Accounts of Flying with Firearms
How have specific airlines and airports treated people who have flown with firearms?

Deviant Ollam

Have you traveled by air with firearms? I would love to hear, in detail, how it went for you. If you'd like to tell me about it, please just send an email to deviant@deviating.net and i'm more than happy to publish your account here. All i ask is that you follow the format of the questionnaire below when summarizing the details.

 
Air Travel Accounts
The follow overviews give you a basic rundown of people's experience flying with firearms on different carriers via different airports. Air carriers should, in my opinion, take responsibility for errors that their employees make and that the TSA should work much harder to standardize airport operations and train their staff in the proper handling of firearm policies and procedures.
Click any of the passenger names below to read their full story...

Newer Entries 

J.
International travel proves difficult for someone departing from Canada.
YHZ --> PHL --> BNA
2015-05-01


BNA --> PHL --> YZH
2015-05-10

 
Deviant Ollam
When booking your flights, always beware of code-shares!
PHL --> IAD --> MCO
2015-04-10


SEA --> MSO
2015-04-02
MSO --> DEN --> PHL
2015-04-08

 
Deviant Ollam
An easy series of hops for work in Seattle and family in Montana. Nice and simple.
PHL --> ORD --> SEA
2014-03-31


SEA --> MSO
2015-04-02
MSO --> DEN --> PHL
2015-04-08

 
Mike
A great write-up from a fan online
MSP --> ATL
2015-03-17


ATL --> MSP
2015-03-25

 
Sam
Beware inter-airline itineraries when flying with firearms!
CLL --> DFW --> CLT
2015-03-28


 &    
 
Deviant Ollam
Into and out of Florida, with little trouble this time.
RDU --> IAD --> MCO
2015-03-22


MCO --> ORD --> PHL
2015-03-26

 
Deviant Ollam
My first time traveling on Alaska Air. It went very well.
PHL --> SEA --> MSO
2015-03-06


MSO --> DEN --> PHL
2015-03-16

 
Deviant Ollam
An easy trip to Florida for work... my laptop actually didn't alarm in Philly!
PHL --> IAD --> MCO
2015-02-28


MCO --> IAD --> PHL
2015-03-04

 
Deviant Ollam
Loads of flights to and from Montana... they treat firearms just fine in the Treasure State. Flying through Denver gets interesting, however.
to and from Montana
various trips

 
GotLost
A dissappointing experience in Spokane, Washington
GEG --> LAS --> ABQ
2014-09-12

 
Deviant Ollam
Speaking at the University of Montana and teaching some new folk about firearms... a great trip to the northern part of the American West.
PHL --> DEN --> MSO
2014-09-04


MSO --> DEN --> PHL
2014-09-09

 
J
Into and out of Texas with ease for this man's trip.
PHL --> AUS
2014-08-12


AUS --> DFW
2014-08-14

 
Salem
A negative experience flying out of Las Vegas after DEF CON that makes you think about baggage policies.
LAS --> XXX
2014-08-11
 
Deviant Ollam
Heading to Vegas for Black Hat, DEF CON, etc etc. All good things, all good flying.
PHL --> ORD --> LAS
2014-07-31


LAS --> ORD --> PHL
2014-08-12
 
Brian
Thanks for providing a great page on the travels with firearms, it helped me prepare well for my trip with my sidearm.
DTW --> LAS
2014-07-17


LAS --> DTW
2014-07-23

 
Deviant Ollam
Band practice in San Francisco called for me to make a quick trip out west. Expensive luggage leads to good locks, of course.
PHL --> SFO
2014-07-21


SFO --> PHL
2014-07-24

 
Alex
A one way from NOLA back home to Philly, described in Alex's own words
MSY --> PHL
2014-07-09

 
Deviant Ollam
A trip through Hawaii that doesn't involve any difficulty, wow!
IAD --> SFO --> HNL
2014-06-20


HNL --> LAX --> ORD --> PHL
2014-06-29

 
Deviant Ollam
Incompetence at HNL leads to the longest bag screening process ever and narrowly avoiding cut locks. Know your procedures, people!!
PHL --> SFO --> HNL
2014-05-09


HNL --> SFO --> PHL
2014-05-18

 
Deviant Ollam
Tiny wires in a bag? Let's call the Explosives Specialist.
PHL --> IAD --> GSO
2014-04-24


GSO --> IAD --> PHL
2014-05-04

 
Deviant Ollam
This trip to the Bay Area went perfectly smoothly for me
PHL --> IAH --> SJC
2014-04-18


SJC --> IAH --> PHL
2014-04-22

 
All Being
Frustrations in Oakland about whether or not the TSA can take your key to a back room and open luggage there.
OAK --> SEA --> CDV
2014-04-
14

CDV --> SEA --> OAK
2014-04-20

 
Deviant Ollam
Down to Florida and back again was easy... but watch out for those code-shared flights!
PHL --> ORD --> MCO
2014-04-11


MCO --> IAD --> PHL
2014-04-17

 
Deviant Ollam
A bounce around California takes me through both LAX and SFO without any real difficulties. Each airport still uses stupid procedures, however.
PHL --> ORD --> LAX
2014-02-27


LAX --> SFO
2014-03-01

SFO --> PHL
2014-03-04
 
Deviant & Lady Merlin
To Denver and back... on the last flights we will EVER take with Delta.
PHL --> DTW --> DEN
2014-01-23


DEN --> ATL/MSP --> PHL
2014-01-27

 
Deviant & Lady Merlin
A trip down to visit family for the holidays went smoothly each way.
PHL --> ORD --> HSV
2013-12-17


HSV --> ORD --> PHL
2013-12-21

 
Diablo
Here's an email that I received from a friend, in his own words.
XXX --> LAS
2013-11-15


LAS --> XXX
2013-11-18

   

Older Entries

 

 
Air Travel Ratings
If you don't have the time or the desire to read the full text of someone's account of air travel, you can simply refer to the rating shown at the conclusion of each portion of that person's journey. The following criteria are used in assigning these ratings...


Four Stars
  

check-in - no hassle, no delay
screening - in full view, lock and unlock yourself
luggage - all on time and intact


Three Stars
  
check-in - some delay or mild hassle
screening - somewhat obscured, locking and unlocking yourself or it's done directly in front of you
luggage - all on time and intact

Two Stars
  
check-in - major delay or major hassle
screening - in a room or area that you could not enter and could barely observe
luggage - luggage opened non-destructively

One Star
  
check-in - flight missed or passenger delayed from flying, properly packed items denied as luggage
screening - luggage unlocked and opened totally in another area fully removed from you
luggage - destructive entry into luggage and/or tampering with firearms

Zero Stars
  
This is a special category for outright theft, loss, or damage of firearms during air travel
half-star results are possible... naturally, they involve partial or mitigated problems that somehow fall in-between the above categories

 

Firearm Air Travel Questionnaire
 

Have you traveled by air with firearms? If you'd like to see your account published here, just send an email to deviant@deviating.net

Background Details

1. Your Name - We can accept nicknames, initials, or just your first name if you'd like to remain a bit private.

2. Your Itinerary - Takeoff and Landing cities are the main question here. Airport codes are more helpful than city names (and are more respectful of your privacy... we only care about air travel, not where you spent the 4th of July or which family you visited for Thanksgiving.)

3. Your Airline(s) - On which carrier(s) was your flight booked?

4. Luggage and Locks - What kind of uggage did you use when flying with firearms? Tell us about how the firearms were locked?

Screening & Departure

5. What Interaction did you Have with TSA?

i. Direct Interation - You stood right near a TSA screening station where your firearms were cleared.

ii. Indirect Interation- You weren't speaking directly to the TSA but they knew you were in the next room or through a curtiain and gave you positive confirmation when things were cleared.

iii. No Interaction- Your luggage was somewhere else entirely when being scanned, and you were only released to your boarding gate when an airline staff member spoke to the TSA on the phone or by going to the back room to check on the status of your firearms.

iv. Zero Confirmation - Your luggage was sent somewhere else entirely and you were simply told to "wait 10 or 15 minutes, then go." No one from the airline could provide you with positive confirmation that your firearms had cleared the TSA.

6. Called Back to the Desk? - Were you later (unexpectedly) called back to the airline desk by a PA announcement or a phone call? What happened?

Luggage Arrival

7. Luggage Arrival - Three simple bullet points regarding your firearms' arrival at your destination...

i. On Time? Did your luggage make the flight and arrive promptly at the claim area? (Even if it made your flight, was it slow to appear at the claim?)

ii. Where Did it Arrive? Did your firearms come out on the regular carousel, at an oversize bag zone, or did you have to pick them up at the Baggage Service Office?

iii. Extra Steps? Did you have to show ID to get your firearms? Did the airline do anything silly like apply zip ties to your luggage?

Final Details

8. Final Thoughts? - Anything else you care to add? Were your cases or locks or firearms damaged in any way? Anything you'll do different next time you fly with them?