The idea of someone tossing through your personal belongings, inspecting them and treating them without care is disconcerting. Handing over your luggage to airline personnel or security can put a pit in your stomach. Fortunately, Master Lock created TSA-approved luggage locks that keep strangers out of your bags while allowing security to open them for inspection using special tools. Previously, the Transportation Security Administration simply cut the locks off. These three-digit combo locks are meant to be personalized, so you choose the combo. But don't worry. There is a way to open the lock even if you've forgotten the combo.
Unlock it With the Combination
The simplest way to unlock a three-digit lock is the way it was intended – using the combination, and following the Master Lock's instructions. To do so:
- Turn the lock until the numbers read right-side-up. Roll the left-most dial until the first number of your combination lines up with the scored hash mark just to the left of the dial.
- Roll the middle dial until the appropriate number lines up with the number to its left. Do the same for the right-most number. Your three-digit combination should now show, left to right, lined up with the scored hash marks.
- Pull the body of the lock away from the U-shaped metal ring without turning any of the dials. The lock will click open to expose a hook. The hook spins 360 degrees so that it can be placed onto, and taken off, luggage.
How to Handle a Forgotten Combination
If you've forgotten the combination for your lock, try this alternative method for unlocking it:
- Pull the body of the lock and the U-shaped ring away from each other to put pressure on the mechanism inside the lock.
- Pull the body of the lock away from its attachment, or, if the lock is not attached, apply pressure on the U-shaped ring away from the body of the lock with your fingers. Keep holding a firm, steady pressure.
- Roll the dial closest to the U-shaped ring slowly, while keeping steady pressure on the mechanism. The dial will get difficult to roll over three consecutive numbers, and one of those numbers will click. You should feel and hear this small click, and that is the first number to your combination.
- Repeat the previous step with the middle dial, and then the farthest dial. Leave the dial set when you find the click, moving onto the next dial. The combination will reveal itself, letting you pull the U-ring away from the body of the lock.
How to do a Master Lock Reset
Resetting your Master Lock, set your own combination and you can use it properly in the future according to the original instructions. Here's how:
- Hold the body of the lock so that the numbers face away from you. Set the combination and release the U-shaped ring.
- Turn the hook of the U-shaped ring counterclockwise 90 degrees until the notch on the stem of the hook and the hole on the body of the lock line up. Push the stem of the hook down into the body of the lock as far as it will go.
- Turn the hook another 90 degrees counterclockwise while it is depressed into the body of the lock.
- Roll the dials until you have your new combination.
- Turn the hook 90 degrees clockwise and raise the stem out of the body of the lock. Turn it another 90 degrees clockwise and push it back into the locked position. The lock now uses your new combination.
Email yourself the password to your lock, and title the email "Luggage Lock." If you forget the password in the future, simply search your email for the term "Luggage Lock."
Do not open a lock that does not belong to you. It is against the law.