Revolar is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

What Are TSA Approved Locks? Here’s What You Should Know!

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

what are tsa approved locks

What are TSA approved locks? TSA approved luggage locks have a universal design, unlike regular locks. They can be accessed by TSA officers for physical inspection since they have their own master keys.

In case your luggage has been picked for physical inspection, the TSA officers don’t have to break your luggage lock if it is TSA approved. However, if it is just a regular lock, they have to cut it. Learn more about the features of TSA luggage locks.

What Are the features of TSA-Approved Locks

If you are about to purchase a TSA compliant lock, it is important to know its features. This will help you differentiate it from regular locks. Aside from that, you will also find out why it is better to have a TSA-approved lock when you are planning to travel.

Accessible through a universal key

A TSA-approved lock has a universal locking mechanism. The design of the lock is under the standard of the Transportation Security Administration Agency, a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

To determine if a lock is TSA-approved, you must check if it has a red torch or a red diamond symbol. A red torch symbol means the device is from Safe Skies. It is the manufacturer of TSA-approved strap locks, key locks, and cable locks.

The red diamond symbol, on the other hand, indicates that it is a TSA-approved lock manufactured by Travel Sentry. This symbol is typically seen on luggage sold in malls and stores under different brand names.

Includes advanced security features

Aside from having universal master keys, TSA-approved luggage locks include advanced security features. Usually, they come with 3 dials and 999 possible combinations. This is enough to keep our belongings secure.

Furthermore, some TSA-approved locks have built-in Search Alert Indicators. A red dot can pop up once you retrieve your luggage, indicating that a TSA officer opened and inspected your luggage.

Also, most of the locks have relock technology. Once a TSA officer searches your luggage, he must first relock your luggage before he can pull out the key. This prevents thieves from opening your luggage because an officer forgets to lock it.

Why Do We Need a TSA Approved Lock?


Using a TSA-approved lock is not required. However, it is beneficial if you love to travel. One of the reasons why we need a TSA-approved lock is that it keeps our luggage secure throughout the trip. It prevents the TSA officers from cutting locks for inspection.

Aside from saving our locks, it will also save our time. We don’t have to bother ourselves with finding and purchasing a new lock as an alternative to our broken lock. We can expect a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Lastly, we will have peace of mind. If our TSA-approved lock has advanced security, we will know if the TSA has searched our luggage. We will also be assured that they have been locked again after the inspection.

If you are wondering how TSA-approved locks work, you can check out this short video on “How Travel Sentry TSA Accepted Locks Work.” It would give you more reasons why using TSA-approved locks is beneficial.

FAQs About TSA Approved Locks

Am I required to use a TSA-approved lock?

No, you are not required to use a TSA-approved lock. You can also use regular locks. However, it is advisable to use a TSA-approved lock since it offers more convenience and security when you are travelling.

Can I reset the combination of my TSA-approved lock if I forgot it?

Yes, but you’d have to try every possible combination until you find the correct one. This method is tedious, which is why you should write down your combination when you still remember it. Alternatively, you may contact the maker of your lock for help. In case of you forgot the combination, refer to this tutorial for how to reset it.


Hopefully, you now know ‘what are TSA approved locks?’. This article should’ve given you a clear idea of what TSA approved lock mean. Such a lock has a universal master key and advanced security features.

It is also beneficial to have a TSA-approved lock because it keeps our luggage secure while traveling, saves our time, and gives us peace of mind. You can make your trip hassle-free by using this lock.

5/5 - (1 vote)