Whats the advice these days? lock the cases and accept that they may be torn open or leave them unlocked and perhaps not be insured?
Perhaps not a "technical" answer to your question...but here's a little something to mull over...
On our last trip, we went to the front desk to meet kazzaqld who had just arrived from her Tour de Tokyo (by way of Australia) and what would be one of the first "challenges" of our trip?
Apparently TSA had been doing multiple suitcase checks side by side and had inadvertently relocked Karen's case with the WRONG lock!!! It was similar in style, but a different color, and of course a different combination...which she, of course, didn't have! So our first order of business was to take the case down to luggage service at Pop Century and explain our plight (wonder of wonders, he'd never heard of such a thing!). I'm not sure what surprised me more...the fact that TSA put the wrong lock on, or the fact that the Disney CM (though this was "a new one on him") never even blinked as he cut the lock off. No ID. No claim number. Nothing.
Just some bolt cutters and a smile.
Gotta love Disney.
It was definitely my funniest story of the trip!! I kept looking at the baggage claim to reassure myself it was my bag! One of the CMs did say "oh did you forget your combination" - a not unreasonable thing to think but no, that wasn't what happened! I actually had the combinations stored in my PDA - because I did forget them once!
Someone in Orlando has my lock! (well they probably got it cut off too!)
But I still reckon TSA locks are the way to go - that way your bags can be inspected and you are still covered by insurance in case of problems.
Next trip - Bali! (March 2015)
I did use the TSA locks but one time when we arrived at MCO it was broken (obviously taken a hammering at some point) and so had to buy a tin of biscuits from DTD just to get a tiny padlock. We now have hard cases and I use the combination locks on the case, so far there have been no problems as I don't know what we would do if they broke them trying to open them. On the other hand if I don't lock them and stuff goes missing I am not sure my insurance would pay.
Oh, my goodness, Karen!
At least they didn't mix the items between passengers cases! That was my first thought!
I use the TSA locks when in transit, then switch to regular combinatin locks at the resort. Why? Primarily because I have the old ones and keep them in the cases. But there's always something in the back of my mind that says passkeys can be lost or stollen. So I feel more comfortable with the regular combination locks in the resort.
I used TSA locks once and that happened to be the year we had a load of stuff stolen from our cases !!!!!!
so now we cable tie them, if TSA want to get into them, no probs they can cut the cable tie and there are spares in a seethrough pouch for them to put new ones on when they are done, but I don't trust TSA locks at all now.