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With all the crazy weather this holiday, there's been so many reports of planes being grounded and delayed because of the snow and ice. And I heard plenty of reports of improperly routed luggage, lots of them. There was so many, in fact, that some planes have gone on flights without passengers to deliver the luggage to the proper destination!

I'd be really upset if my luggage was lost, especially if I had guns. I've only flown in a plane twice, and I hated it. I wanted to transport guns, but didn't, because I distrust having my guns separated from me in that way.

What happens if guns are lost through airplane transportation? Does the airline take responsibility, or does your insurance company have to deal with it? Anybody have any horror stories?
 

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Thankfully in all the flights I have taken nothing was ever lost nor did I have to wait for a follow-up flight to deliver my bags. However, I am looking to Fly to OH to my in-laws and was looking to bring a few pistols and a rifle with. This has me thinking otherwise.

~A

NWA Luggage fiasco

For a domestic flight, the reimbursement limit for checked luggage is $2,500 per passenger, says Anolik. For international flights, it's $9.07 per pound. Each airline will also have its own policies on what it will and will not cover. (Check the airline's Web site for the fine print.) You can usually rule out things like electronics, prescriptions and jewelry, he says.

And don't forget to include the expenses you incurred when the bag was lost, says Anolik. How many hours did you spend on the cell phone talking to the lost baggage office? What did you have to buy to replace your items so that you could continue on with your trip? What costs have you amassed in filing a claim?

If you lost such high-ticket items as electronics or jewelry, consider tapping your home insurance policy to replace it. If it's below the deductible or not worth the risk of escalating your premiums, chalk it up to an expensive experience and move on.

It's also worth checking with your credit card company to see if it covers any of your losses, says Foster.

When it comes to covered goods (mainly clothing), the airline will not be buying you anything new. Airlines most often replace your goods at depreciated value. (Think garage sale, not shopping spree.) Instead of buying you a new suit to replace the 3-year-old one that they lost, they'll likely give you the value of that new suit after three years.

It may help if you have the original receipt for the suit. If you don't (and who does?), you might be able to get a copy of your credit card bill from your card company or a picture of yourself wearing it at that last anniversary dinner.

And hold out for the true value of your goods. If the airline is trying to pay down-market prices for up-market clothes, set them straight. Look to people familiar with the quality of your clothes, such as a tailor, dry cleaner or the manager of the clothing store you frequent, to give you a note to help document your claim.

Just like other areas of life, there is "plenty of room" for negotiation, says Stempler.

"Don't have great high hopes and be extremely patient," says Foster. "It may take six months."

Best overall advice: Stay calm and cut a bargain you can accept. If that doesn't get you a fair settlement for what you've lost, try small claims court, says Anolik.

If you're dealing with lost luggage, the main thing is not to let the situation get to you, he says. "Relax, go on with life and don't aggravate yourself," says Anolik. "You can take care of it when you get home."
 

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I have flown alot and never lost anything yet, either. I believe the procedure is that you now take the luggage with the firearm in it, unloaded and no ammunition in the bag up to the ticket counter, declare it and they physically check your bag and hand carry it to the plane. They used to slap a sticker on it but I think they stopped that procedure. They are probably securing it in a certain location in the plane so baggage handlers don't get a chance to lose it.

I believe a bag is covered up to a certain limit, after that it's your insurance. Can someone step up and expand on this?
 

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Having over 400k frequent flier miles I can tell you each airline is different, especially when it come to international flight. Since we are mostly concerned with domestic I can tell you that I always check with the airline before I take a gun. Remember you cannot pack your wepons and ammo in the same bag and the containers for BOTH must have a lock, not the luggage but the container. So you have to check 2 bags if you are going to carry ammo. Through a small federal loophole that gives the airlines the authority to make the decision wether to fly you or not some airlines will not fly guns these days. I won't name names so please check with the airline you are thinking of flying before buying your ticket if you are going to take your guns.

As for lost baggage I still have 2 bags 3 years latter that have yet too come home.
 

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The last time I flew out of Louisville (SDF) everything was great. No problems of any kind.

The return trip from New Orleans was horrible however. I could NOT get the guy to check my luggage containing firearms. I told him 3 times that I needed to declare firearms. He ignored me each time.

I told him I needed to fill out the orange tag,... he said... "OH! I am sorry. Here 'ya go!" I told him I already had one of those regular "ID" tags. I needed.... but he just grabbed my bag and pitched it on the conveyor.

I am yelling, "I demand you return that bag to me immediately, SIR!"

That got security to stop by. We got it straightened out but then the original guy says (very loudly) "OH! YOU HAVE A GUN!"

That seemed to create a minor disturbance with the rest of the people there.

Then after xraying the bag they demanded my keys to open the bag for inspection. I told them I would be happy to open it for them and that TSA regulations prohibited me from giving the key to anyone.

They didn't care. It was give them the key or it didn't go. I gave up (I know, I know) and gave them my keys.. they fumbled around trying to find the right key.. finally found it... tried to tear out the foam glued to the top but finally gave up...

I could go on but it was not very nice. I did write a complaint and all I got was "Here are our regulations." - Of course that only served to prove they were wrong but I finally gave up. My guns arrived safely however.

My advice: Keep a copy of TSA and the airlines regulations with you. Be careful to do everything right. When those "undeclared" guns had gone through the x-ray machine you know they would have sworn that I never declared them and then I would have been in "trouble". Be careful and you will be OK. Watch them closely and know the regs though!
 

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I avoid flying if at all possible.

About six months ago, I had to fly into NY city, so guns were out of the question. GOOD THING. When I got my luggage off the belt at LaGuardia, I noticed that one of my bags had been tampered with. I opened it up, and sure enough, it had been rifled through, and there was a little form-letter enclosed informing me that it had been searched randomly as a security procedure.

Even if I had declared firearms in it, I'm sure the gun would have "gone missing."
 

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Holy Crap. Nighthawk, that is a buttload of miles...

~A

Originally posted by nighthawk
Having over 400k frequent flier miles I can tell you each airline is different, especially when it come to international flight. Since we are mostly concerned with domestic I can tell you that I always check with the airline before I take a gun. Remember you cannot pack your wepons and ammo in the same bag and the containers for BOTH must have a lock, not the luggage but the container. So you have to check 2 bags if you are going to carry ammo. Through a small federal loophole that gives the airlines the authority to make the decision wether to fly you or not some airlines will not fly guns these days. I won't name names so please check with the airline you are thinking of flying before buying your ticket if you are going to take your guns.

As for lost baggage I still have 2 bags 3 years latter that have yet too come home.
 

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I opened it up, and sure enough, it had been rifled through, and there was a little form-letter enclosed informing me that it had been searched randomly as a security procedure.
I am aware of this procedure. Other than drive honest people nuts.. what good is it? If it is RANDOM then it is likely to miss the one "bad item of the day" anyway! It doesn't make sense.

It is unlikely to stop anything!

/rant off
 

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NightHawk, how does one go about getting a job like that? I do have a friend that is professionally sponsored fo surfing and he gets to travel the globe on sponsors dime's.

~A
 

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APachon, this was a tech company that did biz in 60 countries. I was and Exec and had to go see the masses. Actually I get really old after a while. Too much airtime, but God do I know how to live on an airplane.

Thos days are over. Sold the company. In fact I have flown only once since 9/11
 
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