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Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:17 am
by J.R.@A&M
First of all, the shutdown impacts are still lingering, There is still no TSA security in IAH Terminal B, so you have to check in at either C or E.

Second, the firearm checking process is slightly modified. The United staff did the normal inspection, then she added my cell phone number to the official orange card in my luggage (something new). She also generated a boarding pass sized printout of a special devices form that said I had a checked firearm. She gave this form to me... not sure what I am supposed to do with it. Maybe just a United thing. She also said she was entering my cell phone in some online record, and that all this was to help TSA because they were understaffed.

The only real impact so far is that I am hanging around inside Terminal C in case TSA pages me to come and unlock the lockbox or something. In the past, the TSA folks would look at it in my presence and give me the all clear.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:43 am
by bfm1851
" said she was entering my cell phone in some online record," That does not sound good. Are they using this shut down as a means to start a data base of gun owners??

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:34 pm
by LabRat
It's not just United Airlines.

Wife and I flew AA to North Carolina in November 2018.
I checked in on-line 24 hours pre-flight, no issues.

When I checked my firearm in at DFW, all went smooth. No issues. Flew and luggage was no problem

However:
On the return flight, I could not check in on-line.
Site stated that I was flying with a firearm and I am required to check in at the flight terminal.
I went along with it; what else was I going to do?
Check in was smooth, no issues and arrived at DFW with no hassles.

I don't know about the TSA, but the airlines are keeping the score at least on a flight-by-flight basis.
My $0.02

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:58 pm
by The Annoyed Man
Some of this doesn’t smell right. I’m old enough to remember pretty clearly 9/11, the passage of the (poorly named) Patriot Act, the establishment of the TSA, and the deploying of TSA agents to conduct the security kabuki at airports.

As I remember it, the law mandated security checkpoints, but it gave airports/airlines the option to either perform this function themselves, OR to use the gov’t provided “service”. In other words, all that was necessary from a security perspective to keep the flights moving was for the airlines and/or airports to step up and hire their own security, and to keep on truckin’ instead of blaming the shut down. They didn’t exercise their right to that option, so they have no right to complain about having to cancel flights, etc.

Flying customers should let the airlines know that they don’t appreciate them dropping the security ball, just for the sake of a sloughing off a responsibility that is partially theirs to shoulder, onto an already burgeoning but immobilized gov’t.

Other than that, I have no particular opinion in the matter.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:06 pm
by GeekwithaGun
LabRat wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:34 pm
It's not just United Airlines.

Wife and I flew AA to North Carolina in November 2018.
I checked in on-line 24 hours pre-flight, no issues.

When I checked my firearm in at DFW, all went smooth. No issues. Flew and luggage was no problem

However:
On the return flight, I could not check in on-line.
Site stated that I was flying with a firearm and I am required to check in at the flight terminal.
I went along with it; what else was I going to do?
Check in was smooth, no issues and arrived at DFW with no hassles.

I don't know about the TSA, but the airlines are keeping the score at least on a flight-by-flight basis.
My $0.02
This also happened to me this past year. We have not flown on AA for a while and they changed the process, have never been restricted to in person check in. In addition, it also happens with Delta. Both airlines tag the checked bags with firearms with a "BSO" or "Oversize" luggage tag and will not (on purpose) place on baggage carousel at destination.

Been using Southwest as much as possible as they make this easy and DO NOT mark the luggage in any way.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:17 pm
by n5wmk
LabRat wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:34 pm
However:
On the return flight, I could not check in on-line.
Site stated that I was flying with a firearm and I am required to check in at the flight terminal.
I went along with it; what else was I going to do?
Check in was smooth, no issues and arrived at DFW with no hassles.

I don't know about the TSA, but the airlines are keeping the score at least on a flight-by-flight basis.
My $0.02
Yep, I've experienced the same thing on 3 trips (all AA) from DFW to PIT and back. Couldn't check in online for my return flight because I checked a firearm on the outbound.

What annoys me is that at both ends, when checking, AA puts a big orange tag on the outside of the suitcase that is marked "Return to BSO". The BSO (baggage service office) is where you (normally) pick up oversized (like golf clubs, skis, etc) or heavy items. Well, AA puts checked firearms into that same category. When I questioned the tag, and said "So now you're telling everyone that there's a firearm in my suitcase" the reply, was "No, we put that on all cases with high value items inside." :banghead:

But the bigger issue was every return to DFW, my case came out on the carousel instead of going to BSO, with the orange tag still attached.

In Pittsburgh, it always arrived at the BSO.

On one return to DFW, I went to the BSO to ask about my bag. The lady there (wearing a burka), asked how big was the case. I said a typical medium size luggage piece. She said "So, you have a gun in it?"

:nono: "Why would I tell you that?"

She said to go check the carousel, that it would probably be there. It was. Every time this happens, I send an email to AA customer relations, complaining about the policy of the orange tag in the first place, and the bags coming out on the carousel in the second place. I get a typical boilerplate response that they care about their customers and will look into it. That's as far as it ever goes.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:37 pm
by tbrown
If they insist on the BSO security theater, but my bag comes on the carousel and they're not checking claim tickets, I would be tempted to file a claim for them losing my bag. Which, technically speaking they did. I just happened to be lucky enough to find it before it was stolen.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:24 pm
by J.R.@A&M
bfm1851 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:43 am
" said she was entering my cell phone in some online record," That does not sound good. Are they using this shut down as a means to start a data base of gun owners??
As far as that goes, all the airlines that I fly have the means to establish a database of my armed travel. They already have my contact info, and I am declaring my firearm possession. I don’t know if, or why, the airline companies would spend money to keep a record of this.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:38 am
by bfm1851
J.R.@A&M wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:24 pm
bfm1851 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:43 am
" said she was entering my cell phone in some online record," That does not sound good. Are they using this shut down as a means to start a data base of gun owners??
As far as that goes, all the airlines that I fly have the means to establish a database of my armed travel. They already have my contact info, and I am declaring my firearm possession. I don’t know if, or why, the airline companies would spend money to keep a record of this.
Maybe it's not the airlines keeping the record? FFA hands it over to someone in the government. Damn if I keep this up this train of thought I won't go out without a tinfoil hat on! :shock: Is that a black helicopter up there???

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:39 pm
by KC5AV
bfm1851 wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:38 am
J.R.@A&M wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:24 pm
bfm1851 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:43 am
" said she was entering my cell phone in some online record," That does not sound good. Are they using this shut down as a means to start a data base of gun owners??
As far as that goes, all the airlines that I fly have the means to establish a database of my armed travel. They already have my contact info, and I am declaring my firearm possession. I don’t know if, or why, the airline companies would spend money to keep a record of this.
Maybe it's not the airlines keeping the record? FFA hands it over to someone in the government. Damn if I keep this up this train of thought I won't go out without a tinfoil hat on! :shock: Is that a black helicopter up there???
Those darn Future Farmers of America.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:38 pm
by Hack Job
I flew round trip from DFW to Charlotte this week with AA. No issues locally, other than annoyed about the BSO tag on my checked bag. But the process was quick and I was not asked for my cell number.
On return from CLT it was more of a hassle. After checking my bag (and adding name & number to BSO tag) I was asked to wait 15 min just in case TSA had any questions. I then proceeded through security and to the gate. 45 min later I was called and asked to go to the baggage claim area with keys to the locks. Once there I asked if there was a problem. I was told by the TSA agent that they needed to inspect the firearms for gun powder residue and to make sure the cylinder is empty. I explained the firearms had been shot and there are even actual bullets still in the case - so of course there would be residue. I was met with a blank stare and then handed over the keys.
From the interaction it was clear the agents had no idea how to handle firearms or what they were even looking for. They also told me that there is no requirement to lock the bag or the case since they're being checked anyways and the area is secure.
I was asked for ID when picking up the bag in CLT, but no ID was needed back at DFW, anybody could have grabbed the bag.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:10 pm
by bfm1851
KC5AV wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:39 pm
bfm1851 wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:38 am
J.R.@A&M wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:24 pm
bfm1851 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:43 am
" said she was entering my cell phone in some online record," That does not sound good. Are they using this shut down as a means to start a data base of gun owners??
As far as that goes, all the airlines that I fly have the means to establish a database of my armed travel. They already have my contact info, and I am declaring my firearm possession. I don’t know if, or why, the airline companies would spend money to keep a record of this.
Maybe it's not the airlines keeping the record? FFA hands it over to someone in the government. Damn if I keep this up this train of thought I won't go out without a tinfoil hat on! :shock: Is that a black helicopter up there???
Those darn Future Farmers of America.
"rlol" Damn this spell check. FAA.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:40 am
by GeekwithaGun
Hack Job wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:38 pm
I flew round trip from DFW to Charlotte this week with AA. No issues locally, other than annoyed about the BSO tag on my checked bag. But the process was quick and I was not asked for my cell number.
On return from CLT it was more of a hassle. After checking my bag (and adding name & number to BSO tag) I was asked to wait 15 min just in case TSA had any questions. I then proceeded through security and to the gate. 45 min later I was called and asked to go to the baggage claim area with keys to the locks. Once there I asked if there was a problem. I was told by the TSA agent that they needed to inspect the firearms for gun powder residue and to make sure the cylinder is empty. I explained the firearms had been shot and there are even actual bullets still in the case - so of course there would be residue. I was met with a blank stare and then handed over the keys.
From the interaction it was clear the agents had no idea how to handle firearms or what they were even looking for. They also told me that there is no requirement to lock the bag or the case since they're being checked anyways and the area is secure.
I was asked for ID when picking up the bag in CLT, but no ID was needed back at DFW, anybody could have grabbed the bag.
Something similar happened to be in Detroit, was called to return to check in, TSA said there was a question about how the ammo was stored in the firearms case and asked for my combo for the firearms case and I refused. I explained the TSA regs and we walked to the bag and I opened, they checked, no issues and I was on my way.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:13 am
by OneGun
This past weekend, my wife and I flew roundtrip from Houston to Chicago ("ChiRaq") on United. On Friday, 2/1, I checked a bag at ticket counter and told the agent I needed to declare my firearm. I have my name and phone number on the outside of the NanoVault I use. I also have my name and number on the luggage tag. I put the orange declaration in my bag, and the ticket agent sent my bag on its way. Never heard from TSA.

On the return trip out of O'Hare back to Houston, things were different. First, when I checked at the kiosk to get a baggage tag, I got a printout that said my bags need special attention instead. No other information. I got an agent before hand because I need to make the declaration. She filled out the form, had me sign it and she escorted us to a special TSA location behind the ticket counters. They scanned my bag and the TSA agent give me the "all good". The agent then escorted us to the front of the TSA Pre-check line. All, told, 10 extra minutes.

Re: Air Travel Update

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:56 pm
by SNW500MAGNUM
Same here flying AA.
Sometime in October/November last year I can’t check in online on my return flights.
Reason, I am traveling with a Firearm.

No big deal, I travel with a large computer case and I can’t check it, can’t check in online I get boarding group 8 and 9.
No place for my laptop due to late boarding.
I Don t have options from where I fly out except driving 90 minutes to an alternate airport or leaving the carry at home.

Wrote to AA also, they don’t care.

One instance flying into Ontario the bag with my firearm was dropped on the carousel.

Check in has never been an issue.

Southwest, no problems or inconvenience.