Account of Flying with Firearms

Deviant Ollam
Always, always, always insist on confirmation that your luggage has cleared the TSA
BWI --> DEN --> MSO

Luggage & Gear
Pelican cases, Abloy locks, you know the drill from me. :-)


Outbound Travel
No outbound notes for this trip. Maybe I shipped myself to Maryland in a UPS box or something.


Homebound Travel
Wendy D. checked me in at the Baltimore counter. She was super fast, mostly because this was around 06:50 and the airport wasn't too crowded yet. My bags went back Wendy tried to offer the line "check your watch and in 10 minutes you'll be OK, otherwise I'll call you." I do not go in for that.

I waited nine minutes then walked back up to Wendy at the counter who called back and confirmed I was clear. That's better.


Final Details & Thoughts
It's a pain at some airport (and sometimes staff will utterly refuse to contact the TSA) but one should always try to get positive confirmation that luggage is clear before walking away. Do not trust the "just wait 10 minutes and then you should be fine" statements.

Another fun note, but which has little to do with the TSA... this was my last flight ever on United. I changed to Delta in 2016 (and did a status challenge with them, matching my 1K United status and becoming Diamond to evaluate their service) and I haven't looked back.

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