I Never Know What To Expect At The Airport!

I Never Know What To Expect At The Airport!

This is a discussion on I Never Know What To Expect At The Airport! within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So, yesterday we flew from Minneapolis down here to Madeira Beach Florida. Of course, I bring along my trusty SIG. It's locked in a Center ...

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Thread: I Never Know What To Expect At The Airport!

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    I Never Know What To Expect At The Airport!

    So, yesterday we flew from Minneapolis down here to Madeira Beach Florida. Of course, I bring along my trusty SIG. It's locked in a Center of Mass (COM) box at the top of a large duffel--I'm ready to declare it, sign the tag, have it inspected and close up the luggage.

    Well, I'm fighting with the little automated kiosk to check in, so the service guy needs to step through the counter opening over the luggage scale to get out where he can help me out. As he does so, he tosses one of my bags onto the conveyor and off it goes.

    I say "stop" and grab onto my other bag, which contains the SIG, so he doesn't send it on its way! Wideyed, he now retrieves the first bag, which was leaving without being tagged for its destination. This is going badly by now...he's flustered and I'm nervous.

    Now I tell him I have a firearm to declare. He says, "I can't do that." Not knowing what to say I blurt out, "Yes you can, I've done it here often." So, off he goes for advice/approval. He returns, I fill out and sign the little bright tag and offer to open the COM box for a TSA inspection. He just throws the tag on top the COM box and says I'm all set. So, I close the duffel and off it goes.

    Are things changing this way everywhere? I'm used to the "deer in the headlights" inspection where I open the COM, they stare blankly at the pistol like it's going to do tricks, but don't touch...that didn't happen here.


  2. #2
    Member Array basher052's Avatar
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    One step above McDonalds

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyC4 View Post
    So, yesterday we flew from Minneapolis down here to Madeira Beach Florida. Of course, I bring along my trusty SIG. It's locked in a COM box at the top of a large duffel--I'm ready to declare it, sign the tag, have it inspected and close up the luggage.

    Well, I'm fighting with the little automated kiosk to check in, so the service guy needs to step through the counter opening over the luggage scale to get out where he can help me out. As he does so, he tosses one of my bags onto the conveyor and off it goes.

    I say "stop" and grab onto my other bag, which contains the SIG, so he doesn't send it on its way! Wideyed, he now retrieves the first bag, which was leaving without being tagged for its destination. This is going badly by now...he's flustered and I'm nervous.

    Now I tell him I have a firearm to declare. He says, "I can't do that." I say, "Yes you can, I've done it here before." So, off he goes for advice/approval. He returns, I fill out and sign the little bright tag and offer to open the COM box for a TSA inspection. He just throws the tag on top the COM box and says I'm all set. So, I close the duffel and off it goes.

    Are things changing this way everywhere? I'm used to the "deer in the headlights" inspection where I open the COM, they stare blankly at the pistol like it's going to do tricks, but don't touch...that didn't happen here.
    You should know by now who you are dealing with. Go to ten different airports, get ten different responses. Im just glad he didnt run the Sig thru the detector....now that would have gotten you some new friends
    Andy
    You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas - David Crockett
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    Member Array Kenny256's Avatar
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    Silly guy thought he was doing you a favor...

    And on a side note, when you go to the airport with a firearm, do you just walk in with it until luggage check?
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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny256 View Post
    Silly guy thought he was doing you a favor...

    And on a side note, when you go to the airport with a firearm, do you just walk in with it until luggage check?
    Yes and you must check in at the ticket counter.

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    Senior Member Array puncho's Avatar
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    What am I missing here? He helped you out, and got you on your way without much trouble. It's a good story, but I think the guy did his job based on the training he had recieved.

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    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puncho View Post
    What am I missing here? He helped you out, and got you on your way without much trouble. It's a good story, but I think the guy did his job based on the training he had recieved.
    Well, first he almost sent my baqs down the conveyor untagged and one with a firearm in it! Then, I think he skipped a required inspection, which I was hoping didn't cause a hassle for me later.

    But you're right in one regard, I did get on my way rather quickly.
    "It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Yep he was supposed to walk you over to TSA for the required check.

    Oops!
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny256 View Post
    And on a side note, when you go to the airport with a firearm, do you just walk in with it until luggage check?
    Sure.

    I was in LAX (the favorite target of terrorists) and the guy in front of me gives his suitcases to the counter agent and announces that he has to move his car. He leaves. I ask the agent, "How do you know he doesn't have a bom* in there and he's going outside to detonat* it?" The agent replies, "People do this all the time."
    Well, I feel safer.
    It's not a matter of "if" it's a matter of "when."

    Quote Originally Posted by puncho View Post
    What am I missing here? He helped you out, and got you on your way without much trouble. It's a good story, but I think the guy did his job based on the training he had recieved.
    He didn't follow the most important procedure. Making sure the TSA was aware of the firearm, it was known to be unloaded, and the case was locked with only the owner having the key. If he throws the bag on the belt and it goes with the other luggage, the firearm may be found by x-ray, or stolen by a baggage handler.

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    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    When I went through MSP two weeks ago, the AA agent was fine with it. She handed me the tag, I filled it out, I put it in my suitcase, and she told me to go to the TSA scanner nearby and run my suitcase through the machine AFTER telling them I had an unloaded firearm in my checked baggage. I did that, and the TSA agent, who was actually pretty friendly, said that they wouldn't necessarily have to check it, only if it got "randomly" selected. It got randomly selected on the way in, but on the way home from Philadelphia, they didn't open the bag at all.

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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    I've never had a problem at the airport, but you ALMOST did when he tried to send it on its way without declaration. FWIW this is why I declare immediately upon coming to the counter, so that it doesn't get missed.

    Glad everything worked out okay. Merry Christmas!
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
    Christianity and Self Defense from a Biblical Perspective

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    Member Array Jsanchez's Avatar
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    Question,

    So what's the procedure when transporting your CCW at the airport?

    are you allow to bring the AMMO it all ?

    Or you have to buy ammo at your destination if you do, what do you do to the ammo when you coming back... like if you go from Texas to Florida round trip...
    Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.

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    Senior Member Array rmodel65's Avatar
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    you can transport ammo in a case made for ammo in your checked suitcase
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    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    I went through Dulles Airport in VA about 3 weeks ago on the way to Vegas. I declared the firearm to the United agent. She asked "is it unloaded?" I said yes but she never looked at it.I went over to TSA and they asked me for my key. They looked at the firearm and I was then on my way.

    I used a TSA approved lock on the outside of my suitcase.

    On the way back from Vegas, neither TSA or United looked at my weapon. But when the suitcase came off the luggage carousel in VA, the TSA approved lock was cut off, even though TSA supposedly has a key. They had indeed looked in my bag and cut the lock off. idiots.

    My objection to all of this garbage is the total lack of uniformity of anything TSA or the airlines are involved in. it's theatre IMO. As someone pointed out, we have fallen back into pre 9/11 thinking. it is going to happen again. TSA is a total joke, with their posting of their ops manual on line. What a bunch of clowns

    Sorry but that's my opinion.

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    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    ...the TSA approved lock was cut off, even though TSA supposedly has a key. They had indeed looked in my bag and cut the lock off. idiots.

    My objection to all of this garbage is the total lack of uniformity of anything TSA or the airlines are involved in. it's theatre IMO. As someone pointed out, we have fallen back into pre 9/11 thinking. it is going to happen again. TSA is a total joke, with their posting of their ops manual on line. What a bunch of clowns

    Sorry but that's my opinion.
    Dude - I'm with you. I have a good friend that does training for the TSA goobers who work at airports, and we have had this debate frequently.

    I agree that we are back to a pre-9/11 mindset. I guess we should think everything is OK now that we have thousands of badged TSA government employees with XXXL uniform shirts lounging around at every airport.

    I have also noted the complete lack of uniformity. I have also had my TSA-approved locks simply cut off rather than opened with the master key. I'm sure it's simply easier for the clowns that work out of sight in the bowels of the airport luggage processing areas. What does it matter to them that you need to buy another lock? They have a badge! sarcasm/off

    I have had a TSA goober at RDU ask me to unlock my COM safe to see my handgun. He then proceeded to pick up and wave my Kimber around like he was feeling the heft in his hand. He paintd me and a fellow TSAer with the business end. I asked what he thought he was doing. He said he was checking to ensure it was unloaded. I told him that was Bee Ess and he needed to call over an adult to show him how to handle a firearm. He flushed deep red as another agent came over and told him to "...put that **** thing down" in a stern voice.

    Your basic airline ticket agent knows better than to actually ask to see your firearm and cause concern at the counter with other passengers in line. They usually just quietly escort me to TSA after having me fill out the form. I have recently been asking them to let me use the airline logo luggage tape they have at the counter to secure the card to the COM safe. I wrap it around the case twice. It looks official and "sealed" and I have never had a TSA goober ask me to unlock it since I started doing that. YMMV.

    It's normally quite easy to travel with your firearm. The most professional TSA agents (regarding firearms transport) I found were at Indianapolis and Salt Lake City. In Minneapolis, they make you go to a special counter to get your luggage if it contains a firearm. I don't mind that as it seems to get special scrutiny - in a good way.

    At some airports, I am personally asked by the flight attendant once I am boarded if I am "MadMac". They apparently want to ensure I didn't abandon that "dangerous" handgun in my luggage. For Pete's sake, it's an unloaded handgun, not a bom*.

    I am tempted to ask them if they want to see the dangerous tricks it does all by itself.....

  15. #15
    Member Array Eirerogue's Avatar
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    First, if your lock was cut off in Vegas, contact the Federal Security Director at TSA LAS and ask how you file a complaint. LAS has some outstanding in-line baggage security and they can determine who, when and where that lock was cut. It shouldn't have been as you well know. Someone was lazy and didn't want to use the keys.

    The easiest way to avoid the 'is it unloaded is get a cable lock that runs through the barrel and open breach. One can see immediately that it is open and not loaded. No TSA employee should be handling your firearm to see if it's unloaded.

    Again, if you've got issues, the chain is Screening Supervisor, Asst Fed Security Director for Screening and the Federal Security Director. You WILL get your problems resolved.

    Those Screeners by in large do an excellent job. There are hiccups, but those should be invisible to you, the traveling public. But you've got to tell them when they screw up. Uniformity of policy has always been a huge issue with TSA and the airlines too. What's happens in LAS sometimes is not the same as RDU. Set 'em straight!

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