3 May 17
As I write this, I’m at DEN (Denver) waiting to fly out for a weekend course.
As always, I have two pistols (Walther PPQ and Kahr PM45) and my M4 (FSM4) in checked baggage. All in hard, locked cases, per TSA regulations.
SW, at least, never wants to see the guns themselves. They tape the declaration card to the outside, and I’m on my way.
For my M4, I have four 30-round Magpul magazines, fully-charged, with the Magpul “cap” in place, all within a gun-rug. TSA thinks that is all just fine! For my pistols, I have a total of five fully-charged magazines, all in “magazine socks” by Hi-Viz, also within a gun-rug, which TSA also thinks is all just fine.
On my person, I have two tactical flashlights (Firstlight T-Max/LE and EAGTAC T25C2) and a DTI Trauma Kit. Flashlights are no problem, and the Trauma Kit is in my briefcase (along with my portable computer) and receives scant notice.
This is pretty standard commercial air kit for me, and I’ve been doing it this way for at least a decade. I don’t fly for my health, so I need a system that generates minimum delay and works every time. And, I need to be heavily armed, no matter where I go.
In most western and midwestern airports, this system works adequately. Would likely be a no-go in NYC and a few other airports in the northeast, but I don’t fly to any of those.
TSA/PRE status is a definite time-saver, and I recommend it. TSA/PRE passengers usually go through pretty fast and are asked far fewer questions than is the case for “general” travelers. Application process is easy, and it is definitely worth the effort, in my opinion.
Domestic commercial air travel is still fraught with stress, and sometimes surprises, no doubt. However, in my experience airline employees, even TSA folks, almost always try to be helpful. The key to minimizing delay and anxiety is to take a breath, don’t get excited, and don’t fail the attitude test. Just smile at everyone, be polite, and go through the process as best you can.
If I could afford my own jet (and crew), I would surely do it that way. On the other hand, if I could afford my own jet, I probably wouldn’t be working for a living and wouldn’t have to travel!
I friend who flies more than I do advised:
“If you’ve never missed a flight, you’re spending too much time in airports!”