Deviant Ollam's Account of Flying with Firearms

Deviant Ollam
Always demand to take your gun cases to the Oversize screening area in Orlando.


Travel Account

Luggage & Gear

After running a training in Las Vegas I immediately flew that night to Florida where I was speaking at an infrastructure security conference. All my gear came along, with the same pistols and such that I had been using for the previous trips.


Outbound Travel

Rhonda in Las Vegas had my competely tagged up in one minute, and also complimented me for having my phone number on the outside of each case, so they could call me if they needed to. My lugggage went back and ten minutes later exactly I went back up to the counter. Rhonda assured me that I could "just go" but I pushed back, telling her I needed positive confirmation before I was released. She and a number of other folk at the counter didn't know quite what to do but one of them suggested "Node Three" and this was understood to be enough information for someone to pick up a phone. Sure enough, the TSA on the other end stated that the cases were still on the belt to be processed, and asked that we call back in five minutes. Repeatedly she tried to call them back but found their line busy each time. Eventually, I received a call from 702-261-5680. It was someone a few Delta counters down, telling me they were trying to clear problems with the cases in the back and still working on it. Eventually, 41 minutes after I had checked-in, Mirasol from Delta approached me to tell me in person that all was set. What a headache.


Homebound Travel

Bob G from Delta checked me in a minute before noon in Florida. His supervisor, James, commented that I wasn't using TSA-compliant locks. "They prefer that here," he asserted. Whatever. Ten minutes after the bags were sent back, I asked Bob and James to call the TSA to confirm that things had cleared. Everyone refused to, becoming rude and giving me lots of static in the process. I asked them call Delta Ops who might confirm that the baggage is within Delta's system now. They refused. We've seen time and time again that Orlando is a problem airport when they send luggage down on the usual belt, and this was no exception.


Final Details & Thoughts

Always demand to take your gun cases to the Oversize screening area in Orlando.

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