I have a VIP skybag (I believe this does not matter). It has a 3 number TSA lock inbuilt into the suitcase. I know the combination to unlock, let's say it's 345. Recently it was locked and while there was a different number on the combination lock the reset\set lock button was pressed.

Since then the reset\ set lock button is pressed (stuck) and the lock button also does not unlock. Any pointers on how to unlock it. I am thinking of unscrewing the lock from inside of the suitcase but seems quite a hassle as I may have to assemble it back hence let me know if there is any other option to unlock it from the outside.

4 Answers 4


Hope this guide will help you!
It's basically copied from the source at the bottom, and It seems that everything is pretty much relevant, so I didn't see a point to rephrase or omit anything.

Finding or resetting a TSA lock combination

If you've forgotten your TSA lock combination, a maker of TSA-approved locks, Travel Sentry, suggests trying every possible combination, beginning with 000 and ending with 999 (000, 001, 002 through 999). This sounds long and tedious, but Travel Sentry states that only 30 minutes is required, especially if one of the numbers is already known, or the first number is a 0, 1 or 2.

According to Samsonite and Tosca, built-in TSA compliant locks require a call to the company for reset instructions.

Some travelers have had luck with the following process for finding a lost combination:

  • Push the button or pull on the lock, to put pressure on the locking mechanism.
  • Turn the first dial slowly, listening until there is an audible click. That should be the correct number.
  • Leaving the first dial on the number that clicked, repeat the process with the other two dials.
  • When all three numbers have clicked, the lock should open.

If the lock is unlocked at the time the combination is forgotten, it's much simpler. Just reset the combination:

  • Set the dial to 000.
  • Turn the shackle at a 90 degree angle from the lock position.
  • Push the shackle down (outside of the lock).
  • Set the desired code.
  • Pull the shackle up.
  • Turn it back to the lock position.


  • The 000 to 999 is the easiest yet longest way to go about it. Did that a couple of times.
    – fja3omega
    Jul 12, 2018 at 3:35
  • 'Listening to the click' method works like a charm :)
    – CinCout
    Sep 2, 2019 at 7:30

I just had a situation where my lock combination was inadvertently changed by the TSA in transit. I had never changed my preset combo (OOO), but when I got my bag home it no longer worked. This is a Hartmann roller case, which has a button below the locking mechanism - the keyhole doesn't move.

I put all the numbers back to 000, and then selecting the dial closest to the release button, I slowly changed it = all the while putting pressure on the release button. Once it hit the newly reset number (which turned out to be 009 - I had started at 001) the button released and my case unlocked.


I had a TSA approved SwissGear 3-combo luggage lock (not build in to suitcase/bag). When I got it back from TSA at one point, the lock was jammed, but not fully locked it seemed. When I did manage to pry it open, it was thereafter stuck in the open position.

To get into mine, I tried everything I found online (such as slowly turning 1 dial at a time while listening for any change in "click"), but ultimately managed to do it by observing the dials themselves when I applied pressure. So, I simply pushed down on the lock/latch, and observed the first dial (closest to insertion of lock shaft). It seemed to turn slightly whenever I applied pressure, indicating that the lock shaft was not seamlessly sliding past that dial. So, I turned the dial 1 click to the next number, and observed again; same thing. I repeated this until no observable movement occurred, and then repeated the whole process again for dials 2 and 3, serially (with the 1st dial still on the number I assumed to be appropriate based on "testing" it via this above method).

In this way, I eventually managed to close my lock and I reset the combo back to my original using the code I had found out in the above manner. Turns out my code was changed in full by TSA somehow - none of my numbers were the same. Just glad I figured it out somehow.


Sometimes the TSA lock is stuck in its last position, take your fingernail and spin it back (counter clock wise ) to its original position. That was the case with my Samsonite, it would not lock, any combination would pop out the zippers, I pressed the button to change the combination, but then the button did not spring back up. I tried everything, then for some reason I looked at the TSA keyhole and spun it with my fingernail and the button popped back out and everything began functioning as it should.

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