Type in 'TSA locks for bags' in the key words line of the Find a question box at the top of the answers page and my input of the 27th Dec will come up at the top of the answers. I think you'll find it a comprehensive answer.
Thank you all for your advice. I will order the necessary locks asap.
This sounds to me as though you might be landing in the USA part way home as a fuel stop or to change aircraft. There you must have locks with TSA approved locks or none at all. If you put locks on they can be snapped off and the case is liable to get damaged. These locks can be purchased throughout the UK and are recognised by having the initials TSA and a red and white diamond on them. ..... Neil.
Or just buy a packet of "cable ties" from your neighbourhood DIY store and thread them through your case zip handles. They cost coppers, being made of plastic customs can just cut them if theywish to inspect. If they do, you can just refasten with the spares you've kept in your pocket.
We had this same problem flying back from San Francisco but BA advised to leave the locks on and most did and there was no problem we were aware off, but things change very quickly and we bought as Neil says the special TSA approved locks for the future.
Your question (and answers) have thrown up another issue you should consider. The assumption now is that you will/may transit via a US airport. If this is the case then you will have to complete the new US Govt ESTA form prior to departing the UK. I've just been onto Google and typed in ESTA and had a look at the US Embassy website. In the FAQ section it states that even passengers in transit must complete the form. I would have thought P&O would have warned you of this if it is the case so maybe you should contact them to ascertain the full facts. Hope this hasn't confused matters but it's better to be forewarned.
Thanks for the advice. We have already sorted ESTA.
It is indeed an enigma - we have been on many cruises and now do NOT lock our suitcases - if anyone wants to get into your luggage thay have the keys and equipment to do that. We have had travellers cheques stolen from a locked and tied suitcase and duty free alcohol taken from locked suitcases (plural) this happened without us being aware until we got home. We think it is better to have suitcases opened rather than slashed (which we have seen) as these people Know what they are looking for. They are not looking for your personal belongings but alcohol or money.....How do they know it is there - well who knows!!
How do they know it is there- technology.
When we arrived in Brisbane, our cases were scanned in our presence. We were accused of taking a jar of jam into Australia- where there are very, very strict laws, even with regard to prescription medicines. As it happened, it was my husbands shaving gel, which had been bought on ship, as his 100ml size was long since used up.
I also agree with Leyshon; do not stand up to & argue with US Customs officers.
When we arrived in Galveston October 2005, sniffer dogs were on the ship, looking for drugs ( as the ship had been in Europe & it was our first Port of call in USA)
We were also subjected to a finger print imprint. My finger would not make a print, so the customs officer ( a very butch female) forced my finger down. I thought she was going to break it. Apparently, we should have been asked to moisten our finger on a pad, but none was available. I vowed then that I would not enter the US again, so flew via Singapore when we went on our Australia/ New Zealand cruise last year. Perhaps with our new digital passports, this would not be an issue any longer.
One thing for certain, I am sailing P&O from Southampton this year.
Hi, I can only tell you of my experience, My son didn't leave his case unlocked and when It arrived on the belt at Gatwick his case was smashed open and then taped up - ruined - hope this helps ... regards cathy .