Account of Flying with Firearms

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


Luggage & Gear
This trip to DerbyCon involved one piece of regular luggage and my road cooking case. I've gotten so many great stories out of flying with that. =)

 

Outbound Travel
Gwendolyn Johnson was very fast in Seattle getting us all checked-in. The TSA wanted to open my larger Pelican case but since it was right in front of me I didn't mind. They swabbed my laptop and repacked everything quickly and cleanly. Nine minutes from curb to the pre-check line.

 

Homebound Travel
In Kentucky, Darren noted that I was right at the weight limit of 70 lbs on my luggage but had my bags sent back in four minutes. Ten minutes after that I was back up at the counter asking them to call the TSA. No one knew what number to call, and Darren tried his red phone, seemingly finding someone finally. He spoke with the TSA, asking if they had a firearm come through yet. "No? Big, heavy case? No? Nothing?" I heard him say. He called someone else, then someone else. "So, it's over there and they need to unlock it?" I heard him ask whomever he had now reached. A couple minutes later he was taking my keys to the back room. He returned 16 minutes later, telling me he witnessed them lock the bag up properly and that it was being loaded on the aircraft shortly.

My luggage arrived on the main carousel in Seattle, still locked, and having been packed quickly and with additional bubble filler, it seems. My duffel bag was torn, but I filled out a report with Delta who replaced it for free with a nicer, newer one.

 

Final Details & Thoughts
I do not like gun cases sent to back rooms when counter workers are not accustomed to following-up with the TSA. I'm very glad I pressured Darren into finding out about my cases.

 

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