Transportation Security Administration or TSA approved luggage locks are locks you put on your suitcase that have a master key available to the TSA. If at an airport, and a security person needs to inspect your suitcases, they need merely use the master key to open the lock.
When the the luggage locks are opened with a master key, it triggers a small red dot, which shows the lock has been opened. This way, you know that your suitcases have been inspected. Usually, those inspecting luggage also put a note into your luggage notifying you of the inspection and the reasons for it.
TSA approved luggage locks can provide great convenience to those who want to keep the contents of their luggage secure. While you can use a normal lock to lock your suitcase, the TSA has the right to cut it off. If your luggage is inspected and you have TSA locks, you still have a lock after the inspection. Also, if anything is missing from your suitcase after an inspection, you can file a claim for it with greater ease. Lastly, if these locks are cut off, most companies that sell them offer a lifetime replacement.
Most TSA approved luggage locks have a combination, which you can change once you get the lock. A person opening the locks with a master key cannot change the status of a lock that has been opened unless they know your combination. So if anything in your luggage has been taken or lost, you can attribute it to the person inspecting your luggage.
Because of this safety feature, it is unlikely that an unscrupulous person who was inspecting luggage would take anything from suitcases featuring these special locks. The tamper feature would automatically be triggered, rendering the actions of a person quite traceable. This often gives people, in this age of heightened security at airports and greater license of inspection of luggage, greater feelings of ease when traveling.
TSA approved luggage locks are fairly inexpensive. They are sold at travel stores, luggage stores and widely on the Internet. If they carry the label TSA approved, especially when bought from a reputable source, they should be able to be opened by airport security if needed.