I am going to take a firearm on a plane for the first time in a long time.
Last time I flew with a weapon, there was no TSA, and the rules were basically the same as skiing equipment.
I read through the TSA guidelines from their site, but was wondering if anyone has specific experience with USAir.
I plan to print out the TSA regs and bring those with me.
Any other advice?
Are you trying to bring it in your carry on bag? I hope not. But as long as you check into your luggage that goes below you should be alright. They let me do it.
I know I can't carry a gun on the plane.
I want to make sure that the hard plastic factory case with a padlock is sufficient.
I wont be travelling with ammo.
I cant get any information from the USair website, and their phone support is useless.
I put mine in a hard pelican case with a pad lock, checked it " OUTSIDE" before I entered the airport, much less the terminal and it was no problem, very easy.
It has to be airline approved case, but most gun cases are that, even the cheappies at Wal-Mart are approved.
As for the padlock, you need to have a TSA approved padlock now. You can get them in the lock section of K-mart, Wally world, wherever. They have a combonation, and a key that TSA can use to open it up and inspect the contents. Yeah, no one like the idea, but if you don't have one of the TSA locks, they won't take it locked, and a TSA lock is better than no lock.
I'd check to see how USAir is doing labor wise. Last Xmas they had a big problem with their baggage handlers calling off, and putting bags on the wrong plane on purpose because of labor/mamagement conflict. I don't know if they got it all figured out, but I'd check on it for sure.
Anyone else know about these "tsa approved" locks?
This is the first I am hearing of this....its not mentioned on the tsa website?
I am planning on having the locked factory case inside my rucksack, which would be inside my duffelbag.
I am using a suitcase....is that going to be a problem?
Depends on the airport really. Didn't have too much problems with the ticket counter. TSA did break my zipper trying to open the bag. I recommend zipties on the luggage.
Next time I fly I will zip tie the luggage and provide an extra ziptie so they can resecure if they so choose. FAA guidelines still dictate that baggage with a firearms be locked.
I'll let you know if they pay for my bag.
Starting to sound like more trouble than its worth.
I am going back packing out west .....my buddy out there has enough armament to go around, but I wanted to bring my new .44Mag.......I hate like hell to chance losing it because of some baggage screw up.....it seems that my bag get lost like 1/4 of the time I fly.
Here's my recent experience (less than two months ago):
1. Empty gun goes inside an approved, locked container (this container does NOT need a TSA approved lock).
2. Ammo can go inside same container, as long as it's in a separate box (like an ammo box)
3. Magazines can also go inside same container.
4. Go up to check in counter, show your ticket and ID, tell the clerk - I need to declare a firearm
5. They will have you open your bag and show them the gun. They will ask you if it's unloaded, Say yes. Offer to demonstrate that it is. Clerk will recoil in horror and say no, that's ok.
6. Sign the orange tag they give you declaring an empty gun.
7. Orange tag gets affixed to gun case or put inside gun case (depends on the clerk I guess)
8. LOCK your guncase.
9. Zip up suitcase and lock with TSA approved lock.
10. Airport clerk will escort you to the TSA bag x-ray section and will inform x-ray screeners that you have declared a firearm
11. Hang around x-ray area until they are done with your bag. They might look at it on the screen, then let it go. (happened twice to me) Or they might pull it out (using their TSA key to get into bag, then asking you for the key to the gun case) and call everyone over to look at it and make you worry that someone's going to walk off with one of your shiny Mec-Gar mags (happened once). They will tell you when they are done and everything's ok.
12. Go through regular security like everyone else
13. Pick up your bag when you arrive, go to a discreet place and make sure your stuff is still there because you're paranoid (happened 3 times)
That's all there is to it.
The responses I got from the airline people when declaring a gun:
1. Salt Lake City: Oh, ok.
2. Ft. Lauderdale, FL: A gun? Oh, let me find out what to do.
3. Kansas City: [mild shock], Ok, let me find the proper form.
From what I recall, you CAN NOT use the skycap service to declare a gun - you have to go to the counter.
Edited to add: I was on Delta.
I'm going to be hunting in Wisconsin in October. It's far easier to just mail my shotgun to the guy I'm going to be hunting with. Probably more likely to get there to if my experiences with getting my clothes delivered on a normal trip are any guage.
I'll been out in cold N. Wisconsin with nothing but a nice U/O 20ga and an extra pair of jeans.