Same Airline, 2 different experiences-Both Good
Recently Flew on Airtran from Ft. Lauderdale to Georgia. Had my M&P compact in a secure-it type case with a key. Magazine was out of the gun but loaded and put this into a case I had from a camera flash. Put this into the same case as the gun.
Went to counter and said I have something to declare. Opened the case and lady asked if it was load. I said no. She gave me a form to sign, put it in the gun case closed it up and was done. She threw the suitcase on the conveyor, gave me an upgrade to business class and I was on my way. No TSA, no special area to scan bag, nothing.
Coming home from Georgia on Airtran was different. They made me unload the magazine and told me I could not keep the bullets in the same case as the gun. I was prepared for this so I brought an empty box of bullets. Put the bullets in the original manufacturers box and just put that in my suitcase. Had to take the suitcase to TSA where they did not make me open it. They swabbed the gun case, ran it through a machine. Said everything was ok and told me to put the declaration form in the suitcase (not the gun case as I did before). TSA took the bag and I was on my way.
When traveling with guns just be prepared for different situations.