To say I cannot wait is probably not just right because I probably will have to wait. I anticipate a pain in the derriere trying to check in and get me and my luggage on my flight. I will be pleasantly surprised if all goes without a hitch. I have only two checked bags, and two carry on pieces (a computer case and a small backpack). Then again, being that I have a shotgun, a rifle, ammunition, pepper spray, a couple of knives, a field surgical kit and other things in one of my pieces of checked luggage, and that I have leg irons in another, and that I will be carrying two firearms on my person (I am a fedaral agent traveling on business), I expect at least a minor inquisition at best. Last time I flew out to Arizona for work, I had a Port Authority Police officer tell me that I was positively, definitely, absolutely not allowed to transport ammunition in the same piece of luggage that also contained firearms. Even though I showed him a printed copy of the regulations allowing for such - he argued with me all the way to the TSA screener and the argument was all one sided for a change. The gentelman from TSA told him he was wrong and it was okay for me to have it just the way I had it.
I expect at least the same tomorrow either from the check-in person for the airline, the Port Authority Police Officer who comes to check me because I will also be carrying firearms on my person, or the screeners from TSA. Of course if I clear all of them, I can usually get through the initial TSA checkpoint okay but with the recent terrorist attack on Christmas day, a failed attack at that, my guess is that they will all be jumpy. I imagine the gate agents will also be nervous. So I expect extra checks of my ID, maybe an extra check of my ticket, maybe an extra check of my luggage. So along those lines I have copies of my travel authorization, a copy of the airline regulations about transporting firearms and ammo, and a copy of the TSA regulations about the same.
All the checking I expect will all be okay with me. I don't mind them checking me and my things really diligently so long as they are checking everyone likewise. I sure do not want my plane blowing up with me or anyone else in it. I know I am not going to try to do something like that, never would even contemplate it; but I sure do not know squat about anyone else, so I hope they check them very well too. So while I expect a delay, it will be okay so long as they are professional and polite during my check-in and boarding and during whatever other checks they want to perform. I expect a delay so much so that I expect to be at the airport 2 1/2 hours early for my flight. If I get through quickly, well then I'll enjoy an icy cold beverage or three at the bar - like a coke or 7-UP (no alcohol while armed) and maybe I'll read a book or just keep a wary eye on the other passengers. My motto for this flight is Arrive Alive; you can bet that after what happened on Friday I will be a bit on the wary side myself.
All the best,
Flying Lesson #116 - More Crosswind Patterns
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