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  1. #1
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    Travelling with locked luggage from USA

    A friend and his wife who go back and forth from the USA to Thailand told me that when he leaves the US, he locks their luggage (backpacks) using the pacsafe bag protector. When he checks their luggage in, he tells the airline agent that if TSA requires the luggage to be opened for further inspection, to contact him so that he can unlock them.
    Is what he says correct or has he been lucky enough not to have TSA people clip his pacsafe lock.
    Unlike him, I take my Swift folding bike that is packed in a samsonite suitcase as well as another large suitcase for all my other stuff. The last trip (my 1st time taking my bike) I left both suitcases unlocked which made me rather uncomfortable.

    Because I am going from AZ to NY 1st, before I head to Thailand from NY, I need to keep each of my checked in luggage down to 50lbs each. In order to keep the weigh down for my checked in luggage I would like to take my weighty tools which are all under 6 inches as well as my kryptonite Ulock and 7 ft. 10mm cable with master lock in my carry-on.
    Except for the short tools, the locks I mentioned aren't listed on the TSA website so I don't know if they are permitted in my carry-on?

    Anyone traveling with bikes have similar experiences?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    1) I leave my bags unlocked ... after all, I'm not carrying anything of real value in them. It's all easily replaceable ... sleeping bags, matress pad, some clothing, a few toiletries, and some tools. I carry anything of value (i.e. my paperwork) in my carry on.

    2) Personally, I wouldn't even try to bring tools of any sort in my carry on. No locks, no tools, no pedals ... nothing that could even remotely be considered dangerous. Oh, you know about the ziplock baggie full of your liquid stuff, right?

    The reason I give the warning about tools is this ... I have been "caught" twice with things I forgot I had left in my carry on. The first time, I had a miniature eyeglass screwdriver. It was about 2" long, and about 2/3 plastic, with a tiny metal tip that was the screwdriver part. They spotted it! They gave me the option of either throwing it out or mailing it home to myself. I told them to just toss it ... it was something I'd picked up at a $$ store for about 0.50. But they made a big fuss about it. The second time it was a pair of those little folding scissors you can get for a couple dollars. They fold into themselves and are very handy on a tour. When they are expanded out into useable form, they are about 2.5" long. Again, huge fuss and they confiscated them.

    Now I don't bring anything metal with me on the plane, except my camera, loose change, and the zippers on my bags. I don't even wear jewelry.

    Also, I was going to bring a cinch strap with me on my trip to Europe. I had meant to put it around my pannier bag, but forgot. Then I thought I'd bring it with me in my carry on. At the very last minute, I changed my mind. They could look at it and see it as a weapon. I didn't even bother to temp fate.

    Air Canada has a 50 lb per bag limit too ... and my luggage, including my bicycle, was well under that. If you're just touring ... go light. It's so much easier on so many levels.


    Oh, are you going Air Thai at any point? If so, have a good look at their luggage limits. I believe the limit for all your baggage, including carry on, comes to about 30 kg (~66 lbs).

    And, are you travelling through Heathrow at any point? If so, you know about the "One and only one piece of carry on" luggage limit, right? A lot of people were caught on that when I went through a few weeks ago.

    Be sure to check the rules of the airports as well as the airline rules, sometimes they are different, and the airport rules overrule the airline rules.

  3. #3
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    PacSafe makes a TSA approved lock (meaning the TSA officials have keys to open it). Perhaps that is what he was talking about.

    I do not believe they will permit tools to fly in carry-on luggage.

    You might try to arrive early at the airport and use one of the empty check-in scales to weigh your bags. Shuffle around your gear so that your check-in bags are right at the limit. Often they overlook being a few kilos over. Leave something on top that can easily be removed to bring you just under the limit in case they give you a hard time.

    If you believe you will be overweight there are a few techniques for getting extra baggage (weight) onto a plane.... be creative.

    Make sure you bring along a printed version of their bike (folding bike) policy.
    www.VWVagabonds.com
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  4. #4
    Slowpoach
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    Check your luggage limits if you are going to Thailand - throughout most of the world the limit is 20kg, one carryon max. 7kg. Some airlines count bikes as sporting equipment with a nominal weight of 5kg, but I'm not sure if this is done for international flights.

  5. #5
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    TSA is not going to contact you if they want to go into your luggage. They will do whatever they feel they have to do to look at the contents. While it's true that there is a TSA-approved lock which they supposedly have keys for, I have heard that the system doesn't always work. And if it's not a TSA-approved lock, there is a strong likelihood that TSA will break it.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cave View Post
    Check your luggage limits if you are going to Thailand - throughout most of the world the limit is 20kg, one carryon max. 7kg. Some airlines count bikes as sporting equipment with a nominal weight of 5kg, but I'm not sure if this is done for international flights.
    Not usually ... I was quite pleasantly surprised when Virgin Blue did that!

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