Why I Prefer Bar Locks on Hotel Rooms Instead of Chains

Chains on the doors are way too easy to defeat. With a rubber band, no less.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Why I don’t worry about this: if I see/hear someone fumble with the door/chain/rubber band for about a minute, guess what I am going to do. And guess what their hands/wrists will look like after I slam my body full-force against the door…

    Non-issue, IMO.

  2. @Gary — I’ve no doubt my wife at least would wake up.

    Frankly, I am fairly certain that I am more likely to get mugged on the way home from the coffee shop than in one of the hotels I am staying in.

    The main reason I use chain/bar lock is to keep overly eager housekeepers/cleaners out of my room when I don’t want to be disturbed.

    When it comes to hotel security, a somewhat greater concern of mine is stuff disappearing when I am NOT in the room (in that case, no need to play the rubber band trick).

  3. I’m pretty sure if someone wanted, they could do this without making any noise (assuming they can bypass the key lock), and if you happen to be in the shower when they do this, you’ll be in for a nasty surprise.

  4. Hmmm…so the chain and bar lock are not foolproof? So what? Don’t these hotel doors also have DOOR LOCK? and don’t some also have DEADBOLTs?

    If I understand correctly, the purpose of the bar lock and the chain are to permit the occupant to open the door slightly, when something is being delivered.

    Who in their right mind doesn’t lock their hotel room door lock and relies only on the chain? And, if the stealth thief has a master card key and can open the door, and then realizes the chain is engaged, why would they continue to try to break in?—someone is obviously in there and they will pick another room.

    This is not something to concern yourself with when traveling.

  5. @John – and why would a prospective robber take that risk? These tricks might be useful if you are James Bond and want to steal my iPad crammed full of nuclear secrets, but in practice, how often do people break into hotel rooms while the occupants are in the room?

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