Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Traveling with weapons... Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Shane Smith




Location: Virginia Beach
Joined: 24 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2005 2:12 pm    Post subject: Traveling with weapons...         Reply with quote

I had occasion recently to travel cross country via airplane to attend an ARMA event. This was my first time not simply driving my gear to my destination. I learned a few things.

1. You can travel with wasters and blunts as long as they are checked baggage.

2. You can fit 100 pounds of armour and gear into three normal-sized suitcases

3. You can count on being interogated by the friendly TSA agents if you are carrying what appear to be body-parts and swords simultaneously in your luggage.

4. You can count on having your things riffled through once you walk away and being left a "we were here" card from the agents mentioned above that you will discover upon arrival at your destination.

5. You must be ready to accept the fact that your wasters may be broken when you finally get them in your possession again(mine certainly were it seems).

As stated above, the pommels on both of the wasters in my case were literally separating from the hilts when I took them out for the event in question. They worked fine until they took the plane ride...Now they are destroyed(Maybe threaded rods and epoxied fasteners look like contraband on X-ray machines?),

Have you ever suffered such horrors at the hands of the airlines? Is this an isolated incident perhaps?

Shane Smith
ARMA~ Virginia Beach
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
David R. Glier





Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2005 2:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OH yeah. Threaded rods in something that doesn't look like it ought to have threaded rods or concieled/movable parts is just begging TSA to break your stuff. I've spoken to the Captains of the police and security at Greater Cincinnati International, and they're absolutly unapologetic. It's the passenger's responsibility to make sure there's nothing suspicious about themselves or their posessions.

I suspect they genuinely tried to take your waster apart neatly, but broke it when it wouldn't move and they *knew* there was something in there. All-wood construction, next time? Worried Very sorry to hear about this.
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2005 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Have you ever suffered such horrors at the hands of the airlines? Is this an isolated incident perhaps?


No I haven't, because I refuse to take anything valuable aboard an airplane. There are plenty of occasions where I've attended events and would have loved to have taken one or two of my swords along. I haven't done so specifically because I travelled by air in those instances. I will not trust anything other than clothes, toiletries, and incidentals to the vagaries of TSA and airline baggage handlers. If I have to take swords or other personal possesions of value along I drive, otherwise I don't go.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
View user's profile Send private message
David R. Glier





Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Tue 22 Mar, 2005 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You may wish to consider mailing items to yourself, care of your host at your intended location. Despite the horror stories, well packaged items almost invariably ship well.
View user's profile Send private message
Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 790

PostPosted: Wed 23 Mar, 2005 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had a few times when things weren't repacked as nice as I would have liked (yes, I can be a perfecionist, though I'm not very good at it, which irritates me), but the worst damage was a broken zipper. Nonetheless, I don't trust airline baggage handles any more than I trust Soldiers doing the same basic job (usually against their will). Since I'm not a fan of haing my stuff thrown all over the tarmac, the desert, or a desert tarmac, I use David's advice most of the time. Anything I can't carry conveniently by myself (the list pretty much runs out after my pocket watch, pocket knife and a pipe), I mail to myself. I realize that for some events this is going to be difficult, but I suspect that, if you explain your concerns, you can probably find someone who will be willing to recieve and hold onto your stuff.

The other thing that I would suggest from having observed the state in which people have recieved things handled by the Military Postal Service is that the word "fragile" on the side of a box carries a lot more weight if there is also a sticker on the top saying "insured."

I hope your future travels all have more enjoyable results.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
View user's profile Send private message
Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 613

PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2005 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shortly after I returned to Japan from Iraq, my ship sent me to a damage control school in Hawaii. I had a similar misadventure in the Honolulu airport after the school ended and I was flying back.

First, the baggage checker thought my sea bag looked suspicious, so they insisted that I unlock it and let them go through it by hand. Fair enough, I thought. After they had finished, they put a sticker on it saying that it had passed inspection and I went on my way. In the bag was a nice little (ok, maybe not so little) folding knife that I was quite fond of. We’ll come back to that.

When I reached the X-ray machine, the guard gave me a hard, scrutinizing look. I’ve gotten used to that since 9/11. A large portion of my family is from Greece, and I’m a little on the swarthy side. No matter how many times I show my active duty military ID or American passport, I’m always under suspicion from the start. Two weeks lying on a beach in Hawaii didn't help this problem. After double-checking my ID, the guard then ordered me to take off my shoes and put them through the machine. I found this odd, since I was wearing Birkenstock sandals, not steel-toed boots. Apparently my hippie footwear looked threatening, and decidedly unpatriotic. I did as she asked, but as I watched my sandals vanish into the machine I told her (rather good-naturedly) that I thought it was stupid to make me run around barefoot like that. To my surprise, she grabbed her radio and said, “This is checkpoint three, we have a problem here!”

Perhaps it was the six months I spent in the Middle East blowing people up, but I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing and called her a drama queen. In hindsight, that was probably an unwise reaction. I was surrounded by armed guards in short order and whisked away to a room where they proceeded to go through my wallet and pass the metal detecting wand over my bare feet, as if I’d implanted bombs into my own flesh. Ever the smart ass, and now completely pissed off, I told them that the explosives were actually implanted in my forearms and that they’d have to look there if they expected to foil my evil scheme. Fortunately, they more or less ignored me, although they did wand down my arms before letting me go.

I went back to the X-ray machine to get my sandals, exchanged a few curt and unpleasant words with the woman working there, and went on my way. When I arrived at Narita Airport, I found that the lock had been cut off of my sea bag, in spite of the INSPECTED sticker still clinging to it. The lock fragments were inside, in a ziplock bag, along with a nasty-gram explaining how my lock was a threat to the war on terror, and therefore had to be destroyed for the good of the American way of life. From the condition of my belongings, it was clear that it had been dumped out on the ground and repacked in no particular order. My knife and one book were missing and never accounted for, and a second book was carelessly stuffed back inside in such a way that it was essentially destroyed.

My story isn’t quite the same as yours, but I do sympathize. Nice to see how little bureaucratic tin gods misuse their power, isn’t it?

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 818

PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2005 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam,
After reading your ordeal, I felt rather ashamed and disgusted. I would think that the guards, or who ever, would extend a little more courtesy to a military person. I guess not. I, too was in the military (Navy) and I would still travel with my seabag. Well, I've learned to stop doing that because every time I travel with it, it always gets returned to me with the lock destroyed and my stuff obviously dumped, scattered, and sniffed by their dogs (I'd find dog hair on my stuff).

I definitely wouldn't travel on an airline with one of my swords. I'll either mail it to myself, drive, or not even bother bringing it. I think the U.S. Mail has a policy against shipping any kind of weapon; you may be better off with UPS or FedEx.
-Ted

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
View user's profile Send private message
Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 790

PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2005 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Hitchens wrote:
I think the U.S. Mail has a policy against shipping any kind of weapon; you may be better off with UPS or FedEx.


I have heard that statement several times, but I am convinced that it is nothing more than UPS propaganda (sorry if I'm offending anyone who wears the brown uniform, but I won't take it back, either). My father holds a FFL (Federal Firearms License) and does some hobby gunsmithing (even wrote a book on some of it). The fact that he has an FFL makes the shipping of firearms possible, but UPS still gives him all kind of trouble. I also received nasty looks when I tried to return a warhammer to MRL. With the U.S. Postal Service there isn't any problem. My father will walk in with a box and tell them, "it's a shotgun (or rifle, or handgun, or knife)." They ask if there is any ammo with it (they don't like ammo since it is a hazardous material), and if/how much he wants to ensure it for. USPS is also cheaper than UPS or FedEx.

I haven't tried sending swords via USPS, but if knives and firearms can be sent, I doubt that a sword will be an issue.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
View user's profile Send private message
Thomas McDonald
myArmoury Alumni


myArmoury Alumni

Location: New Hampshire
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 2,160

PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2005 8:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:

I haven't tried sending swords via USPS, but if knives and firearms can be sent, I doubt that a sword will be an issue.
-Grey


They are not a problem ..... the only question I've ever encountered was "Is it packed safely" !

I've found USPS the best, safest, and most reliable, of all the carriers ... bar none !

Mac

'Gott Bewahr Die Oprechte Schotten'
XX ANDRIA XX FARARA XX
Mac's PictureTrail
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,416

PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2005 8:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With USPS when they ask I tell them its replica of a sword, state a value, and away it goes.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
View user's profile Send private message
Russ Ellis
Industry Professional




Joined: 20 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Posts: 2,607

PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2005 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
With USPS when they ask I tell them its replica of a sword, state a value, and away it goes.


For the most part though they don't even ask in my experience unless it is packed in a gun case. Also I ship almost exclusively through USPS with a few very high dollar exceptions that I want good tracking on. Also make sure you always buy the insurance as noted above.

TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
View user's profile Send private message
Christian Henry Tobler
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, CT
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 688

PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I travel several times a year with armour and weapons and I've yet to have a problem. Here's some advice that might be helpful...

1. Dress well. You don't need to wear a suit, but be well-dressed and respectable looking. There's a huge difference in how you're treated if you appear to be "a nice young gentleman" than if you're wearing a "Black Death - World Tour" t-shirt. Look respectable and you'll be treated accordingly.

2. Be polite. Sam's experience above shows that officials don't care for jokes of any sort regarding possible security threats. You may not like the power they have in such matters, but it's simply a fact of life. The few moments of satisfaction the sass may bring are not worth the hours of inconvenience (or incarceration!) they may engender.

3. Act pre-emptively. *Tell* any security personnel up front what you're checking on the flight. And there are good and bad ways to phrase this. Bad: "It's a bunch of weapons". Good: "It's historical fencing gear; training swords and armour." Here's what I say when I check stuff: "I'm teaching at a historical fencing symposium. I just want you to know, so there's no surprises, that the golf case has fencing equipment in it...there are some swords and some medieval armour, all well-packed."

4. Have credentials. If you're going to any kind of event, print out the information and carry it with you. If you've registration info for said event, have that with you too. Even if it's just an informal roundtable, I'd advise you make up some kind of flyers with a logo - it's really worth it.

If you do all the above, you should have no problem. I've flown on a dozen and a half trips this way and I never have.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Reading list: 46 books

Posts: 936

PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2005 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i have heard posting the sword in your luggage as a theatrical prop or a opera/musical equipment helps. dont know personally.

my dad (who was handicaped at teh time) bought me a small flail from some castle in germany and had it in his luggage. after he boared the plane, they had him get off, undo his luggage, give them the flail and then they put it in a sealed bag in the cockpit. for some reason they thought he was going to get outta his seat, craw back under the plain thru the luggage compartment, travel back up front and take out the pilot heheehe he coulda jsut used his cane instead. duh! hehhe
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 790

PostPosted: Wed 30 Mar, 2005 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck Russell wrote:
my dad (who was handicaped at teh time) bought me a small flail from some castle in germany and had it in his luggage. after he boared the plane, they had him get off, undo his luggage, give them the flail and then they put it in a sealed bag in the cockpit. for some reason they thought he was going to get outta his seat, craw back under the plain thru the luggage compartment, travel back up front and take out the pilot heheehe he coulda jsut used his cane instead. duh! hehhe


[ sarcasm ]Isn't it just great to see that common sense is still prevailant in the world. [ /sarcasm ] If the flail were actually intended for use as a weapon during the flight, it would be a lot easier to get to in the cockpit (I've been on several flights, including international, where the pilot left the cabin door open and invited folks to come up and chat) than it would in the baggage compartment. As you pointed out with the cane comment, just about anything can be used as a weapon, if the person in question is determined enough. Pretty soon, we are all going to have to fly naked so that there is absolutely no possability of someone having a weapon.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
View user's profile Send private message
Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 818

PostPosted: Wed 30 Mar, 2005 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I remember comedian George Carlin making an interesting point: "Even if you didn't bring a weapon on board, relax. After flying for an hour, they serve you a meal and bring you a knife and fork!" -Ted

Seems that it's universally agreed to pack your items well and tell them up front (as Christian suggested) what you're travelling with. Good idea. Idea -Ted

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,416

PostPosted: Wed 30 Mar, 2005 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Joe Fults wrote:
With USPS when they ask I tell them its replica of a sword, state a value, and away it goes.


For the most part though they don't even ask in my experience unless it is packed in a gun case. Also I ship almost exclusively through USPS with a few very high dollar exceptions that I want good tracking on. Also make sure you always buy the insurance as noted above.


I wrap the gun case with brown butchers paper and don't get any questions.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Wed 30 Mar, 2005 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:
...Pretty soon, we are all going to have to fly naked so that there is absolutely no possability of someone having a weapon.

-Grey

The visual image that burst into my head, after reading this remark, was not pleasant.
View user's profile Send private message
Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 613

PostPosted: Wed 30 Mar, 2005 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
Sam's experience above shows that officials don't care for jokes of any sort regarding possible security threats.


Mr. Tobler is right, of course. In hindsight, it was a reaction born largely out of a sense of impotent frustration, as well as my own disconnection with the mood of America after so much time spent abroad. But in my defense, I wasn't rude until very late in the game. I had been on their proverbial list for quite some time by that point.

Greyson Brown wrote:
Pretty soon, we are all going to have to fly naked so that there is absolutely no possibility of someone having a weapon.


Except for my mighty arm-bombs! Mwa ha ha!

Seriously though, there is a new kind of X-ray that’s designed to see through clothing only. It provides a very unflattering black and white nude image of the passenger in question. It’s said to be very effective at detecting weapons that wouldn’t trip a metal detector. Just about every civil rights group in the hemisphere immediately attacked it for being an unnecessary and excessive violation of privacy, so I’m not sure what its current legal status is, but Mr. Brown perhaps strikes closer to the mark than he intended to… Big Brother will not be pleased at all.

No, I didn’t make this up.

www.wired.com/news/topstories/0,1287,526,00.html
www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/08/heathrow_scanner_pilot/

I think the point made by The Register, regarding its proposed use in schools, was particularly interesting.

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Traveling with weapons...
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum