Common Questions About TSA Approved Luggage Locks

6 min readSep 27, 2017


What Is A TSA Approved Luggage Lock?

We get a lot of questions from travelers and readers asking us “What Is A TSA Lock?” or “Do I Need A TSA Lock?”.

So in our new weekly series, we are going to try and answer some questions and confusions about TSA Luggage Locks.

A TSA Approved Lock is simply any lock that has the Travel Sentry logo on it.

Travel Sentry was created in 2003 and is the group in charge of overseeing the creation and approval of luggage locks that can be opened by aviation security agencies like the TSA.

Travel Sentry Logo

A lock with the Travel Sentry Logo means the TSA has a universal key to open your lock.

What Does A TSA Locks Look Like?

TSA Accepted Locks come in a variety of different styles and types including TSA cable locks, TSA 4 dial locks, TSA lock with key, etc.

You can always tell if a lock is TSA certified or TSA approved if it has the special Travel Sentry Logo on it which is the red diamond below.

Travel Sentry Logo

Below are a couple examples of common TSA Certified Luggage Locks.

TSA Accepted 3 DIal Cable Lock
TSA Lock With Key
TSA Approved 4 Dial Lock

Do I Need A TSA Approved Lock To Fly?

No, you are not required to have a TSA approved luggage lock on your bag to fly.

You can use any luggage lock you want but if your lock is not TSA approved, then if the TSA does search your luggage, they have the right to cut off your non-approved TSA lock because they do not have a key to open it.

By using a TSA luggage lock, you can avoid having your baggage lock cut off because the TSA has a key to open your suitcase.

What Is The Benefit Of Using A TSA Accepted Lock?

The number 1 benefit of using a TSA Lock is that the TSA has a special key to open your lock if they need to search your luggage. This way they do not need to cut off your lock to open your bag.

Photo From TSA Showing Non-TSA Locks They Cut Off

So for example if you check your luggage and have a TSA lock on your suitcase, if the TSA searches your bag, they can use their special key to open your suitcase and perform their search. After they complete the search, they can re-lock your luggage.

If you don’t use a TSA accepted lock, then if the TSA searches your checked baggage, they will probably use bolt cutters to cut off your lock. The downside of course is that you will lose your lock then.

How Does The TSA Open A TSA Lock?

Every single TSA Accepted Lock that has the Travel Sentry logo on it, has a keyhole at the bottom that allows the TSA to use their special TSA key to unlock your lock.

Key To Open TSA Lock
TSA Lock Keyhole
TSA Lock 3 Digit Lock With Keyhole

With a TSA Travel Lock, the TSA can easily open and inspect your luggage without having to cut off your suitcase lock.

Do TSA Locks Come With A Key?

Some TSA Approved Luggage Locks do come with a key but not all of them do, so it is important to check if your lock comes with a key.

One of the TRVLMORE TSA Locks we sell comes with a key but most of them do NOT come with a key.

What Does TSA Mean?

TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration.

The TSA is the United States government agency that is in charge of doing airport security at all US airports.

What Is The Best TSA Lock?

Unfortunately there is no “best” TSA Luggage Lock because in the end, it really depends on what features you are looking for in your lock.

Some things to consider when buying a TSA Lock are the lock type, color, how many dials it has, and if it comes with keys.

For example if you want a combination lock with numbers that are easy to remember, then a TSA Combination Lock would be the best TSA Lock for you.

TSA Certified Cable Lock

If you don’t want to remember a combination, then you should buy a TSA Lock that comes with a key.

TSA Lock With Key

Additionally some TSA Accepted Travel Locks come with a built-in Search Alert Indicator that will tell you if your bags have been searched by the TSA.

TSA Lock With Search Alert Indicator

Since all TSA Accepted Locks are certified by Travel Sentry Organization, you can rest assure that they are all up to a certain standard and will work on your trip.

All TRVLMORE TSA luggage locks we sell have been tested extensively and have been used by hundreds of thousands of happy travelers around the world.

How To Reset TSA Lock If You Forgot Combination?

Unfortunately if you forgot the combo to your TSA Lock, for security reasons there is no way to reset a TSA Lock to factory default settings.

While the TSA does have a key to unlock your lock, you cannot use that key to reset the combination on your lock if you forgot the combo.

For security reasons, the only option if you forgot your TSA Lock password, unfortunately you will have to purchase a new lock.

To avoid forgetting your TSA Lock combination, we always suggest writing down your password on the instructions paper that come with your lock.

Where Can I Buy A TSA Lock?

TSA Locks are available for purchase online and in-stores.

The best place and cheapest place to buy TSA Locks is on or you can search for TSA Luggage Locks on

All TRVLMORE TSA Luggage Locks come with FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING and an unconditional lifetime warranty.

You can also find TSA locks at retail stores like CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reade, Target, Walmart, Costco, or at the airport but if you want to save money, TSA Luggage Locks are significantly cheaper to buy online.


If you have any additional questions about TSA Locks, feel free to leave them below in the comments and we are happy to answer them.