing anyone wants to worry about is whether their luggage is safe and secure. Travellers express one of the biggest concerns about the possibility of someone tampering with or stealing their bags during transit.

This is where luggage locks come in handy. But can you put locks on your luggage? The answer is yes, you can. Luggage locks are a great way to secure your belongings and give you peace of mind while travelling. Various shapes, sizes, and types of locks are available, ranging from combination locks to key and even smart locks that you can control using your smartphone.

However, one should note that not all airlines allow all types of luggage locks and specific regulations exist in some countries. Before purchasing a luggage lock, check with your airline and research relevant regulations to ensure you comply with their policies.

Can You Put Locks On Your Luggage

TSA-Approved Locks

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States recognizes and approves TSA-approved locks as a specific type of luggage lock. These locks have specific designs to provide security for your luggage while allowing TSA officers to inspect the contents of your bag without breaking the lock.

  • Recognized by TSA: TSA-approved locks have a special marking or indicator that allows TSA officers to identify them. This helps prevent them from cutting the lock during baggage checks.
  • Master Key Access: TSA officers can access a master key that can open TSA-approved locks. This means they can inspect your bag if necessary and lock it securely without damaging it.
  • Combination or Keyed Locks: TSA-approved locks come in combination and keyed options. You can choose the one that best suits your preferences.
  • Security Alert Indicator: Some TSA-approved locks have a security alert indicator showing if TSA opened the lock during the inspection.
  • Durable and Sturdy: Lock manufacturers typically make these locks of sturdy materials to withstand travel-related wear and tear.

Can You Put Locks On Your Luggage – Travel Safely And Securely

Can You Put Locks On Your Luggage - Travel Safely And Securely

When traveling safely and securely, putting locks on your luggage can be a great idea. Locking your luggage can help deter theft and prevent unauthorized access to your belongings.

However, it is important to note that not all locks are created equal. If you are traveling internationally, it is recommended to use TSA-approved locks. These locks can easily open by airport security if they need to inspect your bag, without causing any damage.

Additionally, it is always a good idea to check the regulations of the airlines you are flying with, as some may have specific requirements or restrictions when it comes to locking your luggage. By using the right locks and following airline guidelines, you can travel with peace of mind knowing that your belongings are safe and secure.

Selecting The Right Luggage Lock

The first step to putting a lock on your luggage is to choose the right type of lock for your needs. There are many factors to consider, such as the lock’s size, shape, weight, material, durability and compatibility with your luggage zipper, handle, or strap.

You should also look for features such as water resistance, corrosion resistance, ease of use, and security level. Some locks show indicators that confirm if someone else, like TSA agents or thieves, has opened them.

Checking Luggage Lock Regulations

Checking Luggage Lock Regulations

The second step is to check the luggage lock regulations of your destination country and airline. Some countries and airlines have strict rules about what types of locks are allowed on luggage, especially checked luggage.

For example, in the United States, only TSA-approved locks permit on checked luggage, as they can open by TSA agents with a master key without damaging the lock or the luggage. If you use a non-TSA-approved lock on your checked luggage in the US, it may be cut off by TSA agents during security screening.

Preparing Your Luggage For Lock Installation

The third step is to prepare your luggage for lock installation. You should ensure that your luggage is in good condition and that there are no tears, holes, or defects in the zipper, handle, or strap.

Also, you should ensure that your luggage is not overpacked or unpacked, as this may affect the alignment and functionality of the lock. You should also remove any tags, labels, or stickers that may interfere with the lock installation.

Aligning The Locking Mechanism

The fourth step is to align the locking mechanism of the lock with the zipper pullers or other parts of your luggage that you want to secure. You should ensure that the locking mechanism is facing the right direction and that it fits snugly and securely around the zipper pullers or other parts of your luggage. Ensure no gaps or spaces exist between the locking mechanism, the zipper pullers, or other parts of your luggage.

Inserting The Locking Device

The fifth step is to insert the locking device into the locking mechanism. The locking device may be a shackle, a cable, a chain, a wire loop, or a hook. You should ensure the locking device is fully inserted into the mechanism and clicked into place. Ensure that there are no twists or kinks in the locking device and that it does not interfere with the opening and closing of your luggage.

Setting The Lock Combination Or Key

Setting The Lock Combination Or Key

The sixth step is to set the lock combination or key. If your lock has a combination dial or button, you should follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to set up your own personal combination.

You should choose a combination that is easy to remember but hard for others to guess. You should also avoid using common or obvious combinations such as 0000 or 1234. If your lock has a keyhole, insert it and turn it until it locks or unlocks.

Testing The Lock For Proper Functionality

The seventh step is to test the lock for proper functionality. You should try to open and close your luggage with and without using the lock combination or key. You should ensure that the lock works smoothly and securely and does not jam or malfunction. Ensure you can easily access your belongings inside your luggage when you unlock it.

Recording The Lock Combination Or Keeping Spare Keys

The eighth step is to record the lock combination or keep spare keys in a safe place. If you forget your lock combination or lose your key, you may be unable to open your luggage and access your belongings.

Therefore, you should write down your lock combination or keep spare keys separate from your luggage, such as in your wallet, purse, phone case, or carry-on bag.  Avoid sharing your lock combination or key with anyone else unless you trust them completely.

Alternatives To Locks For Securing Luggage

Alternatives To Locks For Securing Luggage

The ninth step is to explore some alternatives to locks for securing luggage. Locks are not the only way to protect your luggage from theft, damage, or tampering. You can also use other methods, such as wrapping your luggage with plastic wrap, using luggage straps or bands, attaching luggage tags or labels, using luggage covers or cases, or packing your valuables in your carry-on bag.

These methods may not be as secure as locks, but they can deter or prevent some forms of luggage mishandling.

Locks For Checked Luggage Vs Carry-On Luggage

The tenth step is to compare locks for checked luggage vs. carry-on luggage. Locks for checked luggage and carry-on luggage have different advantages and disadvantages. Locks for checked luggage can provide more security and peace of mind, as you do not have to worry about your luggage being opened or stolen by someone else while it is out of sight.

However, locks for checked luggage may also cause more hassle and inconvenience, as you have to comply with the luggage lock regulations of your destination country and airline, and you may have to wait longer for your luggage at the baggage claim area.

Locks for carry-on luggage can provide more convenience and flexibility, as you can access your luggage anytime and anywhere during your travel. However, locks for carry-on luggage may also provide less security and protection, as you have to keep an eye on your luggage at all times, and you may have to remove the lock during security screening.

Combination Locks Vs Key Locks

The eleventh step is to compare combination locks vs key locks. Combination locks and key locks have different pros and cons. Combination locks are more convenient and easy to use, as you do not need to carry or keep track of a key.

However, combination locks are also more vulnerable and easy to crack, as someone else can guess or discover your combination. Key locks are more secure and hard to break, as you need a specific key to open them. However, key locks are also more troublesome and risky, as you may lose or forget your key, or it may get damaged or stolen.

Non-TSA-Approved Locks

Non-TSA-Approved Locks

The twelfth step is to discuss non-TSA-approved locks. Non-TSA-approved locks are locks that TSA agents cannot open with a master key during security screening in the US. Non-TSA-approved locks may offer more security and privacy, preventing anyone from accessing your luggage without your permission.

However, non-TSA-approved locks may also cause more problems and damages, as TSA agents may cut them off if they need to inspect your luggage, or they may trigger an alarm or a suspicion during security screening. Therefore, non-TSA-approved locks are not recommended for US travel or countries with similar regulations.


Can you put locks on your luggage? The answer is yes, and it is highly recommended to do so for added security. It is important for travellers to consider the security of their luggage during their journeys. One way to enhance the security of your luggage is by putting locks on them.

While it is true that locks alone may not guarantee the safety of your belongings, they can serve as a deterrent to potential thieves. Additionally, some airlines and transportation security agencies require locks on luggage for added security measures. Therefore, investing in reliable and sturdy locks for your luggage is in your best interest.

It is also important to note that different countries may have varying laws and regulations regarding the types of locks allowed for luggage. As a responsible traveller. Ensuring you comply with these regulations is crucial to avoid inconveniences or penalties.


Are There Regulations On Luggage Locks For Air Travel?

Yes, there are regulations regarding luggage locks for air travel. TSA (Transportation Security Administration) requires travellers to use TSA-approved locks on their luggage. TSA agents can open these locks if necessary for inspection, avoiding the need to cut the lock and potentially damage the luggage.

How Do I Set The Combination For My Luggage Lock?

Setting the combination for a luggage lock varies based on the lock’s brand and model. Generally, you can follow the instructions provided with the lock. Commonly, you need to locate the reset button or dials, set the desired combination, and secure it in place.

Can Airport Security Open My Locked Luggage?

TSA-approved locks have a unique feature that allows airport security to open them using a master key. This way, they can inspect the contents of the luggage without breaking the lock. If you use a non-TSA-approved lock, security agents may cut it open for inspection, potentially damaging the lock and luggage.

Are There Any Restrictions On The Types Of Locks I Can Use?

For air travel, it is essential to use TSA-approved locks to comply with security regulations. TSA-approved locks have a specific mark indicating their approval. Avoid using non-TSA-approved locks, which may need to be removed and could lead to potential damage during security checks.

Can I Use Locks On Both Checked And Carry-On Luggage?

Yes, you can use locks on both checked and carry-on luggage. However, TSA-approved locks are recommended for checked luggage for easy inspection without compromising security. Carry-on luggage can also benefit from locks to protect valuables during your journey.

Michael C. Herrera

I’m a travel blogger with a focus on safety. I’ve been to all seven continents, and I love sharing my tips for staying safe while traveling. I also have a lot of experience with travel hacking and finding the best deals on airfare and hotels. My blog features reviews of restaurants, hotels, and attractions around the world.

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