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  #1  
Old 10-27-2012, 4:53 PM
jimbob2262 jimbob2262 is offline
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Default Help! United Airlines lost my guns!!!

I was flying to Washington/Dulles from SFO Friday night to see my son for his 15h birthday. As I always do, I brought some of my guns with me so my son and I could go shoot at the NRA HQ range, which is a major bonding activity I share with my son,

I checked in my guns following the usual protocol and when I arrived at Washington/Dulles, my guns were nowhere in sight. I informed the Baggage Claim personnel and they handed me a sheet of paper with a phone number to call to check on the "status" of my claim. Needless to say, I am very concerned that my guns may have been stolen right off the baggage claim carousel and may have fallen into the hands of criminals.

United Airlines has given me no concrete answers about what they are doing about this and I feel that all I am getting is lip service and a major run-around.

How do I get them to give me more than the usual "please be patient while we search for your guns and we will notify you of any change in the status of your claim"?

What happens if they can't locate my guns? How long is a reasonable amount of time to wait?

I had four firearms in that case valued at more than $2000. How can I get compensated for my loss? I know that UA will give me some token amount for the loss of my bag, but this will not fully compensate me for my financial loss, not to mention the disappointment my son is experiencing not being able to visit the NRA Range as I always do during my visits to him here in Virginia. Can I make a claim with my Renter's Insurance policy? (I don't own my home, but I have renter's insurance for my apartment). Should I file a police report? How should I go about it? What kind of cooperation should I demand of United Airlines?

I'm sure there are other considerations I have omitted. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2012, 4:59 PM
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Was any of your other luggage lost?

Is it actually lost or just delayed?

I've had luggage "lost" so many times, but it was merely delayed because of tightly scheduled connecting flights; one time it took them 2 days for United to get their luggage to me.
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2012, 5:02 PM
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Very sorry to hear this. I don't have any info on what should be done, but depending on how long you will be in VA, I would be more than happy to loan you some gear to take your son shooting at the NRA range. I should be back in the area on November 7th.

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  #4  
Old 10-27-2012, 5:22 PM
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To The Gleam: I was on a direct flight from SFO to Dulles, so no connecting flight involved here. Very frustrating.

To MXRider - thanks generous for the offer, but I'm headed back to SFO on Tuesday.
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2012, 5:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbob2262 View Post
To The Gleam: I was on a direct flight from SFO to Dulles, so no connecting flight involved here. Very frustrating.

To MXRider - thanks generous for the offer, but I'm headed back to SFO on Tuesday.
That's awful; it's gotten so bad, that the idiotic airlines act like they are doing you a favor when the do lose your luggage, like they are doing you a great service by trying to find where they lost it (or when/where their hack-crew stole it).

I flew back East on Delta once on short-notice to attend a funeral; they are the worst but it was the only airline I could get a ticket of reasonable price on short-notice.

I distrust Delta so much, and having black suits for the wake and funeral was so important, I sent my 2 best black suits, shirts, ties, and regular change of clothes by Fed-ex 1-Day. Suits arrived on time. But sure enough, Delta lost my luggage and did not get it to me until the following evening; after the wake, and after the church services and funeral the day after that.

Good luck; I've flown with guns numerous times, and have never had trouble; I typically will only take Continental non-stops in those instances, and use oversized cases or handguns. But I've never had luggage with guns delayed, and I've never had any luggage permanently lost; looks like I've gotten lucky.

Hope it turns out well.

Last edited by The Gleam; 10-27-2012 at 5:37 PM..
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2012, 5:34 PM
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From my experience, you will not see that bag again. It happens way to often that a bag will go missing into the airport abyss.
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2012, 5:41 PM
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In the case of lost or stolen guns, should I report the loss to any authorities in case they are used to commit a crime? What's my liability?
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2012, 6:08 PM
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how long ago since your arrival?
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2012, 6:17 PM
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Was the case an obvious gun case? Or did you pack the locked boxes inside a normal suitcase with clothes and other items?

Obvious Gun Cases get hijacked all the time. Who had the key to this case?
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2012, 6:19 PM
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Yes, report it to the police asap, but give them the whole story, e.g. it MIGHT just be lost luggage. Unlikely but possible. You probably don't have the serial numbers with you, but if you file the report now, you can send them the serial numbers later. They will put them into the local and NCIC databases. If any pawn shops take them in or the serial numbers are otherwise run, like for a sale, it shows up.

BTW, it was more likely TSA stole them than United.
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2012, 6:25 PM
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Keep us updated. I hope they find it for you.
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2012, 6:35 PM
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I hope that your luggage turns up soon!

I would most definitely report it to the police both in your departure town (SFO), but also in Dulles. Not sure if the gun companies would do this, but if you call the manufacturer of the guns, perhaps they could give you the Serial Numbers to report??? Doubt it though.
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2012, 6:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Yes, report it to the police asap, but give them the whole story, e.g. it MIGHT just be lost luggage. Unlikely but possible. You probably don't have the serial numbers with you, but if you file the report now, you can send them the serial numbers later. They will put them into the local and NCIC databases. If any pawn shops take them in or the serial numbers are otherwise run, like for a sale, it shows up.

BTW, it was more likely TSA stole them than United.
This^^^^ I agree! not too long ago the media just made a story of TSA personnel's stealing checked in items, one got caught in the act as the
IPAD that got stolen have a tracking device and a remote alarm it was tracked down all the way to his house, then as he denies it, the alarm was activated on the spot, and was heard in the background when he is denying it! everything was caught on Camera!
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  #14  
Old 10-27-2012, 6:45 PM
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With all the barcodes and computers there is no excuse for this to happen. Employees just not taking pride in their job.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2012, 7:16 PM
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  #16  
Old 10-27-2012, 7:23 PM
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I don’t have any experience with anything like this, but I would be irate.

I would file a police report… it’s probably one of the first things I would have done.
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2012, 7:32 PM
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i hope you also have traveler's insurance with your credit card and you can file a claim on the theft.
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  #18  
Old 10-27-2012, 7:46 PM
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I'd worry more about the TSA jokers than United personnel. Those "defenders of our freedom" are always getting popped for theft.
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  #19  
Old 10-27-2012, 7:47 PM
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Originally Posted by fanof1911forlife View Post
i hope you also have traveler's insurance with your credit card and you can file a claim on the theft.
+1 to that... I hope things work out for you...
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Old 10-27-2012, 7:47 PM
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I've had my bag lost twice and got them back after a day or 2 and I hope this happens for you!

My flights were not connecting flights bag just went on the wrong plane.

I hope it works out and you get your guns
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  #21  
Old 10-27-2012, 8:23 PM
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Wow that sucks. tsa is just horrible. Hops u get em back. Keep us posted.
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2012, 8:44 PM
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Why is everyone blaming TSA? Habit? They actually have no contact with your bags once it goes thru the initial screening. After that, it is up to the airport and airline to get your bags where they need to go.

Many of the airlines contract with local baggage handling companies. Some are better than others.

Everyone should be aware of the financial limits for baggage, and purchase sufficient coverage for what you are checking with the airlines. This holds true for any baggage, but especially when checking firearms. Their value cn easily exceed the financial limits for checked baggage.
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Last edited by Ron-Solo; 10-27-2012 at 8:49 PM..
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2012, 9:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbob2262 View Post
I had four firearms in that case valued at more than $2000. How can I get compensated for my loss? I know that UA will give me some token amount for the loss of my bag, but this will not fully compensate me for my financial loss, not to mention the disappointment my son is experiencing not being able to visit the NRA Range as I always do during my visits to him here in Virginia. Can I make a claim with my Renter's Insurance policy? (I don't own my home, but I have renter's insurance for my apartment). Should I file a police report? How should I go about it? What kind of cooperation should I demand of United Airlines?

I'm sure there are other considerations I have omitted. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
you were planning on going to the NRA range, are you an NRA member? If so, you have $2500 in firearms insurance provided that you activated it.

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NRA Membership Benefits

These basic membership benefits are automatically included with your NRA Annual Membership or Life Membership, along with special members-only discounts and services.

$2,500 of ArmsCare coverage with your NRA membership. This plan covers insured firearms, air guns, bows and arrows against theft, accidental loss, and damage. Insurance must be activated.

For purposes of insurance, NRA members must be current active members of the NRA whose name appears on the NRA membership list. Activation is required.
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  #24  
Old 10-27-2012, 9:34 PM
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You can file a claim on your renter's insurance, personal items are covered for a limited amount outside of the home. Some companies will require that the guns be endorsed individually. Also make sure that you have replacement cost coverage as opposed to standard coverage which will only cover you for a depreciated amount. Check with your carrier/agent for more details.
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  #25  
Old 10-27-2012, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron-Solo View Post
Why is everyone blaming TSA? Habit? They actually have no contact with your bags once it goes thru the initial screening. After that, it is up to the airport and airline to get your bags where they need to go.
I agree; not sure how TSA is suddenly being put to the gallows here; when you fly with guns, TSA merely are the special line for checking your guns into cargo; X-Ray, they watch you check/show them they are unloaded, they put the orange-red tag on it, YOU lock it and YOU keep the key, and away it goes DIRECTLY to cargo-handling. They really have nothing to do with it.

It's not treated like regular baggage until it hits the plane and the airline or contracted baggage-handlers get their paws on it. So I disagree with what some have said; from experience, it is more likely the Joe-Blow baggage handlers. (If not simply delayed or lost)

(What I DON'T like is that it is treated like regular baggage on the arriving end, when I believe they should follow it through and hold it for you to pick up in person rather than simply spitting it out onto the carousel like it's socks and underwear. That has always been the most irritating aspect to me.)

The only time I ever had to deal with TSA was when the person checking the guns and case mistakenly put the orange-red tag IN the case (when she was supposed to put it on top). It was at the secondary x-ray that baggage goes through before going on the plane that found the guns; they called me back to the baggage/check in desk to meet a TSA rep, to have me open up my bag (I had the key to two locks on the case, which by the way, was inside a regular-luggage looking duffle bag. Regular baggage-checker reviewers found it and called TSA over the find. They thought for a moment I had checked bags with guns in them WITHOUT declaring they contained guns, because they did not see the orange-red tag on the outside of the case which is put there for the final loaders to see, when they then x-ray it and see guns.

We opened the case; two TSA and one Airport police rep looming over my soldier, and voila, on top, the orange-red tag.

"Thank you sir; sorry to have bothered you, have a nice flight".

And they carried my bag back to cargo-loading. Luckily I had arrived plenty early, because if it had been last minute, I could have missed my flight.

When you fly with guns ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS show up to baggage check and boarding exaggerating the early.

Last edited by The Gleam; 10-27-2012 at 11:45 PM..
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:42 PM
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That is horrible, sorry my firiend. I hope they caught something on film.
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  #27  
Old 10-28-2012, 5:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron-Solo View Post
Everyone should be aware of the financial limits for baggage, and purchase sufficient coverage for what you are checking with the airlines. This holds true for any baggage, but especially when checking firearms. Their value cn easily exceed the financial limits for checked baggage.
Insurance from the carrier is cheap. 9 times out of 10 I'm paged at the baggage belt and handed the case.

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Old 10-28-2012, 6:29 AM
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Notify leo's at departure and destination with all the info you have. I hope you have the serial numbers. If not file for info on all firearms ever registered to you.
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Old 10-28-2012, 6:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gleam View Post
I agree; not sure how TSA is suddenly being put to the gallows here; when you fly with guns, TSA merely are the special line for checking your guns into cargo; X-Ray, they watch you check/show them they are unloaded, they put the orange-red tag on it, YOU lock it and YOU keep the key, and away it goes DIRECTLY to cargo-handling. They really have nothing to do with it.

It's not treated like regular baggage until it hits the plane and the airline or contracted baggage-handlers get their paws on it. So I disagree with what some have said; from experience, it is more likely the Joe-Blow baggage handlers. (If not simply delayed or lost)

(What I DON'T like is that it is treated like regular baggage on the arriving end, when I believe they should follow it through and hold it for you to pick up in person rather than simply spitting it out onto the carousel like it's socks and underwear. That has always been the most irritating aspect to me.)

The only time I ever had to deal with TSA was when the person checking the guns and case mistakenly put the orange-red tag IN the case (when she was supposed to put it on top). It was at the secondary x-ray that baggage goes through before going on the plane that found the guns; they called me back to the baggage/check in desk to meet a TSA rep, to have me open up my bag (I had the key to two locks on the case, which by the way, was inside a regular-luggage looking duffle bag. Regular baggage-checker reviewers found it and called TSA over the find. They thought for a moment I had checked bags with guns in them WITHOUT declaring they contained guns, because they did not see the orange-red tag on the outside of the case which is put there for the final loaders to see, when they then x-ray it and see guns.

We opened the case; two TSA and one Airport police rep looming over my soldier, and voila, on top, the orange-red tag.

"Thank you sir; sorry to have bothered you, have a nice flight".

And they carried my bag back to cargo-loading. Luckily I had arrived plenty early, because if it had been last minute, I could have missed my flight.

When you fly with guns ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS show up to baggage check and boarding exaggerating the early.
TSA can access any of your bags at any time, anywhere after you check it. Even on the airplane (though that's rare). Airline baggage handlers are busy, TSA employees are not. It's more likely that someone in the TSA took it (assuming it wasn't simply lost).

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  #30  
Old 10-28-2012, 6:54 AM
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claim it against your homeowners insurance
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  #31  
Old 10-28-2012, 7:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gleam View Post
I agree; not sure how TSA is suddenly being put to the gallows here; when you fly with guns, TSA merely are the special line for checking your guns into cargo; X-Ray, they watch you check/show them they are unloaded, they put the orange-red tag on it, YOU lock it and YOU keep the key, and away it goes DIRECTLY to cargo-handling. They really have nothing to do with it.

It's not treated like regular baggage until it hits the plane and the airline or contracted baggage-handlers get their paws on it. So I disagree with what some have said; from experience, it is more likely the Joe-Blow baggage handlers. (If not simply delayed or lost)

(What I DON'T like is that it is treated like regular baggage on the arriving end, when I believe they should follow it through and hold it for you to pick up in person rather than simply spitting it out onto the carousel like it's socks and underwear. That has always been the most irritating aspect to me.)

The only time I ever had to deal with TSA was when the person checking the guns and case mistakenly put the orange-red tag IN the case (when she was supposed to put it on top). It was at the secondary x-ray that baggage goes through before going on the plane that found the guns; they called me back to the baggage/check in desk to meet a TSA rep, to have me open up my bag (I had the key to two locks on the case, which by the way, was inside a regular-luggage looking duffle bag. Regular baggage-checker reviewers found it and called TSA over the find. They thought for a moment I had checked bags with guns in them WITHOUT declaring they contained guns, because they did not see the orange-red tag on the outside of the case which is put there for the final loaders to see, when they then x-ray it and see guns.

We opened the case; two TSA and one Airport police rep looming over my soldier, and voila, on top, the orange-red tag.

"Thank you sir; sorry to have bothered you, have a nice flight".

And they carried my bag back to cargo-loading. Luckily I had arrived plenty early, because if it had been last minute, I could have missed my flight.

When you fly with guns ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS show up to baggage check and boarding exaggerating the early.
TSA will go through your bags any time they want. They have people back in baggage that go through them. I know because they opened up on of my bags and stole a whole bunch of ****. They have also opened up checked bags, tagged them that they opened them, and surprisingly, some things were missing.

Your guns are stolen, not lost. Get in touch with LE, and let them get in touch with UA. I'm sure they will be just a bit more motivated to find them when they get to be part of a police report. If it is DC, telling them someone stole your semi-automatic handgun with high capacity magazine will probably get you some extra drive on behalf of the police because that sounds scary.

Good luck.
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  #32  
Old 10-28-2012, 9:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralgha View Post
TSA can access any of your bags at any time, anywhere after you check it. Even on the airplane (though that's rare). Airline baggage handlers are busy, TSA employees are not. It's more likely that someone in the TSA took it (assuming it wasn't simply lost).
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Originally Posted by scobun View Post
TSA will go through your bags any time they want. They have people back in baggage that go through them.
My experience has been that TSA is only going through them if a problem is cited by regular baggage handlers that are going through them first.

Even my posted experience above was that a regular baggage handler discovered my guns in their case on Continental, and called TSA (because the orange tag was not on the outside of the box). TSA only requested a review and paged me over the airport intercom for me with my key to go back to check-in and open the case AFTER regular baggage handlers called them to do so.

I still suspect that is more likely the case in the majority of situations. TSA is not fondling, handling, or opening bags regularly unless a reason is cited, and regular baggage is the first in line to open/check baggage; especially on guns. It's just not a regular duty of their job.

Have there been instances where they have stolen stuff? Yes, and I agree; anyone with access can steal anything, but the more exposure is to regular baggage handlers, not TSA.


But I do agree at this point, especially because they are guns, they should be treated as stolen - not matter who is suspected of taking them.

Last edited by The Gleam; 10-28-2012 at 10:12 AM..
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  #33  
Old 10-28-2012, 9:54 AM
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It's a stolen item... and it's a gun.

Absolutely file a police report and get in touch with management at the airport. Tell them that the police are now involved because it involves stolen firearms and it'll light a real fire under their *** because guns are serious business.

Reporting your guns stolen is important because of the possibility that they'll be sold to a pawnshop, or they may turn up at a gun buyback (if it's a good police department they'll run serials for stolen guns).

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gleam View Post
I agree; not sure how TSA is suddenly being put to the gallows here; when you fly with guns, TSA merely are the special line for checking your guns into cargo; X-Ray, they watch you check/show them they are unloaded, they put the orange-red tag on it, YOU lock it and YOU keep the key, and away it goes DIRECTLY to cargo-handling. They really have nothing to do with it.

It's not treated like regular baggage until it hits the plane and the airline or contracted baggage-handlers get their paws on it. So I disagree with what some have said; from experience, it is more likely the Joe-Blow baggage handlers. (If not simply delayed or lost)

(What I DON'T like is that it is treated like regular baggage on the arriving end, when I believe they should follow it through and hold it for you to pick up in person rather than simply spitting it out onto the carousel like it's socks and underwear. That has always been the most irritating aspect to me.)

The only time I ever had to deal with TSA was when the person checking the guns and case mistakenly put the orange-red tag IN the case (when she was supposed to put it on top). It was at the secondary x-ray that baggage goes through before going on the plane that found the guns; they called me back to the baggage/check in desk to meet a TSA rep, to have me open up my bag (I had the key to two locks on the case, which by the way, was inside a regular-luggage looking duffle bag. Regular baggage-checker reviewers found it and called TSA over the find. They thought for a moment I had checked bags with guns in them WITHOUT declaring they contained guns, because they did not see the orange-red tag on the outside of the case which is put there for the final loaders to see, when they then x-ray it and see guns.

We opened the case; two TSA and one Airport police rep looming over my soldier, and voila, on top, the orange-red tag.

"Thank you sir; sorry to have bothered you, have a nice flight".

And they carried my bag back to cargo-loading. Luckily I had arrived plenty early, because if it had been last minute, I could have missed my flight.

When you fly with guns ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS show up to baggage check and boarding exaggerating the early.
I thought they weren't allowed to externally mark that a piece of baggage contained a firearm?

Or am I mistaking that it was put inside the guncase which was inside another bag, and it was supposed to be ON the guncase, while inside the bag?
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1911's instill fairy dust in the bullets, making them more deadly.

Last edited by Munk; 10-28-2012 at 9:58 AM.. Reason: Added to my comment.
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  #34  
Old 10-28-2012, 9:56 AM
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I know that UA will give me some token amount for the loss of my bag, but this will not fully compensate me for my financial loss, not to mention the disappointment my son is experiencing not being able to visit the NRA Range as I always do during my visits to him here in Virginia.
I don't understand your assumption that UA won't pay you back in full, if you have documentation.

As for the disappointment, will you accept a thousand Schrutbucks?

As for insurance, when dealing with UA act like you don't have any. You can read the policy or call an agent to see if you are covered. In most cases, yes, with a deductable.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:02 AM
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Dollars to donuts your guns were taken by TSA monkeys
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:07 AM
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Dollars to donuts your guns were taken by TSA monkeys
Dollars to donuts you don't know much about airports.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munk View Post
I thought they weren't allowed to externally mark that a piece of baggage contained a firearm?
The orange tag stays on the outside of the bag, only from point of check-in until regular baggage handlers load it on the plane; because it's locked, they will then pull the orange tag off before loading it; but if they come across a locked case without the orange tag, and they do a secondary x-ray and if they see guns they will assume you did not declare them which would be big trouble; so they alert TSA. If the orange tag is there, they pull it - no call to TSA.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gleam View Post
The orange tag stays on the outside of the bag, only from point of check-in until regular baggage handlers load it on the plane; because it's locked, they will then pull the orange tag off before loading it; but if they come across a locked case without the orange tag, and they do a secondary x-ray and if they see guns they will assume you did not declare them which would be big trouble; so they alert TSA. If the orange tag is there, they pull it - no call to TSA.
Incorrect

You fill out the orange tag and place it inside the case and lock it then proceed through screening. Every airport is different and there is no standard policy. The only standard is the case is not to be identified with a firearm or orange tag!
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:06 AM
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i diddnt read the whole thread so forgive me if this has already been mentioned. i fly with guns a few times a year and i take pictures of my guns at home. cell phone pictures. guns with case. just a "heres what i packed" kind of thing. and then at the airport i take a picture with the dated declarations card in the picture as well. that way i have a little proof when i claim they lost a $3500 1911. sorry about your situation.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gleam View Post
The orange tag stays on the outside of the bag, only from point of check-in until regular baggage handlers load it on the plane; because it's locked, they will then pull the orange tag off before loading it; but if they come across a locked case without the orange tag, and they do a secondary x-ray and if they see guns they will assume you did not declare them which would be big trouble; so they alert TSA. If the orange tag is there, they pull it - no call to TSA.
false. that orange tag being inside my locked case is what kept me out of a ton of trouble when tsa called the police because i was "illegally transporting machine gun parts"- it was a railed ar upper. obviously not a firearm but that tag being inside the case was my proof that i had properly declared the firearms and that the tsa agent was a jackass.
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