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Luggage pilfering and damage?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by vadsoom, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    Like other posters, I've been using the cable/zip tie approach. TSA can get into the bag if they need to and it might (if I'm lucky) make somebody think twice about trying to swipe something from my bags.

    I don't put anything in my checked baggage that I can't afford to lose. Someone might find a cheap flashlight or an old Leatherman or SAK, but that would be about it. Anything valuable stays on my person.

    Even that Leatherman or SAK will be buried in clothes. If they want it that bad I'll make 'em work for it.
     
  2. Stutoffee

    Stutoffee Loaded Pockets

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    Would you be permitted to lock your LM or similar Multi-tool to the internal frame of a suitcase with a chain or steel cable?
    Perhaps the item could even be secured in a small steel mesh pouch rather like the large pac-safe items made to go over rucksacks.
    This would enable TSA "Agents" (Still cant call them Agents without s:censored:ing!) to examine the contents but would (hopefully?) make it abit harder to steal.
     
  3. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    WARNING: NOT for the easily offended!! Preventing Luggage pilfering and damage?

    A good friend of mine is visiting my home as I type this. He travels frequently and has had to get creative with protecting his valuables.

    We joked about a few methods and he offered one that almost turned my stomach.

    His method to keep the TSA's finest from liberating his Charge and SAK is to use an old but clean underpants, gun oil, and some common condiments. He soils the side of the underpants that contacts the Leatherman and SAK with gun oil. On the opposite side of the undergarment, he lightly soils it with ketchup, pickle juice, and soy sauce to give it what he states "a well-used aroma." He then dries the garment by allowing it to sit in the sun for a few days to achieve a "weathered, having sat in the laundry pile for a few weeks look." He then soils some condoms with the soy sauce and allows it to stick to the garment. He then wraps the Charge and SAK with the garment and places the setup in a sealed, heavyweight plastic bag with the tools partially exposed so TSA Inspectors know what they are and places it at the very bottom of his suitcase. I suspect that sealing the plastic bag keeps the odor contained. :yikes:

    He just stated that in over 100 flights, this setup has never been disturbed.

    My friend is a bit eccentric. :green:
     
  4. DB

    DB Kilted Moderator

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    Re: WARNING: NOT for the easily offended!! Preventing Luggage pilfering and dama

    ROFL....I'd like to see the reaction of the TSA agents when they come across this. :laugh:
     
  5. vadsoom

    vadsoom Loaded Pockets

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    I replaced my pilfered Charge TTI and will never carry it on a flight again. Instead, I'll get to my destination, find a Wal-mart and buy a $10 "disposable" tool. If it gets pilfered, I don't care. I'll just replace it again.
     
  6. Codeman

    Codeman Loaded Pockets

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    Re: WARNING: NOT for the easily offended!! Preventing Luggage pilfering and damage?

    I believe I'd rather lose something rather than go through that!
     
  7. vadsoom

    vadsoom Loaded Pockets

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    There's a professionally made version of these. You can see them here: Skid Mark Security
     
  8. RacerX

    RacerX Loaded Pockets

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    Blanket statements suck. Why? Because you guys are all bashing on TSA agents like they are *all* the Devil incarnate.

    My sister-in-law works for the TSA. She is one of the most honest and law-abiding persons I have ever met. The very idea of this woman rifling thru someone's luggage for some crappy multitool is absolutely absurd.

    Tone it down, willya folks? The TSA bashing going on in this thread (and others) doesn't exactly offer anything to the "family feel" of this place, and it's actually making me a bit sick.
     
  9. Lugsalot

    Lugsalot EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    For the record, I'd like to say that I've got nothing against honest people who are just doing their job. As a security guard I understand quite well what it's like to be vilified simply because of my job, and I'm not about to indulge in the same kind of prejudice.

    But we aren't talking about honest people like your sister-in-law here; we're talking about thievery under the auspices of safety and security. TSA workers like your sister-in-law may outnumber the thieves 100 to 1, but the actions of the latter and the unwillingness of their superiors do anything about it make everyone look bad, and are going to get the most attention.

    Perhaps the energy we put into ranting would be better spent writing a letter to the head of the TSA or someone with influence in that arena, but surely you can understand our frustration, especially those of us whose careers require frequent air-travel.

    You got me here, though. I did make a couple of blanket statements about all members of the TSA, which were really meant for the crooked ones only. I've done the same thing with the DMV and other bureaucratic organizations. I chalk it up to fits of righteous indignation, and offer my apology for including your sister-in-law (and all other honest TSA employees) in my sweeping generalizations.
     
  10. RacerX

    RacerX Loaded Pockets

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    Meh, I just had a crap day at work, I suppose. Came home, read that, and thought "They're talking about Emily! Those bastards!"

    I'll get over it :)
     
  11. Lugsalot

    Lugsalot EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    At least we didn't kill Kenny, right? :p
     
  12. mongo

    mongo Empty Pockets

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    I travel by plane about once a year. I have a few select EDC items that I secure with a cable gun lock to the frame of my suitcase. I bring a spyderco knife and a SAK and thread the cable through the spyder hole and keychain hole respectively. Sometimes I also bring my BK&T BK-11 (i.e. the "Becker necker") and thread the cable through the holes in the skeletonized handle. One thing I will look into is some kind of small Otter box or similar that can hold stuff and have a lock hole to thread the cable through. I had my bags officially inspected once, who knows how many unofficial inspections there were. Nothing stolen that I can recall.
     
  13. NeonLights

    NeonLights Loaded Pockets

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    You can get a Leatherman Kick at most Walmarts for $21.xx. It has got to be the best full-sized multi-tool for the price, and it won't be too upsetting if it gets stolen along the way.
     
  14. inthedark

    inthedark Empty Pockets

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    One of the first rules of traveling is don't take anything you aren't willing to lose. You can go through all the trouble of tying all your stuff to your suitcase with high strength steel cables with unbreakable locks, you have to remember, luggage is portable. No amount of security is going to prevent your luggage from just disappearing. And with most luggage, it's not much harder to just cut the fabric that you're attaching it to. Yeah, it would be more obvious that someone took it, but either way your stuff is going to be gone.

    I know it's hard to do, we spend so much time analyzing every multitool or knife on the market, comparing features, making sure each one is perfect for our needs, that we want to carry it with us everywhere. But traveling is a whole different set of rules, things have a much higer chance of getting lost, stolen, or confiscated for no good reason. I picked up a bunch of those leatherman kicks when they were on sale for $9 for this very reason, and carry a $12 CRKT knife. Of course I'd prefer to have my usual EDC, but they work just as well for the short term, and if there is a problem, I have no issues just throwing them away if needed.

    This is especially important if you are going to new places where you aren't sure what type of security you'll have to pass. I had that happen to me once in Canada. I had unknowingly carried a small Cold Steel knife through all the airports (pre 9/11), it was forgotten in a side pocket of my backpack. It wasn't noticed until I was taking a tour of one of the government buildings when I had to pass through a security screening. They saw the knife in the X-ray, pulled me aside in to a separate room where i had to wait for the Canadian Police to arrive. After about 45 minutes and some explaining, I just told them to just keep the knife and they let me on my way. I believe I had the option to get it back, but it would have required a lot more hassle and that I just didn't want to deal with.
     
  15. 58sniper

    58sniper Loaded Pockets

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    A former student of mine is now a profiler for the TSA. He has always told me that those keys for the TSA locks are kept secured. Baggage handlers (the ones who actually load your bags onto and off of the plane) don't have those keys. Only the inspectors have access to them.

    I travel with a gun (or several), as does my wife. When we declare the firearms, we always open the TSA locks on the luggage, and the TSA inspector opens the ones on the guns. They always a common set of keys that the TSA screeners use. They don't each have a key (in my experience. YMMV). I put TSA locks on everything, including the backpack I board with. My backpack contains all things of value that can be carried, including two laptops, a camera, my GPS, two ipods, etc. Every zipper that supports locks has a TSA lock on them. And they all alert if they've been opened. It's worth the $7 investment (each).

    So - recap. All weapon related EDC stuff in a TSA locked case, in a TSA locked suitcase. Never a problem. I expected a problem once when the guy saw the 1/2 dozen knives, and the multitools, and nearly 100 rounds of ammo in one suitcase. Nope. He checked the three Glocks to verify they met requirements, locked it back up, and put it on the conveyor.
     
  16. snidera

    snidera Loaded Pockets

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    My home airport is small, I'm on a first name basis with most of the TSA screeners and AA counter people. No problems there. Big airports are a :censored: though. For the annoyance and time required, USA airport security is useless. Mexico and Australia are much more sensible about what hoops you have to jump through, and are about as effective. Bags only get opened in front of you, you dont have to get 90% naked to go through a metal detector, etc. That said, 250K miles over the last 3 years and the only lost items are from Delta sending my bags on multiple cross-country journeys for no good reason. Knock on wood.