Account of Flying with Firearms

Deviant Ollam
Easy trips, no major troubles.
SJC --> DEN --> MSO

MSO --> DEN --> PHL

Luggage & Gear
This was a pretty simple trip and although I had a lot of gear still with me from ShakaCon, I was leaving most of it in Montana. A variety of Pelican cases were secured with Abloy PL330 and PL321 padlocks.


Outbound Travel
In San Jose there was a small crowd milling about and I was helped by Gregory M (who knew every state's nickname, it seemed!)... he didn't even blink when I was checking multiple gun cases (despite the supposed new United policy)... All my luggage was back 6 minutes after I had walked in the door, and then 7 minutes after that Gregory (who was exceedingly polite) informed me that the TSA wanted the key. We talked for a bit about liability and how I like to know who is opening the cases. He vowed to try to get their name. Literally 1 minute after he went into the back room, which was off to the side...

... he returned wit a smile and said the TSA would be out shortly. Six minutes later, STSO Anthony Romero came out with my key and I was all set. So, my bags were opened somewhere that I couldn't see, but I knew who had access and it was rather brief.


Homebound Travel
As always, Montana is an easy jaunt. Their airport staff is fast and friendly. TSO Bright handled my case, which alarmed on the laptop. They did a swab test and I was on my way quickly. Everything was re-packed properly right in front of me. I had the whole family with me on this trip, and we weren't delayed at all by this check-in.


Final Details & Thoughts
I enjoy flying. I enjoy flying with guns. :-) I neglected to take notes on the trip back from Philly with the whole family a week later.


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