gotta link to this–it’s a great example of playing by the rules, and thus gaming the system to your advantage.
it doesn’t have to be a real firearm–a starter’s pistol will do. the article refers to expensive camera equipment, but it seems to me that this would work for anything valuable in baggage that you are required to check.
from the article:
A “weapons” is defined as a rifle, shotgun, pistol, airgun, and STARTER PISTOL. Yes, starter pistols – those little guns that fire blanks at track and swim meets – are considered weapons…and do NOT have to be registered in any state in the United States.
I have a starter pistol for all my cases. All I have to do upon check-in is tell the airline ticket agent that I have a weapon to declare…I’m given a little card to sign, the card is put in the case, the case is given to a TSA official who takes my key and locks the case, and gives my key back to me.
That’s the procedure. The case is extra-tracked…TSA does not want to lose a weapons case. This reduces the chance of the case being lost to virtually zero.
It’s a great way to travel with camera gear…I’ve been doing this since Dec 2001 and have had no problems whatsoever.
their rules. just play by them.