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

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...

   
Deviant Ollam
This one's full of winners. Photos of TSA handling my firearm... then photos of TSA crawling through an x-ray machine.
SEA --> SJC
2016-11-30


SJC --> DCA
2016-12-01

IAD --> SEA
2016-12-03

 
Deviant Ollam
A simple and easy trip. For once, I wasn't flying for work!
SEA --> DEN
2016-11-23


DEN --> SEA
2016-11-28

 
Deviant Ollam
I do not like gun cases sent to back rooms when counter workers are not accustomed to following-up with the TSA.
PHL --> SDF
2016-09-20


SDF --> SEA
2016-09-26

 
Deviant Ollam
Always demand to take your gun cases to the Oversize screening area in Orlando.
LAS --> MCO
2016-09-11


MCO --> PHL
2016-06-16

 
Deviant Ollam
Missoula remains a stand-out in terms of best airports where you may be flying with firearms.
LEX --> MSO
2016-08-27


MSO --> SFO
2017-09-07

SFO--> LAS
2016-09-09

 
Echo
A buddy learns that you can't transport an empty mag through passenger screening, but all turns out just fine.
SFO --> LAS
2016-08-02


LAS --> SFO
2016-08-06

 
Deviant Ollam
I wish Las Vegas had a special items TSA screening area right there in the check-in hall.
MSO --> SLC --> LAS
2016-07-27


LAS --> SLC --> MSO
2017-06-08

 
Deviant Ollam
Knowing names of supervisors is helpful if the TSA gets out of line with you.
SEA --> SLC --> PHL
2016-07-21


PHL --> SLC --> MSO
2016-07-26

 
Deviant Ollam
I like visiting Hawaii but I could never live in Hawaii.
SEA --> HNL
2016-07-11


HNL --> SEA
2016-07-18

 
Deviant Ollam
Delays with screening happen, but I'll always prefer that as long as I have my firearms cases in sight when they're opened.
SEA --> MSO
2016-06-21


MSO --> SLC --> PHL
2016-07-01

PHL --> SLC --> SEA
2016-07-05

 
Deviant Ollam
San Francisco never quite seems to have their shit together.
MSO --> SLC --> LAX
2016-05-27


LAX --> SJC
2016-05-30

SFO --> SLC --> MSO
2016-06-06

 
Deviant Ollam
A series of trips about as smooth as could ever be desired.
MSO --> MSP
2016-05-16


MSP --> PHL
2016-05-17

PHL --> SLC --> MSO
2016-05-25

 
Max Power
JetBlue tries to insst on TSA-compliant locks on a gun case. A well-informed passenger pushes back... and wins.
BOS --> SEA
2016-05-06


SEA --> BOS
2016-05-09

 
Deviant Ollam
Seattle and Missoula are both terriric airports for flying with fiarearms.
MSO --> SLC --> SEA
2016-05-05


SEA --> SLC --> MSO
2016-05-09

 
Steve I.
A nice visit to Atlanta, where Steve and his Plano case were treated well.
ABE --> ATL
2016-04-15


ATL --> ABE
2016-04-20

 
Deviant Ollam
Yes, flying with firearms out of New York City airports is possible, if you know the rules.
MSO --> MSP --> PHL
2016-04-13


JFK --> AUS
2016-04-16

AUS --> SLC --> MSO
2016-04-23
 
Deviant Ollam
Yet another example of why we need to press for all firearms to screened at TSA oversize/special areas where the passenger can be right there in front of them while it happens.
MSO --> MSP --> MCO
2016-04-02


MCO --> SLC --> MSO
2016-04-07

 
Deviant Ollam
A pelican case full of metal slows things down slightly, but not too badly.
MSO --> SLC --> MCO
2016-03-18


MCO --> SLC --> MSO
2016-03-22
 
Deviant Ollam
You'd think a Supervisory TSO would know how to clear an alert when one comes up.
MSO --> SEA
2016-03-08



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?