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Semper Fi Cowboy

Flying to EOT

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I’m planning on going to EOT 2020, but I need to fly! Does anyone have an opinion on the best airline to fly with firearms? Also, how you do it!

Thanks,

Semper Fi Cowboy 

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Posted (edited)

It appears you live near Jacksonville, FL.  Southwest Airlines serves Jacksonville and is a favorite of mine since this Texas-based airline is gun-friendly and allows two checked bags for free.  (You will travel with at least two checked bags to EOT.)  Check the airline's website and the TSA website for particulars on flying with firearms.  I avoid changing planes in locations hostile to firearms like New York City.  Buy a very robust gun case.  Don't go cheap on the case.  You can check enough metallic cartridge ammo to shoot EOT but probably not enough shotgun shells.  Buy SG shells at EOT (Cowboys Shooter Supply has plenty) or ship them to the SASS office for your pickup.  You can rent a gun cart from SASS.  Reserve one early as well as your motel room.  The Comfort Inn in Edgewood is by far the closest.

TSA instructions

SW Gun & Ammo page

See also numerous videos on YouTube.

 

Additional thought: avoid flights where a leg is flown using commuter aircraft.  Sometimes smaller planes have luggage restrictions not present on larger aircraft.  I dislike checking my carry-on bag and would be concerned a large/heavy bag carrying my firearms might be rejected.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
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You only want to use a 'hard' case for your guns.

I like Pelican Cases a lot!

Take pictures of the guns with your ID and have the serial numbers on hand and with you.

Stencil your last name on both sides of the gun case in at least 2" letters.

You use NON-TSA locks on the gun cases today.......

OLG

 

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Gotta "Flap" yer arms real hard-n-FAST   :wacko:

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Posted (edited)

Make sure you are present for the TSA inspection

YOU will remove the locks let them inspect then YOU will relook the cases

I’ve had ticket agents tell me i need not be present!!!  If you are not present TSA will cut the locks and since they can no longer be locked they will be held back and not allowed on the flight. This can and does happen!!!

print TSA regs as well as whatever airlines you are flying ...... read them, KNOW them and make sure to bring them because you may run into agents who are ignorant of the regs!!!

 

also remove cylinders, break down shotguns, etc.,  to make TSA’s jobe easier

 

edited in......take direct flights only!!!

Edited by Dutch Nichols, SASS #6461

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Flew to WR in '17 on Delta... No probs at all.

Yes, be present for inspections

Yes, lock em back up yourself

Yes, get quality cases and good locks... many locks

Like ERS Canby said, you can take a good bit of ammo but probably not enough SG shells

There were two of us shooting so double everything. Three cases (heavy ones) packed full of guns and ammo. Yes, you pack the ammo with the guns. Airline rules dictate how much and how it has to be contained (usually factory-type containers). Not as bad as I expected. Good luck!

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Posted (edited)

Regarding direct flights: I didn't find any for the OP.  Connections were available though DFW, HOU, DEN and Chicago.  I would avoid Chicago.  Denver and the Texas airports would be fine.  If flights were cancelled due to weather and you had to take possession of your luggage local authorities would not care.  The NRA published this article regarding flying with firearms with the warning to avoid airports in New York and New Jersey.  There is a 11-lb limit on how much ammo you can check.  Shotgun shells will put you over the weight limit.

Edited by Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971
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When it comes to gun cases for airline travel, If you wouldn't let this gorilla near the case your firearms are in then the case is not good enough.

 

Best case for the money is a Pelican case

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Semper Fi.....

 

You will likely buy a large rifle case that will hold your rifle shotgun and revolvers.

make sure that there are 2 latches on the front and a latch on each end

you will also want to lock the case with 2 locks.

 

i just looked at the pelican cases.  they are expensive, and simple the best.

it is funny to watch the vendors at the shot shot bringing in thier products.

Pelicans are used 20 to 1.  They are used because they work. 

 

They sell a case that is 14x8x44.  Its 300$ - Expensive.  it would be perfect!

plenty or room.  

 

another  thing to consider when flying..... the large Pelican cases i used weighed 

26 pounds!  I could put 20 revolvers in a case, or 3 long guns and 12 revolvers 
into a long case.  these were heavy!      

 

99% of the time i flew it was on on South West with the flights originating in San Antonio.

The TSA in San Antonio were accustomed to seeing firearms - it was seamless!  Of all the

places i flew, only 4 or 5 terminals would not take you back to the area where

they inspected the firearms.

 

i made sure the the TRA agent who took the firearms understood the they did not have

TSA approved locks,   and I asked them where they wanted me to wait, so if they wanted to 

look inside the box they could get the keys from me.  curiously, of the 4 or 5 places that took

the cases, only Denver and Raleigh asked for the keys after they X-rayed the cases........

 

It's really easy to fly with firearms.  Get to the terminal 2 hours early, Got through TSA screening/

and get a Starbucks with a couple of extra shots  - you will be fine!

 

AD

 

 

 

 

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I will throw out another option/ suggestion.  For a major like EOT or Winter Range; I guarantee at least one or more shooters from your local club are driving or RVing their way up.

Perhaps you can have your guns/ leather/ ammo hitch a ride with a trusted shooter.

This allows you to avoid checking of guns/ plane change hassles and extra bag charges incurred at the airline.

Offer some of these dollars to your fellow shooter (who can better use it than the airlines) for gas and inconvenience.

Travel lighter and easier and pick up your guns from them when you arrive.

In the past when my work schedule was such that I simply did not have the extra days to burn for travel and flying was the only way I could make an event and make it back home - many a fellow shooter made this offer to me.

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I ship a box with UPS with ammo, CAS leather rig, WB leather rig, shotgun belt, boots, some cowboy clothes, duster, barn coat, cleaning kit, etc.  That way I can get by with one suitcase and one or two hard gun cases (depending on whether I am shooting Wild Bunch).

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21 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

I will throw out another option/ suggestion.  For a major like EOT or Winter Range; I guarantee at least one or more shooters from your local club are driving or RVing their way up.

Perhaps you can have your guns/ leather/ ammo hitch a ride with a trusted shooter.

This allows you to avoid checking of guns/ plane change hassles and extra bag charges incurred at the airline.

Offer some of these dollars to your fellow shooter (who can better use it than the airlines) for gas and inconvenience.

Travel lighter and easier and pick up your guns from them when you arrive.

In the past when my work schedule was such that I simply did not have the extra days to burn for travel and flying was the only way I could make an event and make it back home - many a fellow shooter made this offer to me.

Yep, I have done that for some local pards. I pull an enclosed cargo trailer out to EOT and if folks want me to haul their gear out and back I’ll gladly do it.

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