Does anyone have any experiences (good or bad) checking firearms with either Delta or US Airways? Delta's policy on checked firearms seems pretty reasonable, including allowing you to place your checked, locked, hard-sided gun case inside soft-sided luggage (where it is less likely to come to the attention of thieves):
US Airways will allow passengers to transport firearms in accordance with Federal Law.UPDATE: This is nice. The last time I went to Texas, I ended up getting a Florida concealed handgun license, because Texas did not recognize Idaho permits (somewhat less strict requirements for training than Texas), but because Idaho issues such permits, Texas would not issue a non-resident permit to an Idahoan. But because Florida issued to non-residents, and Florida had similar training requirements, Texas would recognize a Florida permit. Convolution beyond need.
- Items of shooting equipment will be accepted as checked baggage only.
- A passenger who presents checked baggage that contains a firearm must declare the weapon and sign a written acknowledgement that the firearm is unloaded.
- Firearms must be packed in a manufacturer’s hard–sided container specifically designed for the firearm, a locked hard–sided gun case, or a locked hard–sided piece of luggage. Handguns may be packed in a locked hard–sided gun case, and then packed inside an unlocked soft–sided piece of luggage. However, a Conditional Acceptance Tag must be used in this case.
- Baggage containing firearms must be locked at all times and the key or lock combination retained by the passenger.
- A Firearm Unloaded Declaration form (available only at the airport) must be signed and placed inside the bag or gun case.
- Checked ammunition may not exceed 11 lbs/5 kg per person. Ammunition clips with ammunition loaded are not accepted. Ammunition must be packed in the original manufacturing package or constructed of wood, fiber, plastic, or metal and provide separation for cartridges. No additional documentation is required.
- There is no limit to the number of items contained in rifle, shotgun or pistol case, up to 50 lbs/23 kg, 62 in/157 cm in maximum.
- A passenger who presents a firearm to be checked to an international destination must be in possession of all required import documentation for their international destination city and any international transit points. It is the responsibility of the passenger to acquire the required documentation from the applicable government entity prior to travel (usually a consulate or embassy). Firearms will not be accepted for transport if international import requirements have not been met.
Now, however, Texas does recognize Idaho permits, at least since 2004.
UPDATE 2: One annoying aspect of the rules that most of the airlines have (but which does not appear to be a TSA requirement) is that ammunition has to be either factory boxes, or boxes that separate the rounds from each other. This effectively means that you can't have ammunition loaded in magazines, which means that when you get where you are going, you need to spend time loading magazines, and unloading magazines when you are ready to get back on an airliner.