CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jack Ward has a heart condition.The Concord man and his son were talking about going on a last hunting trip together, and they decided to hunt elk out West.
"We both knew that it would be the last time I can go," Ward said.
They booked flights from Charlotte to Colorado on American Airlines. "So we get to the airport," Ward explained. "And we're there three hours early."
The Transportation Security Administration signed off on Ward's rifle and case. "Twenty minutes before they started boarding the plane, I get a phone call from American, saying, 'You need to come back to the check-in station.'"
The problem was with his rifle case. "I had a lock on one end and a lock in the middle, and they said, they showed me, they said, 'See, this end, there's no lock on and I can get my hand up in there." Ward disagreed, but it didn't matter.
"By now, the plane's left. It's gone." American put the Wards on a later flight for a fee, $400, and the delay led to other expenses, like extra hotel rooms. "It just kept getting worse and worse and worse," Ward told Action 9.
When Ward came home, he asked American to pick up some of that tab. He says the airline did, $220. "I was still out, good, true, net $1,400, $1,500," he said.
"I can't fight this giant. This giant is just too big for me to fight with and I asked for [Action 9's] help,” Ward said.
Action 9 emailed American to see if the airline would review the Wards' case. It did and, then, apologized to the Wards, refunded the fees for changing their flight and gave them two vouchers for free trips.
"So it was [Action 9] that got a hold of whomever," Ward said. "And turned it all very positive."
According to American Airlines' rules, if you have a weapon, you need locks on "each end" of the case. TSA isn't that specific, but obviously it has the final say.
The bottom line, if you have a legitimate reason to travel with any sort of firearm this holiday season, bring extra locks just to be safe.
You can read the TSA rules here.
You can read the American Airline rules here.
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