During Southwest Airlines’ meltdown this past holiday, I decided it was time to have a way to keep track of my firearms while traveling.
Southwest canceled my flight to Dallas, and I had to rebook on American at the last minute. I was traveling to Dallas for the holidays and was going to shoot my qualification part of the Texas LTC with Mindy Kay Ray. So, leaving my firearms at home wasn’t an option, even if I wanted to. My concern began when I saw pictures of the travel chaos at airports, and that’s when I started looking at tracking tags.
My Guns Were Not Where They Should Be
The investment I made in the two trackers was one of the best because it paid off on the first trip. When I got off the plane in Dallas, I went to where my bags should have been and waited and waited. I asked the girl from American Airlines a few times if the baggage would be coming soon because they had yet to come up the carousel. I heard it would be there for almost two hours. The trackers showed it under me in Chicago, so I knew it was on the plane with me.
When Its Time To Track Your Guns
I pulled out the Smart Things app on my phone and told the baggage agent that it looked like my bags were at the other end of the terminal. Finally, she called around, and sure enough, it was with a different baggage claim. In the image below, I am standing where the phone icon is, and as you can see, my luggage is at the other end of the terminal by using the location from the tracking tags.
The Search Begins
As I walked down there, I pulled the app up, put it in locate mode, and it directed me right to where my bags were behind the counter. I shouldn’t find this next part funny because a few other people certainly didn’t.
I wasn’t the only one searching for missing luggage, and some people followed me. There was a line at the counter, and my bag was behind it. Since I was following the phone, I didn’t even think about waiting in line. When I pointed my bag out to the agent, she immediately checked my ID and handed it to me. One of the other passengers that followed me asked, “What about my bag?” The agent replied, “Do you have a firearm in yours?” The customer responded with a blank stare and then went to the end of the line. I guess that was a no.
Not all airlines put a unique tag on the outside of your bag, which I think is a bad idea. American stuck on a greenish tag you couldn’t miss that says “RETURN TO BSO,” so they pulled it from everyone else’s bag. In my opinion, it’s pointing out that something is in the bag and increases the likelihood of something getting stolen.
Tracking tags can not only tell you where it is, but it can tell you where it has been, and a Google search will pull up some interesting stories. I have read about people whose bags have seen more of the world than they have.
We will review different tracking tags options and how tracking tags work coming up in Part 2.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brian Armstrong grew up in a small farm town in rural Indiana and learned to shoot before he learned to drive. His career began as a firefighter and medic in Ft Wayne, IN. Throughout the years, he has owned multiple businesses, from construction to technology. His life has come full circle, and he is back to his emergency services roots, teaching emergency first aid and firearms courses.
Brian believes that the best way to learn “HOW” to do something is to first answer “WHY” you do something. He is an average guy with views like yours and is now sharing the knowledge gained from teaching, learning from others, and researching the topics you don’t have time to explore. Follow him at @LetsTalkDGU
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