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Trouble flying; coming out to DC19

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  • Trouble flying; coming out to DC19

    So I'm pretty sure TSA was in the wrong here but the rules on their website aren't clear enough for me to tell.

    We checked in at the ticket counter, declared firearms in the case, locked it and sent it away. Lady from the airline called us over and said TSA needed to get into the case because they "detected explosives". Told her I'd be happy to open it for them if they'd bring it out or allow me to go to it but she wouldn't let me. She said she just did this last week with some military guys and I was supposed to give her the key and let her disappear with it.

    I told her it was a violation of federal law (I thought it was...), and she had the "TSA supervisor" come out. He backed her up and basically gave me the ultimatum of give him the key or don't fly.

    Anyway I backed down.....

    Were they right or was I? I have names and some audio recordings of the experience...

  • #2
    Re: Trouble flying; coming out to DC19

    Originally posted by b1z View Post
    So I'm pretty sure TSA was in the wrong here but the rules on their website aren't clear enough for me to tell.

    Were they right or was I? I have names and some audio recordings of the experience...
    From what I have read (IANAL), you were correct. Track down Deviant and seek his insight. In the mean time, read this:

    http://deviating.net/firearms/packing

    Print out his handy reference (on the page above) and laminate it for the return trip.


    Two immediately pertinent questions:

    - Which Airport?
    - Which Airline?

    I hope you got the first and last names of all involved should you decide to file a complaint.

    Last question: Did all the luggage make it (otherwise) unmolested?

    If it's not too late, I would advise videoing the initial opening of the locked bag so that you can hopefully further document via the TSA notice of having searched it what went on.


    Having your rights blatantly violated sucks, as does watching a federal employee violate the law when you have just advised them that they were doing so.




    WB

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    • #3
      Re: Trouble flying; coming out to DC19

      This happens to me every time I fly out of my home airport with guns. I basically went through the exact same situation. Filed a formal complaint with the TSA, to which they admitted no fault (shocker.) I wrote a letter to my congresswoman, her office followed up with the TSA but they basically gave her office the same story.

      What I do now (not the best situation, but better than nothing) is refuse to give the key to anyone but an actual police or customs officer at the airport and ask them to witness the screening on my behalf if I can't be present.

      On this round of screening, after my key was returned I was told "The TSA Supervisor wanted me to tell you how cool your collection is." Normally, I'd take that as a compliment, but considering I've had to provide my key for opening every time I've flown out town...it makes me wonder how many of those times have been as a result of "Oh dude, check out the xray of this case. Lets ask for secondary screening so we can see what they look like."
      Last edited by Picch; August 3, 2011, 23:37.

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      • #4
        Re: Trouble flying; coming out to DC19

        while it is not in violation of any law... for the longest time it violated TSA policy.

        even this has changed now, however, and the TSA rules (at least on the web) say something like "if the TSA asks for your key we recommend you offer it to them" etc etc.

        annoying, but at least you can demand a supervisor for a moment (just long enough to ask why this is happening, but really just to see his or her name) and therefore have someone official to point to if your luggage has been messed with.

        it still serves the overall purpose of protecting your bag from pilferage by handlers/throwers.
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

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