Accounts of Flying with Firearms
How have specific airlines and airports treated people who have flown with firearms?

Deviant Ollam

Have you traveled by air with firearms? I would love to hear, in detail, how it went for you. If you'd like to tell me about it, please just send an email to deviant@deviating.net and i'm more than happy to publish your account here. All i ask is that you follow the format of the questionnaire below when summarizing the details.

 
Air Travel Accounts
The follow overviews give you a basic rundown of people's experience flying with firearms on different carriers via different airports. Air carriers should, in my opinion, take responsibility for errors that their employees make and that the TSA should work much harder to standardize airport operations and train their staff in the proper handling of firearm policies and procedures.
Click any of the passenger names below to read their full story...

Newer Entries 

Deviant Ollam & friends
Into and Out of Chicago for Locktoberfest... with only Flare Guns to keep it legal.
PHL --> ORD
2013-10-11


ORD --> PHL
2013-10-13

 
Deviant Ollam
Down to DerbyCon in Kentucky with lots of training gear.
PHL --> ORD --> SDF
2013-09-24


SDF --> CLE --> PHL
2013-09-30

 
Paul
A decent, simple experience
LAS --> MSY
2013-09-13


 
Bubblewhip
A long, detailed account from someone's first time
2013-08-12
 
Deviant Ollam
Plenty of guns going out to Black Hat and DEFCON, without any real troubles.
PHL --> LAS
2013-07-28


LAS --> PHL
2013-08-06

 
Roy
First time checking a firearm and it couldn't have gone smoother.
CHO --> ATL --> TUL
2013-07-02


TUL --> ATL --> CHO
2013-07-15

 
Russ
This fellow's first time flying with a firearm went swimmingly.
COS --> DEN --> TUL
2013-07-15


TUL --> DEN --> COS
2013-07-20

 
Deviant Ollam
Problems with one of my Abloy locks in Dayton caused a change of flight plans.
PHL --> CLE --> DAY
2013-07-12


DAY --> IAD --> PHL
2013-07-14

 
Deviant Ollam
Into and out of SFO, with the customary silliness. The crash of Asiana 214 sure made SFO different when I flew home.
PHL --> SFO
2013-07-03


SFO --> OMA --> PHL
2013-07-05

 
Chuck
No alerts on the swab test, despite luggage that once carried TNT and RDX.
DET --> ANC
2013-06-15


ANC --> DET
2013-06-26

 
Jesse from Pennsylvania
A great write-up of a traveler who had a fantastic trip and learned a lot.
PHL --> IAH --> LAS
2013-06-12


LAS --> IAH --> PHL
2013-06-19

 
Deviant Ollam
An error by a United staff member leads to PHL Airport Police stopping by, then an errror by the TSA in HNL leads to destruction of Abloy padlocks!
PHL --> IAD --> HNL
2013-06-23


HNL --> SFO --> PHL
2013-07-03

 
JBT
"I'd give Alaska 5 stars if possible on my homebound journey"
SEA --> LAS
2013-06-13


LAS --> SEA
2013-06-17

 
SJ
"I found your site useful when planning my recent trip so I thought I’d give a report to add to the database. Keep up the good work spreading the word."
DFW -> PHX -> RNO
2013/06/12


RNO -> PHX -> DFW
2013/06/15

 
JKP
For his first time flying with firearms, this trip went well
PIT --> PHX
2012-09-30


PHX --> PIT
2012-10-06

 
Deviant Ollam
To Florida... the land of the best Carry Permit in the country!
PHL --> CLT --> MCO
2013-03-07


MCO --> PHL
2013-03-12

 
Deviant Ollam
A quick bounce into and out of California with no trouble this time
PHL --> IAH --> SFO
2013-03-01


SFO --> PHL
2013-03-04

 
Arkay
Delta was excellent, but pack well and beware in Cleveland
PDX --> MSP --> CLE
2012-12-20


CLE --> MSP --> PDX
2012-12-28

 
Deviant Ollam
Getting to go behind the scenes in Alabama in order to lock and unlock the luggage myself
PHL --> ORD --> HSV
2012-12-07


HSV --> IAD --> PHL
2012-12-10

 
Deviant Ollam
A simple and short trip, with the fastest check-in i've ever had... firearms or not
PHL --> EWR --> PWM
2012-11-30


PWM --> EWR --> PHL
2012-12-02

 
Dave
A first-time flyer, at least with a firearm.
DTW --> FLL
2012-11-25


FLL --> DTW
2012-11-27

 

Older Entries

 

 
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

 

Firearm Air Travel Questionnaire
 

Have you traveled by air with firearms? If you'd like to see your account published here, just send an email to deviant@deviating.net

Background Details

1. Your Name - We can accept nicknames, initials, or just your first name if you'd like to remain a bit private.

2. Your Itinerary - Takeoff and Landing cities are the main question here. Airport codes are more helpful than city names (and are more respectful of your privacy... we only care about air travel, not where you spent the 4th of July or which family you visited for Thanksgiving.)

3. Your Airline(s) - On which carrier(s) was your flight booked?

4. Luggage and Locks - What kind of uggage did you use when flying with firearms? Tell us about how the firearms were locked?

Screening & Departure

5. What Interaction did you Have with TSA?

i. Direct Interation - You stood right near a TSA screening station where your firearms were cleared.

ii. Indirect Interation- You weren't speaking directly to the TSA but they knew you were in the next room or through a curtiain and gave you positive confirmation when things were cleared.

iii. No Interaction- Your luggage was somewhere else entirely when being scanned, and you were only released to your boarding gate when an airline staff member spoke to the TSA on the phone or by going to the back room to check on the status of your firearms.

iv. Zero Confirmation - Your luggage was sent somewhere else entirely and you were simply told to "wait 10 or 15 minutes, then go." No one from the airline could provide you with positive confirmation that your firearms had cleared the TSA.

6. Called Back to the Desk? - Were you later (unexpectedly) called back to the airline desk by a PA announcement or a phone call? What happened?

Luggage Arrival

7. Luggage Arrival - Three simple bullet points regarding your firearms' arrival at your destination...

i. On Time? Did your luggage make the flight and arrive promptly at the claim area? (Even if it made your flight, was it slow to appear at the claim?)

ii. Where Did it Arrive? Did your firearms come out on the regular carousel, at an oversize bag zone, or did you have to pick them up at the Baggage Service Office?

iii. Extra Steps? Did you have to show ID to get your firearms? Did the airline do anything silly like apply zip ties to your luggage?

Final Details

8. Final Thoughts? - Anything else you care to add? Were your cases or locks or firearms damaged in any way? Anything you'll do different next time you fly with them?