Feds seek power to break locks off passengers’ checked airline baggage

Transport CanadaThe Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The Conservative government would like to know how air passengers feel about their checked luggage being broken into — by airport security screeners.

Transport Canada is seeking feedback on a plan to give security screeners the power to break a lock or seal — such as plastic shrink wrap — off a bag when an X-ray flags a concern.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority screens all checked baggage before it is placed on a plane.

The agency’s screeners may open unlocked luggage to examine contents, but they cannot force open a locked bag.

They must inform the airline, which in turn tries to locate the relevant passenger.

Transport Canada, which is soliciting public comment until next Monday, says that as more people travel by air, it may become too time-consuming for airlines to track down passengers.

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© The Canadian Press, 2014