Flying with Guns

guns

I routinely follow the TSA Blog. I travel for work and get to interact with the airline industry more often than I would like.

What I find super entertaining is the “Week in Review” that they publish where they share all of the silly things that people attempt to inappropriately travel with. Specifically firearms. The week of January 1st to the 7th showed thirty-seven firearms appearing in CARRY-ON bags. Seriously, who at this point doesn’t realize that airlines, of all places, is the one place where you are not supposed to carry? Of those thirty-seven, thirty were loaded, and fifteen had a round chambered.

Obviously if you are going to carry it should be “ready to go”, and in my opinion, should be physically on you. Now my question is this: why are these guns just hanging around in bags out of the person’s control? How does one just “forget” they had a loaded and chambered firearm in a small bag just prior to going through some of the most invasive scrutiny most people will ever experience?

Personally I am super paranoid whenever I travel. I go through my bags several times because I am afraid I may have a stray piece of brass hanging in the bottom of my pack. I cannot imagine missing something like a firearm (which you have to know will be confiscated at the very least).

If you are going to fly with firearms there currently is a right way to do it (we even discussed using a starter pistol back in 2010). Deviant Ollam (a well known presenter/lecturer/expert in the area of physical security and other topics; who even had some comments on the previously mentioned article) has put together one of the best primers I have seen on the topic (which incidentally allows you to secure other items in addition to firearms). Basically Deviant has a video, slides, help sheet, and “report cards” for specific airlines that show you how to safely and securely bring your firearms with you nearly negating the risk of theft and confiscation (I don’t think anything can be 100%).


Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • dshield55

    It’ s actually very reasonable that 37 people will accidently take a gun through security in a week. You just have to put in perspective of the sheer numbers of people that have guns and the sheer number of people that fly.

    Let’s just call it a 1 in 10,000 event. The chances of an ordinary CCW carrier ever taking 10,000 flights in their life is very low. And in fact it would take several CCW licensees a lifetime to reach 10,000 flights. But, imagine you’re frantically packing up your stuff last minute, trying to remember if you put your toothbrush in, no you put two toothbrushes in you need to take one out, when you got to take the 2nd one out you realize you didn’t put your deoderant in. As you’re reaching for your deoderant you realize your guns on your hip, you know you need to pack the gun in a locked case and check it in, but you don’t want to put it on the bathroom counter so you slip it in the carry on. You’re way late so you head out the door, don’t have time to transfer the gun to the checkin bag, so you’ll just discreetly do it when you park in long term parking. There’s heavy traffic and your wife calls you pissed off about something so now you’re stuck thinking about what a b-word she was being to you as you’re late and you get to the airport still stuck on what she said and completely forget your gun is still in your carry on.

    This won’t happen to you every time you fly, but could it happen to you 1 in 10,000 times you fly? It’s very possible. Several million people fly per week, if 1% of them fly with guns, and 1 in 10,000 have a day similar to what I describe then you can very quickly rack up 37 folks who left their gun in their bag during a week. There are of course a lot of assumptions in what I just said and complete guesses in rates, etc, so don’t hold me to the actual numbers cited. But if somebody here on the blog wants to look into this deeper, I think you’ll find I was on the right track.

    And these accidental criminals are a danger to society so local governments of course will prosecute them to the full extant of the law, label them a felon, and everybody is excited they just took those peoples gun rights away over a simple mistake. Yay!!!

    • ExMachina1

      “This won’t happen to you every time you fly, but could it happen to you 1 in 10,000 times you fly? It’s very possible. ”

      No. Not to me. I can confidently say that I’ve never ended up with an “accidental gun” on my person or in my bag/luggage on any day over the entire course of my life (and I’m well over 10,000 days old) It’s simply not a hard thing to account for.

      Moreover, I would severely question the competency of those people who end up with a “whoops” gun–either they don’t take the responsibility of carrying a firearm seriously enough, or they are lying when they say they “forgot” they had it. I’m guessing there’s a lot more of the latter than they’ll ever admit to.

      • Jwedel1231

        I bet if you had over 10,000 flights in your life, and carried every day you didn’t fly, you would either take a gun through TSA accidently or come very close to it.

      • “Not to me” is the oldest joke in the universe, and it’s still good.

        • ExMachina1

          Seriously. I know will never carry a gun through airport security. Just like I know will never carry a tapioca pudding through airport security. The two simply don’t go together and I exercise enough executive control over my life to keep those things separated. A gun is not like your car keys or even your wallet. It is never excusable to loose track of your gun.

      • doyle hill

        I believe dshield55’s point is that statistically it is more likely than people would think because of the numbers of fliers. Not that you, specifically would be forgetful and do this.

      • Rich

        Seriously? I fly a lot. Every square inch of every bag is carefully planned out. I don’t even carry liquids in my carry on. Getting caught with a gun in a carry on makes you an irresponsible gun owner.

  • datimes

    Every few years an anti gun Congressman gets caught by TSA with a loaded gun. For them it is just an “oversight” or they “forgot” it was in there bag.

  • BattleshipGrey

    My guess is that those people don’t regularly carry a gun on their person to begin with, or they carry in a number of different ways on any given day. My wife carries her pistol either in her purse or in a coat jacket, but she’s always aware of its presence because we have children. We’re very conscientious about the presence of our guns because carrying them requires a great responsibility.

    I haven’t flown for 9 years, but before that I travelled to numerous states with firearms using the proper check in procedures. It typically only took an extra 5 minutes to claim it at the counter, tag it and walk it to the TSA checker. I watched the above video a few years ago and it’s spot-on. Sometimes you might have an airline clerk that doesn’t know how to process a firearm claim, but the manager will and I never had anyone give me any grief over it.

    These 37 people (+ more on the way) got an expensive lesson and I hope they now have a new found respect for the responsibilities that come with carrying a firearm.

  • Bozz

    37 firearms is on the low side. Usually it’s upwards of 60 or more a week. Thousands of firearms are found in carry-on bags each year by TSA and realistically you can’t say that every single one of those people caught with one simply forgot it was in their bag.

    It’s going to be a mixed bag of people who forgot, didn’t care and thought they could get anything by those people in the blue uniform they have an unfavorable opinion of, and a very small percentage of people (realistically the smallest of percentage) who actually had some thoughts of doing harm to others.

    As much as people want to complain about TSA, and I am one of those people, at least one of those 37 people that week probably had some ill intent with their firearm. Thankfully we will never know.

    • ExMachina1

      “As much as people want to complain about TSA, and I am one of those people, at least one of those 37 people that week probably had some ill intent with their firearm. Thankfully we will never know.”

      I agree with you in so much as suspecting that most of those people knew what they were carrying. Not so sure that their ultimate intent had to be ill however. It would be believable that they simply didn’t want to feel undefended and took the risk–I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most of the guns pictured are also cheap.

    • Sianmink

      And keep in mind that investigators got 90% of prohibited items through TSA screening without getting flagged.
      So for every 60 guns that get detected (I’d assume that firearms are easier to detect than other contraband) at least that many have to have been missed by screeners.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Read a story once about some woman who found out her husband was cheating on her so before he left on a trip she slipped a pistol into his bag and he got busted by security.

    • smartacus

      did they ask: You packed your own bags, sir?

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I would assume so.

      • Cymond

        He probably packed them himself, but didn’t keep a close enough eye on them afterwards. Even cheaters don’t expect that kind of trickery from a spouse.

        • smartacus

          and i bet she didn’t get charged with anything either, eh?
          ah yes the system works

    • Rock or Something

      Hopefully there wasn’t any “accidental discharges”. From either barrels.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        There would have been an accidental discharge in my shorts.

  • smartacus

    Too Long Didn’t Watch

    • HH

      well…you missed out. that was my initial reaction as well.
      it’s good and the guy is a great speaker.

      • smartacus

        ok i watched the whole thing.
        i was right, it was too long.

        i did get three useful bits of info out of it:
        -Federal Law mandates no labels on case indicating it’s a firearm
        -Federal Law mandates DO NOT USE A TSA APPROVED LOCK
        -and the biggest airport luggage thefts are Newark, followed closely by LAX and Chicago (hmm wonder what those three have in common)

  • Will

    Or they could follow the very simple SIX P rule.
    Previous
    Planning
    Prevents
    Piss
    Poor
    Performance…and pistol confiscation.

    • Giolli Joker

      Pistol Pilfering.
      8P

  • Sianmink

    15 million airline passengers per week, is it any surprise that at least 37 are complete morons?

    • Rock or Something

      What’s probable worse is that these are just the ones the TSA just happened to find…

      • mosinman

        considering the TSA was able to smuggle forbidden items past their own agents on a regular basis a during a test, i’m willing to bet they miss quite a bit

      • Tom

        I used to follow a blogger years and years ago called Fred Reid, before I’d heard it described as a blog (Super smart guy, excellent writer. The blog was called Fredoneverything) who was also a very keen diver. A few months after 9/11 he flew to the Bahamas or somewhere like that, he opened his carry-on in the hotel and there is his dive knife with an 8″ blade…

    • So if someone forgets a gun in their bag they are a complete moron?

      That is raising the standard for what is a complete moron pretty high.

      • Sianmink

        It’s a firearm, not a can of chunky beef stew.

        To just ‘forget’ you have it in your bag is a bit much.

  • Aaron E

    In 1995 I was the day shift checkpoint security manager at Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport (now Hartsfield-Jackson). Back then we went back and forth with Chicago O’Hare as the busiest airports in the world. Now Atlanta is solely #1.

    This was years before TSA. I worked for a private security company, under FAA guidelines. The Atlanta Airport is actually operated by the Atlanta Airport Terminal Corporation (AATC), and they had a say in how things ran as well. If you can imagine this – we were only running (5) stations, with a maximum of (9) stations. I was there during the first major expansion that opened a side room and (3) more stations. Now the checkpoint doesn’t look anything like when I worked there.

    Here is a short list of the absurd items passenger AND CREW attempted to bring through the checkpoint (not including firearms, OC spray, etc.):

    Samurai swords – more common than you’d think
    Full SCUBA gear with tanks
    A small gas grill (with tank attached)
    A full bag of tools
    An ornamental hand grenade attached to a base
    A hollowed hand grenade by itself
    Large decorative knives – think bizarre not nice
    Full sets of golf clubs
    Snow skis, poles, and boots
    Water skis
    Surfboards … yep!
    Brass knuckles
    Stun guns

    … and my all-time favorite …

    An industrial sized torch welder and tank on a rolling cart!

    • Cymond

      I never would have guessed that skis or gold clubs would be considered a security issue.

      • Giolli Joker

        I think the point is that they can’t fit and anybody who’s ever been on a plane would realize it before trying to carry them with him. 😉

  • Cymond

    A few stories on airport security:

    After a recent vacation to Ireland, I was busted with a jar of jelly in my carry on luggage. I packed in a rush and forgot that it was considered a liquid.

    I was once caught with a can of Mountain Dew. I meant to drink it before driving the airport in the morning.

    I have never carried a weapon through security but some of my friends have. A few years ago, my brother brought his ninja costume to DragonCon. When he unpacked, he found a pack of firecrackers and a lighter in the pocket of his ninja costume. When we went to Ireland, he forgot to take the pocket knife out of his pencil/art case, and security overlooked it on both flights. Finally, another relative took a Victorinox Swiss Army knife through security and only discovered it days later.

    I have flown with guns in a checked bag several times. I used a large polymer Bostitch tool box. I did get nasty looks from the airline workers at the front desk a few times, especially when flying out of California. Once, a TSA agent came out and demanded the key to my case, and I was not allowed to watch the inspection. At the time, that was a big no-no, but what could I do? Finally, one time, I got bumped off a flight because the plane got downgraded. However, my luggage made it on, and made it home several hours before I did. In fact, the airline couldn’t even get me home, I couldn’t make my connecting flight and the nearest alternative airport was a few hundred miles away. What did I do? I called my mother. She simply walked into the baggage claim section, picked up a 30 pound crate of my guns, and walked out. No one stopped her or said anything.

    http://files.stanleyproducts.eu/CatalogImages/7923_prev.jpg

    • Doc Rader

      Gulp

    • DataMatters

      Yup. I once had a very expensive match rifle circling the carousel in Denver while I had flown on to Colorado Springs. Not a good feeling.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      TSA probably added a few days to your life by confiscating the Mountain Dew.

      • Cymond

        Nah man, they let me chug it on the spot.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Careful with that stuff. I hear militants in Syria are filling grenades with it.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Can cops fly with guns?

    • MrEllis

      For specific reasons and depending on the airline/airport you have to jump through some hoops. The answer is still, yes/no/maybe but for the most part, it can be done when you’re working. Marshalls and some Federal Agents as well.

      • olnacl

        You have to be flying on official duty and have a letter from your chief stating that fact (say picking up a prisoner or some such). You also have to have documentation that you took the “Federal Flying With A Gun Class”. At least that was how it was explained to me by our training staff post 9/11.

        If you are a cop and are just going on vacation, then no, you have to declare and check your firearms abiding by TSA and the airlines’ regs.

        I have been a cop for 23 years and fly a couple of times a year. I just check my pistol and do my best to enjoy my flight.

    • Bill

      If you jump through the hoops, you get to meet the Captain, who has final approval, and often they board you ahead of everybody else. It sounds cool, but flying is bad enough getting wedged into a kid’s safety seat and having to keep everything covered up. It isn’t worth the hassle, so I usually check mine. That way, you just have to hang out in the men’s room like a pervert after picking up your luggage getting everything rigged back up.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Yeah, sounds like a pain.
        Id want to carry at first in case some shiite went down but then id realize the chances were nil and just check it.

    • robocop33

      NO, not unless they have a special license. a damn good reason and have completed a course in in-flight weapons AND the airlines are aware of it before hand and the Pilot is also aware of it.

  • Bill from Boomhower, Texas

    My wife and I flew from DFW to Nashville, back in Octobor. Southwest was great. My wife researched to find what we needed to do, to take our Springfield XDSs with 3 loaded mags each, on a week long vacation, driving from Nashville to Gatlinburg. She got a Cabelas H11 pistol/ammo case, and the TSA approved locks, and we had no issues the whole trip, except flying back from Nashville. For some reason, they told us to go wait in the nearby seats, and if no one came (I guess to arrest us) within 20 minutes, we could board the flight. As was stated by a previous poster, they search it in the back, where you can’t see.
    I just found it odd, that we flew into their airport on the same airline one week earlier, with no concerns. I suppose TSA rules may vary by state. They shouldn’t. But, I guess we’re evolving with all this.
    I’m curious, because there are a lot of places I’d like to see by flying and/or driving, and want to carry whenever possible. That’s my only experience thus far, and Texas just went open carry this year, so yes we are definately evolving here, but that’s a whole “nother” can of worms.

  • DataMatters

    What is most galling about the situation is the way TSA treats found guns like a criminal act when in fact there has been almost nobody caught who had any intent. Instead, it should be treated cordially and informally–you have to check the firearm, or take it back home or whatever, but it’s not some fine and criminal incident requiring airport police to be summoned, etc. Most of these people are just goofballs who made a simple mistake, not arch criminals requiring officialdom to bring the full weight of the law down on them. It is stupid what this country has become.

    • ozzallos .

      As somebody who works for the Evil Empire, I’ll clear a few things up.

      First, the police are called to make an assessment on what was found, not to automatically treat somebody like a criminal. The TSA only knows what a firearm should look like. They have zero training in how to handle one, the chambered condition, etc. Law enforcement naturally does and is notified to make that determination. If handling the firearm is required, they are the ones to do so, because again, training.

      Second, how you are treated after that of course depends a lot on you, but more importantly, where you live. Here in AZ, I’ve seen PD offer to store firearms for a forgetful passenger until he returned from his trip. The same can’t be said for many cities on the right coast for reasons too obvious to state. The political climate of your state has quite a lot to do with how your firearms forgetfulness is treated.

      And as always, being a jerk to everybody only guarantees you’ll just piss everybody off. Hint: Don’t piss off the police.

  • Nashvone

    I can see it happening by someone other than a complete moron. If I’ve done something often enough for long enough, NOT doing it takes enormous effort. There’s a place that I regularly go to for work that requires me to leave my keys in the ignition with the car doors unlocked. That is an incredibly unnatural act for anyone.

  • Jim_Macklin

    The joke is , TSA- Too Stupid for Arby’s. I am an pilot with an Airline Transport Pilot certificate. I flew for a charter company [before TSA] but the FAA rules did not allow carrying firearms without approval from the “operator.” A big part of the charter [aka air taxi business] was flying hunters, doctors and lawyers. The hunters carried guns in luggage that was always in the passengers’ reach because the airplane usually did not have any remote baggage compartment that was big enough to carry an AR15 or a Remington 870, if it had a baggage compartment.
    Flying hunters was obvious, without guns and ammunition they were not going to fly. Doctors and lawyers flying on business, to a court or operating room often carried a gun because they might need the gun when they got to their destination.
    In some cases the doctors and lawyers owned their own airplane and hired me as a professional pilot. Just like their private automobile, they could carry their personal weapons.We never lost a bag, left before all the passengers boarded and if you sat next to a screaming child, it was your child.

  • Bill

    I got jacked up once ’cause of my shield – a Deputy Sheriff’s Star that the screener thought could be used as a shuriken. It even has the points covered with little balls so, as we say, we can’t hurt ourselves. A supervisor with common sense took care of it.

  • ozzallos .

    Peeps here focusing on the meager 37 pistols is fine and all, but I’d be more concerned about that guy traveling with his canister of black powder. I’m still not sure how you can forget your gun in a bag, but screw that, lets just pack the Goex. Maybe those live (smoke) grenades, instead?

    Srsly.

  • Sianmink

    That’s not acceptable.
    Look, I carry everywhere, every day. complacency will cause you problems. Heading out the door, coming back home, the first priority is, ‘where’s my gun, is it where it’s supposed to be?’ if not, you fix that before you do anything else.
    It’s a serious responsibility. Kind of like having a pet or voting.

    • Like I said you wouldn’t understand.

      For some people strapping on a gun, or putting it in their bag is so automatic that they don’t think about it. It isn’t that they are randomly putting gun places and forgetting about it and later discovering it with a “Oh that is where I put it.”

      Do you seriously think about putting your shoes on, and know at every moment where they are? Or do you take it for granted that every morning you put them on without thinking? People in third world countries would think that the idea of you losing your shoes is crazy.

      If you do things long enough it becomes a force of habit, and you don’t realize when you enter a situation where you aren’t supposed to have it on you.

      Personally I literally search every nook and cranny of my backpack before a trip. Because it is easy for me to slip a knife or some ammo in it and forget about it. Before I check in I feel every pocket in my pants/shorts, and run my hands on my belt because it is easy for me to forget a knife or a gun (I always pocket carry a 380 even when I have a holstered gun) that I put on as part of my daily routine.

      If I wasn’t so paranoid I would probably be one of those few dozen people that are caught with a weapon at the airport every day. Because guns and knives are such a part of my life that I don’t there is a moment that I don’t have one within reach.

      • Sianmink

        You won’t get popped for a felony for accidentally having a pair of shoes in your carry-on.

        • Like I said, you wouldn’t understand. Until guns become so integrated into your life you probably never will.

          • Sianmink

            They’re pretty integrated, but I never forget the damage one can do (physically, socially, legally) if I am ever complacent about them.

          • Then they aren’t as integrated as you think.

            Honestly I used to be like you. I thought anyone that wasn’t 100% aware about everything involved with the gun was an idiot. But life isn’t black and white is a at least 50 shades of gray.

          • ostiariusalpha

            So, it’s not integrated until he’s complacent? Are you some kind of idiot? Serious question.

          • Kurt Akemann

            But a gun is not like other things one carries because it is a lethal weapon. Thus it requires a much higher level of care. A handgun should NEVER “just be forgotten”.

  • Jeff Edwards

    I fly with firearms a few times each year and after viewing Deviant Ollam’s YouTube I changed a few things – better locks, stronger cases, no soft sided bags anymore, and it’s actually been pretty routine. Just leave yourself plenty of time prior to check in and make sure of the gun laws where you’re traveling and that’s about it. Oh, and hyper check your stuff and your person before you leave for the airport and you can roll without any hitches.

  • CupAJoe

    Any chance of picking up a discounted lcr from said confiscations?

  • Hensley Beuron Garlington

    This is just what they catch, and that’s not counting the failed test where government agents smuggle explosives, firearms, and other banned objects past them regularly. My guess is they are too busy shaking down kids and elderly to be bothered by ages that acceptable for agents.

  • dat bee tru

    Flying with a “declared firearm” is easy, it’s your final destination that you should be concerned about. Many states/cities are not firearm friendly and could cost you dearly.

  • user z

    True Story:
    I flew into Phoenix with my daughter for vacation.
    Gun was in suit case locked,unloaded, separated from ammo, and claimed at check in per Frontier Airlines per TSA requirements.
    After getting on shuttle from Airport to hotel I looked at my suitcase on the shuttle and noticed there was a big rip on the side (holy $h!t).
    After getting to hotel I noticed everything was fine but decided to wait a few days before notifying Airlines of the damage. (big mistake).
    After a few days I called and told them my bag was damaged and they said too much time had passed since it happened and nothing could be done even though I had a date/time stamped photo of the rip minutes after leaving the airport (grrrrrr).
    Traveling back I had a brilliant idea.
    When checking into Phoenix Airport for departure I claimed gun same way I did when I arrived. The clueless (TSA?) attendant opened my bag and inspected gun and did not notice the rip on the side.
    I get back to my origin of travel (Home airport) and picked up my suit case at baggage claim and put on the acting career of my life.
    “HOLY COW MY SUITCASE IS RIPPED!”
    I got Frontier Attendant at baggage claim involved in the torn luggage and he apologized and called to get approval for the new suitcase….
    **CRITICAL JUNCTURE****
    Evidently he did not talk to the manager I talked to when I called in Phoenix and they approved the new FREE suitcase.
    It was very late at night and my daughter was bored to tears but it was worth it. The guy assisting me there asked “Why do you carry a gun anyway?” I simply explained that , for all intents and purposes, I was my daughter’s body guard as we drove all over Arizona and through the deserts during our vacation. He said “oh”.

    Moral of the story: CHECK YOUR BAG THOROUGHLY WHEN YOU PICK IT UP AT BAGGAGE CLAIM . IF THERE IS S PROBLEM NOTIFY THE AIRLINES ATTENDANT RIGHT THEN AND THERE.

  • user z

    @11:54 – “I’m traveling with weapons today”?? Seriously? As FIREARM owners we are trying to get as many rights as we can for the myriad of uses we use FIREARMS for, yes “weapon” is a use for them but that should NOT be the primary designator for a FIREARM. Yes some will think the 2 terms are synonymous but they should not be and proper education requires not calling FIREARMS weapons like you are so cool and you use the “F” word every 10 seconds and have “weapons” ,

  • user z

    True Story:

    I flew into Phoenix with my daughter for vacation.

    Gun was in suit case locked in case,unloaded, separated from ammo, and claimed at checkin per Frontier Airlines per TSA requirements.

    After getting on shuttle from Airport to hotel I looked at my suitcase on the shuttle and noticed there was a big rip on the side (holy $h!t).

    After getting to hotel I noticed the contents were intact but decided to wait a few days before notifying Airlines of the damage. (big mistake).

    After a few days I called and told them my bag was damaged and they said too much time had passed since it happened and nothing could be done even though I had a date/time stamped photo of the rip minutes after leaving the airport (grrrrrr).

    Traveling back I had a brilliant idea.

    When checking into Phoenix Airport for departure I claimed gun same way I did for arrival fight. The clueless (TSA?) attendant opened my bag and inspected gun and did not notice the rip on the side.

    I get back to my origin of travel (Home airport) and picked up my suit case at baggage claim and put on the acting performance of my life.

    “HOLY COW MY SUITCASE IS RIPPED!”

    I got Frontier Attendant at baggage claim involved in the torn luggage and he apologized and called to get approval for the new suitcase….

    **CRITICAL JUNCTURE****

    Evidently he did not talk to the manager I talked to when I called in Phoenix and they approved the new FREE suitcase.

    It was very late at night and my daughter was bored to tears but it was worth it. The guy assisting me there asked “Why do you carry a gun anyway?” I simply explained that , for all intents and purposes, I was my daughter’s body guard as we drove all over Arizona and through the deserts during our vacation. He said “oh”.

    Moral of the story: CHECK YOUR BAG THOROUGHLY WHEN YOU PICK IT UP AT BAGGAGE CLAIM . IF THERE IS S PROBLEM NOTIFY THE AIRLINES ATTENDANT RIGHT THEN AND THERE.