Account of Flying with Firearms

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


Luggage & Gear
Max had a Pelican 1600-series case with long shackle Abloy PL330 padlocks on each hasp.

 

Outbound Travel
The JetBlue reps working the check-in counter tried to assert that Max could not use his Abloy locks on the luggage. They tried to assert that TSA-compliant locks were required and insisted he go purchase some. Max pushed back and insisted the airline consult with the TSA. Everyone demurred on that point, but JetBlue insisted on affixing the following tag to the outside of his luggage...

...his bags were sent back to the CTX machine and JetBlue as well as the TSA told him not to wait. The luggage arrived on an oversize belt in Seattle.

 

Homebound Travel
Homebound travel was reportedly smooth.

 

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 irreprable 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