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Frequently Asked Questions about TSA Locks

OW Travel TSA Approved Padlocks Luggage Case Locks for Suitcases, Backpacks, Gym Locker - 4 Dial Combination Padlock Black 1 Pack - Heavy Duty 4 Dial Padlock

How do I set or reset my combination?

Each TSA Lock type has different instructions but below are a set of general instructions that you might help you in setting the combination for your padlock.

Most suppliers will be able to email you a set of instructions so get in touch with the company that you purchased your lock from. Here at OW-Travel we often email out sets of missing instructions to our customers.

Here are some general steps to help you set the different lock types:

  • Combination Padlocks with shack setting:
  1. Unlock the mechanism by pulling up on the metal lock rod. Must be set to (0-0-0) factory combination if new, or the existing combination if used to unlock.
  2. Once released, rotate the lock rod to align with the notch of the dials, usually parallel to the long side, or about 180 degrees from its lock position.
  3. Press down on the lock rod and swing the rod to a position 90 degrees from locked position to hold it in that “pressed-down” position.
  4. Adjust the dials to reflect your newly selected personal combination.
  5. Once set to your new combination, turn the lock rod back to the 180 degree position and pull up on the lock rod.
  6. Turn the lock rod back to locking position, and double check that your new combination works.
  7. Scramble the dials to ensure that your luggage is safe and secure.
  • Combination Padlocks with button setting:
  1. Set the combination back to (0-0-0) the factory setting for new, or the existing combination.
  2. Open the cable lock mechanism by sliding the moveable side of the cable in towards the middle of the lock and pulling up to release.
  3. Locate a small button located directly beneath the dials. Use tip of a pen or small screwdriver simply push that button in and hold it while dialing in your personal combination.
  4. Once your desired combination is reflected, release the bottom button.
  5. Turn the cable back to locking position and double check that it unlocks properly.
  6. Scramble the dials to keep your luggage safe and secure.

What happens if I forget my combination?

That is a tricky task as a 4 Dial padlock as 10,000 combinations. Ideally, you should write down the combination when you set it or take a picture with your smartphone. Alternatively, you could use a memorable date.

What happens if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants to inspect my luggage that is locked with Travel Sentry Approved lock?

The TSA has a master key that they can use to access your luggage, without knowing the combination. They can open your luggage, have a look, and re-lock it up, to be secure for the duration of your flight.

How do I know that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) opened and inspected my suitcase?

The TSA’s standard practice is to leave a “Notice of Baggage Inspection” in your suitcase informing you that your bag was inspected.

What is the best position setting TSA lock on my luggage?

We recommend setting the locks, in the middle, at the top by the handle, or on the top side where you have your pull handle.  In this location, the locks will have less of a chance to get caught on the conveyor belt as it travels to your plane!               

How are Travel Sentry certified locks different from other luggage locks?

TSA locks are a great compromise between personal security and national security. They allow travelers to maintain some level of control over who gets into their luggage, while affording TSA officers the ability to open bags if they need to do so. However, if the suitcase is locked by regular lock, a problem arises. The agent either has to cut the lock or, in some cases, cut the bag itself. To avoid this potential damage, use a TSA lock.

How safe is the Travel Sentry system?

The Travel Sentry tools are held by the Security Officers and not available to airport staff. Each set of secured tool is controlled government property and unlawful to duplicate. Most luggage inspection locations are equipped with video surveillance.

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