New TSA Experience

New TSA Experience 946 2048 Greg Ellifritz

This was a new TSA experience for me…


On Friday I flew from Austin to Atlanta to teach classes at The Complete Combatant. I had to check two bags because of all the training aids I need for my classes. I checked in, dropped off the bags, and went to wait in the security line.


Preparing to go through security, I put my phone in my carry-on bag. When I cleared security, I pulled out my phone and found I had three missed calls from “US Government.” I called them back. It was the Austin airport TSA.


The officer told me that they had been trying to get into my bag to inspect it and were calling to get the combination to my luggage lock. He continued by saying “We got in. There’s no problem. Your bags are on the way and you are good to go.”


As a side note for you medical instructors Phokus wound cube wound packing simulators will ALWAYS get your bag inspected.


I arrived in Atlanta. Both bags arrived as well. Everything was great. Until I tried to get my medical gear out for class on Saturday morning. I tried my combination and the lock wouldn’t open.


I studied the lock and realized that it wasn’t my lock on the bag!


The TSA had broken my lock, checked my bag, and then put a new lock on my bag without telling me the combination. I tried all zeros. I tried 1-2-3-4. None of the common combinations worked. I had to break the lock with a pair of channel lock pliers to get in.


I’ve traveled a lot of places. That was the first time my stuff has been locked up with a different lock. I always carry a spare luggage lock, so I’m going to be fine when I fly home.


I often fly Delta, so I carry trauma shears in my carry-on to snip the zip ties Delta uses to close all bags with guns. Now I suppose I’ll have to start carrying lock breaking/picking tools as well.