Tourists lock into security
By ED SOUTHORN
LOCKS for travel bags are harder to find - the Schapelle Corby affair has ensured more Tweed travellers heading overseas now want to lock up their luggage.
Travel bag locks have been a hot item at Zellow's handbag and luggage store in Tweed City since the World Trade Centre attack - but in the past few days Search Alert locks which had been on order for four months have almost sold out.
Zellow's manager Thea Harrison yesterday had only two Search Alerts left. They are combination locks with master keys held by American airport security officers. If the lock has been opened for baggage checking, a green symbol appears on the lock case.
Mrs Harrison said most travellers accepted that anyone arriving in the United States was required to have locked luggage and the Search Alert locks gave people more peace of mind.
She said other travellers going to America used Prestoseal luggage ties, which cannot be re-fastened once opened.
"Australians are pretty laid back at home, now we're becoming more accountable overseas and some of us are frightened. More people are realising the world can be a nasty place," she said.
Karen Vanags of Tugun, whose husband works for Qantas, said she was going to Hawaii soon with her family and was definitely locking all her luggage - and wrapping it in shrink-wrap plastic.
Mrs Harrison also said travellers increasingly preferred hard suitcases without exterior pockets, rather than soft fabric luggage.
"Everyone is worried that what happened to Schapelle might happen to them," she said.