Main Content

Baggage security screening in the US

What happens if your check in baggage gets searched in the US?

The US Transport Security Administration (TSA) screens all baggage going through commercial US airports, for security reasons.

When flying to or from the US you may notice your baggage has been opened after it was checked in.

When this happens, a notice will be placed inside your bag telling you that it was opened for inspection by a TSA official, and your bag will be resealed with a tamper evident label.

Locking your check in bags

You should always make sure your bags are securely locked before checking them in. The TSA recommends you leave your bags unlocked to make them easier to search, but we disagree with this policy.

You can buy special TSA-approved locks, which can be opened by security officials with a master key. The locks can be bought from luggage shops at most airports.

Please be aware that the TSA has the right to break into your locked baggage, which can cause damage if you're not using the TSA-approved locks.

Loss or damage of items during TSA screening

If there is any damage or loss of items incurred during the TSA’s screening process you should make a claim on your insurance.

You can also contact the TSA Consumer Response Centre on 1-866-289-9673, where your case will be assessed on an individual basis. Further information is available on the TSA website at www.tsa.gov.