Experience flying from PDX w/ firearm?

winterveil

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Just curious if anyone has flown out of PDX with a firearm packed (per TSA reqs) in checked luggage and what the experience was like. I recall an Oregonian story a few years back about pistols being stolen from baggage and am wondering if that's a concern or a rarity.

Thanks!
 
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Only once, and it didnt seem to phase anyone. My bigger issue was how the airline dropped off both of my gun cases at our destination. They left them outside of an office with no one around. I didnt have to prove to anyone who I was, just picked them up after waiting 10 minutes and left. I would recommend not advertising what's in the cases for just such a reason.
 
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They caught the guy (baggage handler I believe) that was stealing guns. If you search the forum for this topic you will find several threads with valuable info. Here is my short version:

First, PDX is both under construction and COVID modifications so procedures may change frequently.
PDX historically has been very easy to fly out of with a checked firearm; I've done it at 75+ times in the past 5 years.
Check both airline and TSA website for up to date info
Declare your firearm at the ticket counter, each airline has a different process but most are pretty easy
They will send you to the TSA station with your bag (this is changing due to the construction)
You will wait will TSA checks your bag and they WILL open your firearm case so have the key ready
I have had nothing but positive experiences with TSA, be nice to them. Sometimes they are tired so be patient.

Biggest issues:
Not having a secure enough case
Not having enough locks (can pull open a side and gun can be accessed)
Not having ammo original (or similar) boxes (although technically okay based on some writing, avoid leaving ammo in mags)
Being a jerk to TSA folks

Pro Tips:
Hard case inside of other suitcase (I even put my rifle cases in a bag)
Consider a bike cable to attach gun case to inside of suitcase
Put one of the 50 cable locks we have lying around on your gun (not required but helps to assure the my gun is not used for hijacking)
Arrive early (they are usually efficient but if you case alarms (happens) they will have to call a supervisor which delays about 5-10 minutes)
Place ammo in gun case (just find it makes life easier)
Two locks on the hard case

Hope this helps. Not legal advice.
 

gryghin

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100% agree with what @WillametteWill wrote, I've had the same experience flying out of PDX since early 00's.

Additionally, check the website of the airport that you will be flying back from. They may have different procedures, even though TSA is a Federal agency. Go figure.

I've flown back from Houston Hobby, Nashville, New Orleans, Jacksonville FL, Charleston. Some places had me bring my check bags to a location hand them to a TSA Agent and they take it back, while having me wait on the non-security side of the airport. Others are like PDX, bring to large baggage check in and TSA has you open everything.

Simplest thing to do is get there really early.

Only places I would not fly in/out of is California, Illinois, New York. I'm glad that when I do have to fly there, I am visiting family that believe the same way I do. I may have flown there without, but that doesn't mean I am unarmed while there.
 

Alexx1401

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Just curious if anyone has flown out of PDX with a firearm packed (per TSA reqs) in checked luggage and what the experience was like. I recall an Oregonian story a few years back about pistols being stolen from baggage and am wondering if that's a concern or a rarity.

Thanks!
This gets brought up and beat to death at least a few times a year. The airport is not the problem, it's people. The rules are easy to look up. Follow them. The only problems always come from people who "think" they know the laws and rules and have either no clue or they just enjoy their little bit of power. So flying? do not cut it close on time. Every time this is brought up many will relive the time's they flew and all was a snap. It's supposed to be that way. Problem is if you are unlucky enough to get some moron at the counter when you fly. Many say to print out the rules and regs to wave in their face. If you try this all you will get is more hassle. If some robot tells you no, you have to ask for the people in charge. Some times it will take a while for the one with a brain to show up and get you past the idiot. So if you cut it close, miss your flight, well sucks to be you. So show up with plenty of time and something to entertain yourself after you get past screening. Then relax and wait for the flight. No matter how many people tell you how fast and easy it was for them does not mean you will not hit the snag.
 

Camelfilter

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100% agree with what @WillametteWill wrote, I've had the same experience flying out of PDX since early 00's.

Additionally, check the website of the airport that you will be flying back from. They may have different procedures, even though TSA is a Federal agency. Go figure.

I've flown back from Houston Hobby, Nashville, New Orleans, Jacksonville FL, Charleston. Some places had me bring my check bags to a location hand them to a TSA Agent and they take it back, while having me wait on the non-security side of the airport. Others are like PDX, bring to large baggage check in and TSA has you open everything.

Simplest thing to do is get there really early.

Only places I would not fly in/out of is California, Illinois, New York. I'm glad that when I do have to fly there, I am visiting family that believe the same way I do. I may have flown there without, but that doesn't mean I am unarmed while there.
Curious if you all flew Alaska out of Charleston, and if so how smooth the firearms check in was there.

ie does Charleston have a real Alaska Check in desk, or was it a shared Delta/American/Someone else’s desk etc.

Alaska INTO Charleston my firearms declared bag went on the turnstile with all the other checked bag. Coulda been because it was amidst this Covid crud tho. Drove back...

Alaska in Medford were spot on the ball, and process was as easy as it possibly could be IMO. Sign the slip & put a carbon copy of such in the bag, keep a copy, they tagged it and checked it.
 

gryghin

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Curious if you all flew Alaska out of Charleston, and if so how smooth the firearms check in was there.

ie does Charleston have a real Alaska Check in desk, or was it a shared Delta/American/Someone else’s desk etc.

Alaska INTO Charleston my firearms declared bag went on the turnstile with all the other checked bag. Coulda been because it was amidst this Covid crud tho. Drove back...

Alaska in Medford were spot on the ball, and process was as easy as it possibly could be IMO. Sign the slip & put a carbon copy of such in the bag, keep a copy, they tagged it and checked it.
I grew up in Charleston but left in the 80's. That airport has grown, especially with Boeing there now.

We flew out of Charleston last spring, Alaska had their own desk. They took my check bag and had me wait at the chairs across from them until TSA were done. The gate agent that was working with me, waved me over when TSA gave the all clear and told me that I could go through the security check point.
 

Camelfilter

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I grew up in Charleston but left in the 80's. That airport has grown, especially with Boeing there now.

We flew out of Charleston last spring, Alaska had their own desk. They took my check bag and had me wait at the chairs across from them until TSA were done. The gate agent that was working with me, waved me over when TSA gave the all clear and told me that I could go through the security check point.
Appreciate the info, thanks!
 
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This gets brought up and beat to death at least a few times a year. The airport is not the problem, it's people. The rules are easy to look up. Follow them. The only problems always come from people who "think" they know the laws and rules and have either no clue or they just enjoy their little bit of power. So flying? do not cut it close on time. Every time this is brought up many will relive the time's they flew and all was a snap. It's supposed to be that way. Problem is if you are unlucky enough to get some moron at the counter when you fly. Many say to print out the rules and regs to wave in their face. If you try this all you will get is more hassle. If some robot tells you no, you have to ask for the people in charge. Some times it will take a while for the one with a brain to show up and get you past the idiot. So if you cut it close, miss your flight, well sucks to be you. So show up with plenty of time and something to entertain yourself after you get past screening. Then relax and wait for the flight. No matter how many people tell you how fast and easy it was for them does not mean you will not hit the snag.
Very true! Also “poeple” are the issue when u have minimum wage baggage handlers looking to get away with something to make a buck or steal for themselves. A pelican case that screams “HK” is more noticeable/attractive to someone like that vs some baggage they see 1000 times per day and wouldn’t even be curious about. This is the same reason I tell poeple who are traveling abroad with a nice camera to use a cheap plastic bag instead of a fancy camera case (or to put The fancy case inside a cheap plastic bag).
 

GWS

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PDX was the worst for me, it always takes longer there. Last time it took almost an hour dealing with some pissy TSA guy. He was already having a bad day when we arrived, kicking people's luggage around and such.
Spokane, Raleigh, San Jose, SLC and Dallas were easy-peasy but PDX can be a headache.
 

Alexx1401

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Very true! Also “poeple” are the issue when u have minimum wage baggage handlers looking to get away with something to make a buck or steal for themselves. A pelican case that screams “HK” is more noticeable/attractive to someone like that vs some baggage they see 1000 times per day and wouldn’t even be curious about. This is the same reason I tell poeple who are traveling abroad with a nice camera to use a cheap plastic bag instead of a fancy camera case (or to put The fancy case inside a cheap plastic bag).
YES!!!:s0101:
In the early days when the Fed's decided you had to "declare" firearms in checked luggage one of the moronic things they came up with was a tag that went on the baggage tag.Bright, easy to see, saying firearm is here. It became known as the "steal me tag" because it made it so much easier on the scum who steal. It took a while for them to pull their head out and tell them they could NOT do this. I would also say the same thing about any kind of case that is easily spotted as a firearm case. This is just begging to have it grabbed.
 

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