How-To Geek

Break Into a Locked Suitcase Without a Trace [Geek Tricks]

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Impress your friends (or set them up for a TSA-sponsored beat down) with this impressive suitcase hacking trick. You’ll need a Bic pen and a few moments to watch this instructional video.

For those of you behind a YouTube unfriendly firewall, the basis of the trick is this: you use a pen or other pointed object to press inwards on the zipper of a suitcase. The pressure causes the teeth of the zipper to separate. Because zippers are essentially self healing, you can then reseal the bag by simply pulling the pull tab and closing the zipper back up.

Have an equally clever trick to share? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

Break Into and Reseal a Locked Suitcase [YouTube]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/10/11

Comments (12)

  1. Pat OBrien

    This just blew my mind, and not necessarily in a good way. I travel quite a bit, and now am rethinking certain items I pack…

  2. Hatryst

    TSA has been using it for a while now…

  3. Марфа

    I’m scared…

  4. ConcerenedPerson

    So what types of bags will this trick not work on? Looks like I need to get a better bag…

  5. Cornflower

    Thank you SO much for including a description with the video. While I had seen this particular vid previously, so often I open a posting and it means nothing to me because I cannot watch it due to blocking.

    Keep it up!

  6. Multi Media

    Kipkay has had this up for a while.
    Too bad there isn’t any zipperless suitcases.

  7. Hurricane John

    this has been done for years by airlines because if the x-ray of your bag looks suspicious then TSA (CATSA in Canada) wants to look inside and if your bag is locked this is what is done. by the way those TSA locks are only able to be opened in the USA anywhere else they either bic pen your bag or snap off the lock so don’t whine when you fly outside the USA and your lovely expensive TSA lock turns up missing

  8. Flight Crew

    I question how many people here, who say that this is standard practice comes by this knowledge or is it just the old “conspiracy theory” in action? All security agencies around the world have skeleton keys to open locks and the need for a ball-point pen is rather mute and amateurish. I also question the responsibility of those who posted this on YouTube, as it seems to provide a way to break the law and tells you all the steps to accomplish this.

    As a flight crew member, please remember to keep your bags in eye-sight at all times (this being impossible after it’s been checked). Know the areas where this sort of activity is likely to happen, Miami and Mexico being key problem sources. Also, if you’re flying into LHR from AMS on the weekend, you should be especially vigilant, Her Royal Highness’s security is very effective. If you have a moment, check on the contents of your bag BEFORE proceeding through customs and let an official know if anything untoward has happened to your bag. It will save you embarrassment and possibly a large fine and jail time.

    One last item, please keep your medication in your carry-on luggage, how many times have we come across a person who desperately needs their medication in their checked luggage? We can’t get it, so it makes for large drama and potential illness.

  9. Srishyla D Vedantha

    I would never again by a soft luggage !

  10. zarnaik

    @Multi Media & Hatryst

    Look at the date of the video.. This one has been up for two years longer.

  11. DavidsRose

    Everyone here seems to be lingering on the fact that the video is “old,” that this is old news. One thing to remember is that we need to stay on our toes for whatever reasons. Being a bomb slipped in our luggage or someone slipping out our valuables. Once people stop worrying, there is a problem.

  12. linuxfanatik

    Now I know why baggage handlers look worried when a new bunch of tourists come along with all their new zipper bags. I guess the best bag is a professionally key-locked Antler Case or hard-cased suitcase with good professional key-locking security. It wouldnt do in places where drugs are smuggled regularly (like China) since using a Bic pen is all you need to slip in some drugs in the bag as a ‘dupe’ so whilst the customs are looking at this seemingly locked bag with curious substances within, the real merchandise gets free elsewhere in the Airport Terminal. I will watch my luggage like a hawk from now on! I don’t trust the security or the thieves or drug cartel that ‘pose’ as Airport Security!

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