[Yak] TSA and broken case
cycling at axelrod.plus.com
Sun Jul 22 09:06:10 CDT 2007
Here follows a lot of blurb followed by a couple
Well I didn't make it home from Seattle unscathed.
On my trip I bought one of the bigger cases from Green
Gear. Acting on a suggestion someone made on this list
I removed the combination lock from the front/top catch
so as to make it easy for the security services.
In Seattle I asked at check-in if I could be present when/if
its inspected - in the UK sometimes they have allowed
this - but no, she said, there was no way to do that.
So I left the case unlocked as you are supposed to
and flew via Toronto to Manchester, England.
In Manchester it became clear that the front catch
was now missing altogether. When I opened the case
there was a TSA notice inside. So maybe they just
levered it off without trying to open it properly,
maybe they didn't close it properly and it got knocked
off in transit - I will never know.
Without the front catch the case cannot be lifted by
the top handle as when you do it bulges open.
The bike inside - a couple of small things have moved
but I think they didn't take it out. I'm hoping
its all ok and nothing is broken or missing
but am too tired to put it together to
find out at the moment. I guess probably the baggage
handlers did not try to lift it by that handle because
if they had it would have all fallen out.
So the next task is to get the case fixed or replaced.
Its pretty sad isn't it that one cannot travel without
luggage being destroyed and the destroyers have impunity.
At Manchester airport I had much trouble even getting the
baggage people to make a report of the damage. They didn't
want to and pointed out that the TSA leaflet means they TSA did the
damage and they are not liable. Now the TSA leaflet says
that if you leave it lock the lock will be forced and
TSA carries no liability. Now I left it unlocked
but of course have no way to prove that.
One lesson I *have* learned from this. At the airport I
bought a couple of luggage straps to keep the case closed for the
journey home. It seems to me that it would be a good idea
to use these while luggage is in transit in addition to
the usual fasteners anyway.
1. Anyone had one of these cases repaired ? (its only the catch
that needs replacing)
2. Anyone know how TSA react to luggage straps - will they undo
them and put them on again afterwards or do they just cut them ?
3. With a combination lock is it best to get past TSA without
damage to a) remove it or b) write the number of the combination
on the case near the lock - do these guys have enough intelligence
to use the combination ? I kind-of suspect their approach is just
shove a big lever in and pull, then look afterwards to see if it
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