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Many suitcases now have a built-in lock (often TSA-compliant) that attaches to the far end of the zipper pulls as shown in the image below. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of locking system?

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This strikes me are unreliable because in my experience, zipper pulls very often break off. Most suitcases I own have a thick loop at the base of the zipper which is used to pass through a lock and is quite sturdy. Also, since the lock is a separate item, it can easy be replaced when it does break in any luggage store. If one of those built-in one breaks, the suitcase would probably have to sent in for repair.

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    Like cheap suitcase locks, one benefit is it stops the zip/lid opening by accident, spilling the contents (just as you are boarding a train). And given that a thief can pick up a bag and walk off with it, the deterrent against hotel or airport staff opening the bag is probably more important than absolute security. – Weather Vane Oct 9 at 8:53
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Luggage handling staff have very limited time with each piece of luggage, this lock will surely make it harder for them to steal during this time, and since they are located in sterile locations, they will not be able to bring tools and break locks.

In addition to that, and most importantly, it's a selling point, makes people feel that the product will save their stuff.

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    Given it's a TSA lock, they have the key already but zipper pulls tend to break off by themselves, without anyone even trying to break them. – Itai Oct 9 at 3:16
  • Who has the key? Luggage handling staff? – Nean Der Thal Oct 9 at 23:45
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    Usually, for TSA locks, users select a combination and luggage handling has keys that matches the number written below the keyhole. They normally do not come with keys, otherwise, every passenger would have the key too, although those are not very secure keys anyways. It's just meant to slow down people. – Itai Oct 10 at 1:08

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