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Even if you did lock it, the most likely people to steal something out of it are TSA employees.

Don't forget the baggage handlers who have it before/after the TSA screeners:


(SFO is notorious and most of the airlines keep lax enough records that they'll even deny that you checked a bag in the first place, much less that the contents were anything more valuable than old t-shirts)

How can airlines get away with that? Is it a US thing?

In Europe you get the tracker code of any luggage that you have checked in.

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