More Flying Nightmares & “Improved Travel Experience”

By Mark Walters : Opinion

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles
More Flying Nightmares & “Improved Travel Experience”
Mark Walters
Mark Walters

USA – -( Friday AM-Atlanta Airport 4/7/2017:

Well, I had hoped to bring you a first-hand account of Delta’s new firearm policy regarding guns in checked luggage, but I apparently don’t focus enough attention on local news matters.

See, we had some crappy weather on Wednesday in Georgia that lead to a massive problem with Atlanta-based Delta Airlines canceling hundreds of flights over the last two days. Unaware of the hassle at the airport before my arrival I walked into a nightmare of people sleeping on floors, hideously long lines and frayed nerves as hundreds of stranded travelers tried desperately to get on or rebook canceled flights.

Surveying the watch on my wrist and the situation on the floor, I decided not to play stupid games and win stupid prizes. I returned to my truck, removed my locked firearm container from my luggage and placed it securely inside the vehicle, thankfully remembering the knife I had packed to cut the zip tie off, and returned to the terminal with only carry-on luggage.

No worries, I have a gun waiting for me when I arrive, but the current situation precludes me from being able to report to you on my personal experience, but rest assured, I’ll be doing it again soon.

Later Friday Morning

My flight got canceled. Glad I never checked that bag with the firearm! Now I have some time to write about other things, for now while I await another flight.

Even Later Friday Morning

I drove home. No new flight. Seems Delta is way backed up, hombre.

Friday Afternoon

Back to the Delta hassle. Some thoughts regarding those new rules. There was a report from NBC Miami, who in an “exclusive story” (Exclusive in the sense that NBC Miami is unaware that others have been discussing their “exclusive story” for weeks.) Regardless, the story is titled, Delta Implements Rules for Guns Checked in Bags (March 30th, 2017). In the piece they quote an “Aviation Consultant” by the name of Scott Patterson referring to travelers picking up their bags with firearms saying that adding a police officer to the mix when you get the bag adds another layer of security. According to this clown:

“Now, there’s a police presence there when there’s a weapon that’s checked, and the police officer can monitor the weapon leave the building satisfactorily,” said Patterson.

I guess “Aviation Consultant,” Scott Patterson thinks cops have nothing better to do at airports than monitor law-abiding people, carrying lawfully owned and transported private property to their vehicles or some such nonsense. As if that’s not boneheaded enough, a Delta spokesperson issued a statement to the local NBC affiliate saying the following:

“Delta is committed to the safety of our customers and employees. Every day we look for ways to refine processes and procedures with the goal to improve safety and the overall travel experience.”

So according to Delta, inconveniencing thousands of lawful travelers, clogging up baggage claim offices and zip tying private property is improving overall safety and the “travel experience?” I don’t think they thought that one through, huh? Maybe they don’t fly their airline? Maybe they haven’t thought about the fact that I can put a knife in my bag (which I did, BTW) and can use it as soon as they zip-tie it closed? I don’t pretend to know what goes through the minds of folks who simply make things up and implement the strategy based on emotion.

It’s kind of like Sandy Hook dad, Mark Barden whose son was murdered in Newtown. He’s actively seeking to infringe on our RKBA in the form of “expanded background checks” that would have done absolutely nothing to save his son, or any of the other 26 students and faculty murdered that day, or for that matter, anyone else killed by a madman who passed a background check. It’s utter nonsense.

Saturday 4:45 AM

I am now waiting for my new flight on American Airlines heading to the Concealed Carry Expo in Dallas. The airport is a zoo, and apparently, this plane will take off. I have another story to tell about that firearm I took back to my truck yesterday but it will have to wait until my next column. Let’s just say that some things are meant to be and leave it at that for now.

Here’s a tease. I’m glad I never checked it, but not for the reason you might be thinking. I’ll see you in a couple days with one helluva a story.


About Mark Walters

Mark Walters is the host of two nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio and Armed American Radio’s Daily Defense with Mark Walters. He is the Second Amendment Foundations 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year award recipient and co-author of two books, Lessons from Armed America with Kathy Jackson (Whitefeather Press) and Lessons from UnArmed America with Rob Pincus (Whitefeather Press)

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Am I the only one that noticed how Clark ran a drive by on the comments and has not returned – you bunch of bean bags have been arguing over anything but the contents of the article- he played on your biggest emotional fear 1 somebody getting my favorite gun or 2 one more free gun for dirtbags that may be used to shoot kittens and puppies Let’s be realistic theft happens – you decide to do the best you can some of us do more some of us do less but in the end it really is not that… Read more »

Gary Wells

On my flights between California and DFW in early March, American Airlines placed a bright red “Return to BSO” [Baggage Service Operations] tag on the luggage with my firearm and I was required to retrieve my luggage directly from AA as it was not placed on the carousel. This weekend for the USCCA Expo in Fort Worth, the same tags were placed on my bag both ways. When I asked, I was told that I would not be able to retrieve my bag from the carousel. However, when I arrived, my red-tagged bag was returned on the carousel. (It’s convenient… Read more »


Sandy Hook was the most blatant FALSE FLAG of the last hundred years.

Sandy Hook dad, Mark Barden is a crisis actor and his son was not “killed”.


yeah, and given the scenario fed to we the public, a more stringent background check SURELY would have prevented that dirtbag from murdering his Mum then stealing her AR which was NOT used to shoot his victims. Or the handgun, that WAS so used.

Consider that creep had committed somewhere between 20 and 40 state and federal felonies AFTER he shot his Mum and BEFORE he started shooting the kids, per the fabrication on the news feeds, what difference, at this point, would it make?
(extra points for you who recognise THAT line….)


How dare you mention that Sandy Hook School, which was vacant before the practice, is FAKE NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Please just be another troll like Gil, here to make gun owners look bad. Did the gun ban lobby wallow in the blood of the victims to promote their agenda, as they do after each such horrible tragedy? Absolutely. Would any of their so-called “common sense” proposals have stopped the disturbed individual from perpetrating the massacre? Absolutely not. But yes, there really was a mass murder at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Attempting to deny that such incidents happened at all does nothing but undermine our credibility for attacking garbage “gun safety” laws based on their (complete… Read more »


I know in my town that compares in size to newtown we would be aware of an empty unused school. To then one day stage a mass shooting at the previous empty school and say 20 something kids and teachers were killed would proably not go unnoticed by the local townfolk. Maybe you could get some actors and bribe or silence dozens or even a few hundred people but to get the silence of a large percentage of a town with a population over 50,000 I don’t see that happening. If we had an empty school suddenly have a massacre… Read more »


Another idiot surfaces, tinfoil hat fully intact, offering nothing to backup his ascertains.


I will repeat here what I’ve been saying for years, IMO about 90% of the flying public don’t have to fly, they choose to fly. Stop flying and see how fast one of two things occur; either the airlines change (we get back more legroom, amenities etc,), the TSA changes and becomes more than a sexual assault team in uniforms or they all go out of business. For most businesses conferences can be held tele-conferencing, vacations can be local or within driving distance. Just stop flying for 30-60 days and let’s see what happens. As far as overbooking is concerned,… Read more »


A boycott? Never gonna happen, and even if it did, it wouldn’t work. Hey, we have never been able to get the people together to boycott taxes, high gas prices, or anything else impacting consumers. And Congress? The same people who, like Pelosi, use USAF VIP aircraft to fly around the country with all kinds of leg and get up and walk around room… at taxpayer expense?

Wild Bill

@DaveW, If we can not get people together for a boycott, how will we ever get them together for a revolution? Hey Graf Brothers is having a sale.

Clark Kent

Never, ever, leave your firearm unattended in a vehicle. Period; end of story. That is the ULTIMATE in stupidity. I took dozens and dozens of car prowl reports during a 33+ year police career in which a firearm was stolen from a vehicle. Your vehicle IS NOT A SWISS VAULT AND CAN BE EASILY BROKEN INTO, along with any and all supposedly secure ‘lock boxes’.


Agreed in general, but sometimes there just isn’t a better option at the time.

Heed the Call-up

Clark, agree 100%, but the vast majority of thefts from vehicles I read about in my local police blotter are from unlocked vehicles and objects, cash, electronics, and guns that are not secured in those unlocked vehicles.

I have a gun vault in my vehicle for the rare times I am carrying and go where I can’t carry. As Adam stated, there are times one has little choice. I have only had to do that a couple of times. I typically can plan ahead and do.


You can safely secure your firearm in your car. Concealment is key along with a solid point to lock it to. A house can be just as easy to access to steal someones firearms. If you take appropriate steps both can be secure or if not neither may be secure. Its up to you to make it secure but making the blanket statement that its never ok to leave a firearm in a car is wrong. If you leave it on the front seat or just in the glove than no its not secure but locked and hidden could be… Read more »


OK…. ANYWHERE you can hide something, a criminal already knows the most likely place to find it. Remember those magnetic hide a key boxes ‘so you would never be locked out of your car’? Crooks KNOW that they will find that little hidey box in a place where you can easily get to it. You are not likely to crawl under your car/truck to hide it near the drive shaft or clutch housing. So, now they are in your vehicle. There are just so many places where you can hide a vault due to size. I must thank the airline… Read more »


That’s where concealed and locked securely come in. 1st they have to break into you’re car that happens to have the gun in it then find the concealed location you have it in then have the tools with them to break whatever locking system you use like a vault or a strong padlock to the seat frame or??? Remember most thieves are in a rush so they have limited time to find then bypass whatever locking system you have. There are acceptable levels of risk just like when storing at home there is a risk of thieves breaking in there… Read more »

Mark Walters

Clark, I would normally agree with you but I am curious, in this case, what would you have suggested I do? My option was to wait in a hideously long line, check the bag onto an eventually canceled flight thereby leaving it in the hands of God knows who, ending up God knows where and possibly losing it. Seems to me that placing it safely and securely locked in a hidden compartment (floorboard storage under mat-Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie 2015) inside my vehicle at arguably one of the most patrolled and secure parking lots, (ATL airport) in the metro area… Read more »


I have been to the ATL parking lot after dark. There were easy pickens everywhere. A lone patrol and the shuttles, backed by cameras. You may have a hidden space under the floor mat of your 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie but that would be a rarity for most vehicle owners. I’m not familiar with that model. Is the hidden storage a normal option? If so, you can bet a thief knows about it and has found a way to defeat it. Prisons and Jails are schools for improving your skills and learning new ones. And everyone should know that… Read more »


so, then, if YOU are correct (dubious) I will have to leave the house unarmed whenever I have to stop by the Post Office, because FedGov rules illegally prohibit my gun even locked in my car on their parking lots. As it is, when I get there I will secure it in the car whilst I am inside. But you’d rather I not be armed for that whole trip? So when I travel interstate I can’t bring my gun either, because at some point I WILL stop by the post office, or in some states where its illegal to carry… Read more »