Flying With Airsoft Guns
Step One: Picking a Case and Using the Right Lock
Find a hard case that locks in at least two places to house your airsoft gun and magazines for the trip. Pelican cases are perfect – however if those are a little bit of a stretch on your budget – Dick’s Sporting Goods has plenty of cheaper alternatives. These gun cases also work well for storing BBs, batteries, barrel socks, flash lights, or any other accessory for your airsoft adventures. Gun cases with wheels are also great for transporting. The case you choose needs to have at least two spots to place two pad locks. The cheap ‘TSA Approved’ locks work well enough and Home Depot even has a good supply of locks to choose from. I always prefer a pad lock with only three or four digits to enter. I’ve seen people use combination locks, commonly used on lockers, too. A lot of cases have latches as well as a hole for a lock – but you require two locks on your case besides the latches. Make sure these locks are on your gun case when you arrive at the airport!
Step Two: Gas Guns and Tanks
Make sure you empty out any gas mags of any gas/propane before you lock them away in your case. I’ve found that keeping gas in your pistol mags while traveling can create the perfect environment to mess up the spring or O-rings in your magazines. I’ve had it happen once or twice before I started to make sure to empty them out. All HPA Tanks are also required to be empty for the flight! It’s always a smart choice to make sure there are air refills at whatever field or AO you plan on playing at.
Step Three: The Airport
When you arrive at the airport, make sure your locks are on your case (and locked). When you head to the kiosk to check in your baggage, tell them you want to claim a fire arm. The employee should hand you an orange card to sign and then ask to look inside your gun case to make sure everything is unloaded. The orange card goes inside your gun case and you then lock it back up again. They’ll ask you to go to TSA or Oversized baggage to drop it off. Sometimes a TSA employee may have to accompany you. In some states, you may have to fill out a little more information. Your case counts as a checked bag and gets charged as so. If you fly South West, your first checked bag is free. Delta Credit card holders also get free checked bags. When I went to New York, I had to give them my phone number, address, driver license number, and reason for traveling with a fire arm. Once you drop off your case at the designated area, you’re good to go!
Step Four: Arrival
Most the time, you’ll pick up your gun case at Over sized baggage. You’ll need your baggage receipt or ID to pick it up so they can prove it is yours. Smaller airports tend to have them on the corresponding baggage claim carousel rather than oversized baggage – so be sure to check the carousel if you can’t find your case in the oversized baggage area.
Shipping vs Flying
- You can ship all your airsoft gear (Vest, helmets, guns, BDUs, BBs) and not have to pay any checked baggage fees
- No gun inspections
- Save money on buying pad locks and a hard case
- You don’t have to carry it out of and around the airport
- Weather conditions can delay its arrival to your destination
- Mail can get lost
- Finding a reliable person to send it to or a field to send it to
- The cost of shipping and of the box
- Possible damage from transport
- Arrives at your destination with you
- The case makes it easy to transport and carry around when you’re at your destination
- You know where it is at all times
- Baggage fees
- Gun inspection
- Cost of case and pad locks
You can always customize your gun case with stickers!