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How can you protect expensive items in your checked baggage?

Several readers have written to us asking about the new baggage restrictions in effect as part of the orange and red security levels on domestic and international flights. In particular, I’ve seen some concern from travelers who want to help by packing electronic devices (like laptops and iPods) in their checked baggage, but are nervous about leaving those expensive items unguarded from potential thieves.

Many readers may not be aware that while the TSA does prohibit most locks on checked baggage, it also allows certain TSA-approved locks. TSA employees have a “master key” that opens any of these locks should your bag be targeted for closer inspection, but casual thieves are likely to be deterred and look for an easier target.

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