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

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
Missoula is fast and Raleigh is slow. Twas ever thus.
MSO --> MSP --> RDU
2016-03-03


RDU --> MSP --> MSO
2016-03-06

 
Deviant Ollam
When the check-in counter can't confirm a gun case has cleared, I will often speak to a TSA supervisor at passenger screening
MSO --> SEA --> SFO
2016-02-18


SFO --> ATL --> LEX
2016-02-21

LEX --> DTW --> SLC --> MSO
2016-02-26

 
Deviant Ollam
Bare AR receivers work well to "lock" a "firearm" when you're concerned about weight and bulk
MSO --> MSP --> IND
2016-02-09


IND --> MSP --> SEA --> MSO
2016-02-11

 
Deviant Ollam
My first time as a Delta flier was a window into their average operations.
MSO --> MSP --> MIA
2016-01-11


MIA --> ATL --> PHL
2016-01-13

DCA --> SLC --> MSO
2016-01-18

 
Deviant Ollam
Always, always, always insist on confirmation that your luggage has cleared the TSA
BWI --> DEN --> MSO
2015-12-14


 
 
Deviant Ollam
Even during SFO's slow period, prepare yourself for a bit of a delay
SFO --> DEN --> MSO
2015-11-16


 
 
Deviant Ollam
At least i could observe the TSA pull everything apart
SEA--> DEN --> MSO
2015-11-09


 
 
Norm
Five stars to Frontier and Trenton. Four stars to Atlanta. It was good, just no one told me their policy of special handling.
TTN --> ATL
2015-06-15


TTN --> ATL
2015-06-15

 
Deviant Ollam
Quick and Simple as always.
MSO --> PHL
2015-10-02


 
 
Deviant Ollam
A trip in Keith's own words
MSO --> DEN --> LAS
2015-09-18


LAS --> ORD --> SDF
2015-09-22

SDF --> DEN --> MSO
2015-09-27

 
Keith
A trip in Keith's own words
CLT --> LAS
2015-08-30


LAS --> CLT
2015-09-03

 
Deviant Ollam
A change in flight plans didn't cause problems for my guns, but sure was a headache for my itinerary.
PHL --> MCO
2015-08-31


MCO --> DEN --> MSO
2015-09-03

 
Keith
"I hate inconsistency" was his main point
CLT --> MDT
2015-05-12


MDT --> CLT
2015-05-14

 
Deviant Ollam
Taking a flight the following day netted me a grand.
PHL --> DEN --> MSO
2015-08-13


MSO --> DEN --> PHL
2015-08-25

 
Deviant Ollam
A free lock from the TSA got me out of Las Vegas.
PHL --> IAH --> LAS
2015-08-02


LAS --> ORD --> PHL
2015-08-11

 
Deviant Ollam
Always be prepared to encounter people who don't know proper policies and help them to hit upon the proper information.
MSO --> DEN
2015-07-27


COS --> ORD --> PHL
2015-07-29

 
Deviant Ollam
Easy trips, no major troubles.
SJC --> DEN --> MSO
2015-07-14


MSO --> DEN --> PHL
2015-07-18

 
Deviant Ollam
I might have to dump United forever as my preferred carrier.
PHL --> SFO --> HNL
2015-07-05


HNL --> SFO
2015-07-12

 
Deviant Ollam
Montana... always easy.
MSO --> ORD --> PHL
2015-07-02


 
 
Deviant Ollam
A west coast jump was easy, even with tons of luggage.
PHL --> ORD --> SFO
2015-06-15


SFO --> DEN --> MSO
2015-06-24

Deviant Ollam
Through Seattle on a one-night turnaround. Hooray for early morning smoothness.
SEA --> MSO
2015-05-29


MSO --> DEN --> PHL
2015-06-06

 
Deviant Ollam
To New England, and on to Seattle... a series of quick jumps with simple luggage.
PHL --> IAD --> BOS
2015-05-23


BOS --> ORD --> SEA
2015-05-27

 
Deviant Ollam
Flying with a bare receiver worked well, yet again.
MSO --> DEN--> IAH --> PHL
2015-05-22


 
 
Deviant Ollam
Will folk accept a bare AR receiver as a "firearm" to be declared? Thus far, it's worked.
PHL --> ORD --> MSP
2015-05-11


MSP --> DEN --> MSO
2015-05-15

 


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?