How to open a padlocked suitcase: A lesson in travel safety for us all

25 11 2011

photo credit: Kthread

I have always felt that the suitcase padlock was slightly over-rated since flying back to Australia from Heathrow in the mid-1980s. The baggage handlers yanked the handle right off the suitcase complete with baggage tags and flight identification tags, and hence while I happily flew on to Perth, my suitcase remained as unclaimed unidentified luggage in Heathrow Airport. I suppose I am lucky that it wasn’t post-2001 or my suitcase might have been blown up.

As it was, my only inconvenience was arriving in Perth with no change of clothes, and having to go clothes shopping on my travel insurance money (Damn!). The suitcase was eventually reunited with me a week or so later, its locks broken, the inner lining cut out and clearly every item within the suitcase had had a thorough going-over. (It was a spring-lock suitcase similar to those in the picture above.)

On our recent overseas trip I was interested to see that some people are still shrink-wrapping their suitcases before they board a plane. Slight over-kill, I thought, even though as an Australian, I am aware of the Schapelle Corby case. (For those not aware, Schapelle Corby was an Australian twenty-something who flew to Bali and was found to have about 4kg of marijuana in her boogie-board bag. She has been sentenced to 20 years in Kerobokan Prison in Bali, but claims that the marijuana was put in her bag by a baggage handler and she had no knowledge of the drugs.

So without in any way commenting on the veracity or otherwise of Ms Corby’s claims, the below video was sent to me. The ease with which this man gets into the locked suitcase, and then reseals the zip so it looks untampered, is somewhat alarming.

The shrink-wrap is looking better and better. Either that, or we need to go back to the old spring-lock bags. At least you can tell when they have been tampered with. Feel free to share this around – the more people know about it, the more of us travel safely.

If you liked this post you might also like Tom Tom Abroad

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7 07 2012
A year in blog-land « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] in large part to StumbleUpon. The general page comes second with 7,958, followed distantly by to Open a Padlocked Suitcase: A lesson in travel safety for us all How with 804, and Imagine what you could do if you thought you couldn’t fail at 597 (this […]

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