Account of Flying with Firearms

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


Luggage & Gear
Steve picked up a Plane Gun Guard (long rifle case with wheels) as a cheaper alternative to Pelican cases. In his own words "The box itself held up just fine. However, next trip I'm going to have to find a way to secure the middle foam to the bottom foam as some of my firearms managed to wedge get under the middle foam. Perhaps just getting some bubble wrap as extra enforcement to get the stuff to stay put. I just used some master locks." The rest of this entry will continue in Steve's own words...

 

Outbound Travel
"I didn't even get to the ticket agent before she called me over and asked if I had firearms. Had me fill out the slip and put it inside. She asked me if it was unloaded but didn't look. I put the firearms unloaded declaration in the case and she tagged it with a normal luggage tag. They hadn't actually turned on the luggage carousel yet so she had me sit down while she called them to have it started. After about 5 minutes she said we could go on back through security. No problems at all with the flight; really impressed with the Delta agent at ABE. Wish I had gotten her name. I had to pick my case up from the oversized baggage area at ATL where my name was checked versus the luggage tag on the case."

 

Homebound Travel
"Aside from being a little rude (as most people in the ATL airport can be) I had no trouble. Told them I was bringing firearms, they gave me the slip to fill out and put in the case. They then had me take them to the oversize baggage area. No extra tags or anything. The TSA guys at the oversized baggage area were great. They asked me what I had and if I had gone hunting and why I was going to ABE. They swabbed the case for explosives without asking me to open it and sent me on my way. As I said before, ABE is a rather small airport. When I arrived my rifle case came down the ramp along with everyone else's luggage. However, my flight didn't land until midnight so I'm not sure what would've happened if I had landed during the day."

 

Final Details & Thoughts
"All in all the trip was pretty uneventful. The only irregularity I noticed was that one of the clasps on the case was popped open when I got it from ATL, however, the design of the case is such that it's easy to pop open a latch where the top handle is."

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
  

wheels up - luggage screened directly in front of you; you were certain the firearms cleared
wheels down - luggage arrived promptly and undisturbed


Three Stars
  
wheels up - luggage screened relatively near you you; you were fairly sure the firearms cleared
wheels down - luggage arrived with little delay but possibly bearing zip ties or other nonsense

Two Stars
  
wheels up - luggage screened somewhere totally removed from you; only indirect assurances that your firearms cleared
wheels down - luggage was very slow to arrive and/or you had some difficult interactions with airline staff

One Star
  
wheels up - luggage screened somewhere totally removed from you; no one could assure you that your firearms cleared
wheels down - luggage was misrouted or mishandled and had to be delivered to you later

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