Account of Flying with Firearms

Deviant Ollam
A pelican case full of metal slows things down slightly, but not too badly.
MSO --> SLC --> MCO

MCO --> SLC --> MSO

Luggage & Gear
On this trip to run a training at SANS Orlando, I had my usual Pelican 1620 cases full of stuff, plus a pistol or two.


Outbound Travel
Mindy from Delta wanted to see my firearms as I was checking-in. One case popped on the CTX machine --again-- and after four minutes speaking with the TSO on the station, I finally learned what had been hanging me up frequently: a large stack of poker chips. I often organize friendly games in hotel rooms with associates when I travel, but the thick clay chips register in an odd way on the CTX machine (at least when they're in a long stack) and for that reason I started thinking about not transporting them, or switching to cheaper, plastic chips. (But those really don't feel as good in your hands, do they?)


Homebound Travel
There were considerable crowds in Orlando and Delaine Richards was rather rude to many of us who were trying to get checked in. She did not ask me to open any of the cases, even to insert the orange declaration form. After mixing up luggage tags with my neighbor and I, eventually Delaine got things sorted and we went to the CTX machine for "special luggage" which sits in the check-in hall at MCO. Down there is where I opened the cases and inserted the cards. Minutes later, a TSA screener, Mike Calderale, was doing swab tests and then asking to open a case of locks and hardware that I had with me. Three minutes later I was on my way.


Final Details & Thoughts
I've got to start shipping this Pelican case of locks to some classes, heh. I know there would be a cost, but it litterally alerts almost EVERY time I fly. It's a gigantic box of metal, heh.

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