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Helpful TSA At DTW  
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6075 posts, RR: 29
Posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2700 times:
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This morning I was leaving DTW for STL on NW. I was carrying my rifle case and gave it to the TSA to show that my firearms were not loaded. I don't lock the case until after I give it to TSA so I don't have to waste time unlocking it. However when the TSA man tried to lock the case one of the locks didn't work. I said "I'll go get another lock" he thought that maybe he could fix the one I had. He brought out a tool box and proceeded to tinker with the lock. About 10 minutes went by and he finally got it working correctly. I was really surprised he went out of his way to get that lock working, I could have easily went and bought one at the store, by International arrivals. The reason I put this up is that so many times I read about people knocking the TSA and I thought I would share a story of a TSA person being helpful. This was much better than last October when I ran into a TSA agent who didn't know anything about checking firearms. I wish I would have remembered the helpful man's name, he is a credit to the TSA.

It is also kind of odd the reaction you get when traveling with firearms. Some people don't like them at all and you can tell by their attitude when you check in with them. Others have seemed very interested in the vintage rifles and/or hand guns I usually have. I wonder if people traveling with knives or bows have similar issues.


My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2679 times:

In retail sales, one learns that it takes five positive comments to offset just ONE negative comment.

We here at a.net have all had our bad experiences with TSA, but rarely do we share our good ones - and I dare say we have ALL had our good experiences.

I am glad you had a good and helpful experience - I suggest writing letter of praise to TSA. They might be surprised!!



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2652 times:

Thanks for posting this, Falstaff. There are so many bad stories about TSA representatives, it's always nice to hear about a good experience someone has had. I too have had mostly positive experiences with TSA when they are checking my firearms. At least a good, if informal, hierarchy is usually in place and those screeners who are not familiar with firearms normally hand them off to those who are, and they will often chat with you while checking your firearms if the screening area is accessible to the public. Nothing like having someone who is completely unfamiliar with firearms and nervous looking them over and not really having any idea what they are looking for (or at).

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
It is also kind of odd the reaction you get when traveling with firearms. Some people don't like them at all and you can tell by their attitude when you check in with them. Others have seemed very interested in the vintage rifles and/or hand guns I usually have.

Yes, I've seen young female counter attendants' eyes almost pop completely out of their sockets when you tell them you have firearms to declare. I think many of them have never seen a real gun before and I always print out the airline's firearms policy to "help" them because it is not unusual at all for the counter agents to not be familiar with their employer's policy about checking firearms.

On the other end of the spectrum are ex-military people and those who are firearms owners themselves who usually are extremely polite in asking if they can have a peek at your guns. I am always very discreet at the counter when I mention I have a firearm to declare and when putting the red-lettered card in the luggage, I don't want anyone looking around and yelling "he's got a gun" at the top of their lungs!


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6075 posts, RR: 29
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2642 times:
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Quoting Queso (Reply 2):
I am always very discreet at the counter when I mention I have a firearm to declare and when putting the red-lettered card in the luggage,

Me too, except when carrying around a big gun case it is kind of obvious...

Quoting Queso (Reply 2):
I don't want anyone looking around and yelling "he's got a gun" at the top of their lungs!

If that were to happen I would bet you would get a very close look at some of the latest guns being carried by the airport law enforcement staff.  eek 



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineQueso From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2578 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 3):
Me too, except when carrying around a big gun case it is kind of obvious...

With all the variety of cases out there and with the general public not particularly familiar with gun cases as such, I find that most people have no idea what's in something like a rifle case. You and I know what they are when we see them but most people these days don't.


User currently offlineScouse From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2562 times:

I must agree that I have only had good experience with the TSA, especially when you consider what they need to put up with. But why does anyone need to carry a gun as carry on, can it not go as check in? Is it more fragile and valuable than my golf clubs?
A lot of guns go in carry on so why can't all of them go that way.



Love to fly
User currently offlineORDflyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2489 times:

Quote:
But why does anyone need to carry a gun as carry on, can it not go as check in? Is it more fragile and valuable than my golf clubs?

The guns discussed above aren't being brought as carry on...they are checked luggage. Due to the sensitive nature of firearms they must be declared when checking in. As opposed to normal checked baggage, guns MUST be in a locked case. To make this as efficient as possible the TSA agent will usually (always?) inspect the gun in front of the owner. Then after inspection the owner can lock the case and it will be sent down to the airplane. This avoids the need to try and locate the owner somewhere in the airport to open the case if the gun was screened out of sight like other luggage.
For your second question...depending on the gun it could certainly be fragile and extremely valuable both monetarily and sentimentally...potentially moreso than your or my golf clubs  Wink


User currently offlineOznznut From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2484 times:

Scouse
I think you are a little confused. The firearms are going as checked baggage. There is a TSA hand screening of all luggage (usually at the check-in desk ) if the airport does not have xray machines for checked baggage ( such as Phoenix ). You don't really believe that he was taking guns in the cabin as carry-on, do you? And quite likely, his guns are worth more than your golf clubs.
Keep it in the 10 ring.
Dave


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6075 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2451 times:
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Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
You and I know what they are when we see them but most people these days don't.

You are probably right. Sad state of affairs when people don't know what a gun case it. I could see how someone could confuse it for a bow, fishing pole, or musical instrument case.

Quoting ORDflyer (Reply 6):
The guns discussed above aren't being brought as carry on

No guns as carry ons... Was that ever allowed? At least not in a looooooong time.

Quoting Oznznut (Reply 7):
And quite likely, his guns are worth more than your golf clubs.

That would depend on the clubs and the guns. Today one gun was very valuable and the other wasn't so valuable. Both were WWII vintage military riffles from the Soviet Union and Germany. Some guns are very rare and valuable. Even some hunting riffles are very expensive. One man's golf clubs are another man's guns.

I have also flown with my golf clubs...

Oddly enough this case will be empty coming home, to DTW. One gun was a repair for a friend and the other I am leaving at my parent's house, in St. Louis. Next time the TSA looks at that gun case it will have some shirts in it. That should be interesting.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineDL4EVR From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 641 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
In retail sales, one learns that it takes five positive comments to offset just ONE negative comment.

We here at a.net have all had our bad experiences with TSA, but rarely do we share our good ones - and I dare say we have ALL had our good experiences.

Unfortunately for every good experience one has, there are about 5 negative ones to go along with it. That said, as much as I hate the TSA as a whole, not ALL of the people who work for them are horrible. At my home airport, PBI, a good portion of them are retired LEO's, who unfortunately have signed on for enforcing rules enacted by horrible management.
Nonetheless, for the "good" (however good a TSA experience can get...) experiences I've had at PBI, the TSA screeners at large airports in big cities (i.e. JFK) have little to no experience in law enforcement, or customer service, and those are the airports that most people go through.



We Love To Fly And It Shows.
User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2406 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
I was carrying my rifle case and gave it to the TSA to show that my firearms were not loaded.

I hope you informed the airline first. They are the ones who really care. The TSA just makes sure its not a bomb. I was actually under the impression NW was one of the airlines that didn't take firearms.

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
This was much better than last October when I ran into a TSA agent who didn't know anything about checking firearms.

Its just your job to inform the airline, get the big orange "steal me" tag. I don't think you even really have to inform the TSA, but I would advise it out of courtesy. I know I always make an effort to tell them and about half the time they totally blow it off.

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
Some people don't like them at all and you can tell by their attitude when you check in with them.

Yep, Some just want to take my word for it that the gun in the case is locked and unloaded.. Others actually want me to pull it out and rack the slide back to show them. Last time I flew I actually stood around and talked guns with the TSA baggage screener for 20 minutes, he was a nice guy. I think they have cleared out some of the retards from early in their history and have put in some halfway intelligent people. Maybe it is just a training issue, they finally learned that your job is a lot easier if you are actually nice to people.


User currently offlineKalvado From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2392 times:

Why everyone thinks it's a positive experience???
A federal employee lost 1/6 hr doing essentially nothing related to his primary job. Either there was no work for that particular person (aka Thousand Standing Around), or something was not done (e.g. some bags didn't make it to the plane due to 10 minutes delay in screening)
While probably that was a really nice move by a nice guy, I have hard time seeing how that fits big picture of TSA operations.


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2377 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
The reason I put this up is that so many times I read about people knocking the TSA and I thought I would share a story of a TSA person being helpful. This was much better than last October when I ran into a TSA agent who didn't know anything about checking firearms. I wish I would have remembered the helpful man's name, he is a credit to the TSA.

He is the exception, not the rule.

Quoting Kalvado (Reply 11):
While probably that was a really nice move by a nice guy, I have hard time seeing how that fits big picture of TSA operations.

You are presuming, of course, that TSA has a "big picture" of operations, which would be a mistake.

TSA primary purpose is to provide the illusion of security, with a secondary purpose of showing just how completely the federal government can f**k something up on a broad scale.

Any actual security that takes place as a result of TSA operations is a fortunate accident.


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6075 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2307 times:
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Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 10):
hope you informed the airline first. They are the ones who really care. The TSA just makes sure its not a bomb. I was actually under the impression NW was one of the airlines that didn't take firearms.

Of course the airline was informed first, they give you the firearms declaration card. They have the TSA at the ticket counter.

NW is very firearm friendly, check out their web site and search for firearms and you will get all the rules and regulations.

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 10):
get the big orange "steal me" tag. I don't think you even really have to inform the TSA, but I would advise it out of courtesy.

The tag doesn't go on the outside of the bag. NW will not allow anything on the bag saying there are firearms in it. TWA made you put the tag on the outside of the bag, which I always thought was a "steal me tag"

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 10):
Yep, Some just want to take my word for it that the gun in the case is locked and unloaded.. Others actually want me to pull it out and rack the slide back to show them

. Never had any of them take my word for it. They all wanted to see the firearms.

Quoting Kalvado (Reply 11):
A federal employee lost 1/6 hr doing essentially nothing related to his primary job. Either there was no work for that particular person (aka Thousand Standing Around), or something was not done (e.g. some bags didn't make it to the plane due to 10 minutes delay in screening)

There are usually several TSA agents at the NW check in at DTW. If it had been busy I doubt they would have taken as much time as they did. It was rather slow at the time.

If one of the TSAs jobs is to inspect firearms and the cases they travel in I would say he was doing his job.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 12):
He is the exception, not the rule.

There are grumps in every profession. I am sure a lot of TSA people are bitchy because people give them such a hard time. I am always nice to them and they are usually nice to me.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
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