Regina Airport Baggage Security Check
I thought this would be worth posting, as you may benefit from my little experiment.
I bought an AEG at Claybank 2010 from Plastic Soldier Airsoft (plug). Jihad offered to Canada Post it but I thought what better way than to test the flying theory everyone talks about but few seem to do or post a review about.
I was due to fly out of Regina on the 10:30am to Toronto. I have an M16A3, and I turned the box inside out and taped it all up secure. I went to check my baggage and they said the AEG box was oversized so I'd have to take it to oversized luggage. No problem.
I go to the counter and the bored checked baggage security officer runs the box through the x-ray machine and his eyes bugger out of his head. Great, I've got a guy who knows nothing about guns. Okay.
So he says, "uh sir, can you come over here?" I said "sure, whats the problem officer?", he says "this is a gun, do you have a license and paperwork for it?" and I asked him if he had any firearms identification training, to which he said no. So I asked for an officer who does. He comes back with 3 other guys who have no training and no firearms experience at all. We open the box and I explain the whole paintball cum airsoft story. They're still unsure. So I say well, ask the airline what their SOP is on a paintball gun and in the meantime if you're concerned find someone who knows something about firearms.
So a customs officer comes up. He sees it on the desk and first thing he says is "that looks real" whereupon I ask him if I can show him how its not real. He agrees. I show him the mag well and he can see the gearbox and says okay, "thats not a bolt". Then I open the dust cover and he says, "okay, thats definitely not a bolt either". The I show him the mag and the battery. At this point he's mildly amused. Apparently he is ex-military and he asks me what I am doing in Regina with this and I explain the game. He's nodding his head and says "actually that sounds pretty cool." At this point the Westjet supervisor comes over, doesn't give the gun a second look and says to me, "does it have a cylinder and is the cylinder charged?" I reply "there is no cylinder and no, there is no charged cylinder:. She looks at the 5 guys and says, "the airline has no problem with this, its in line with our SOPs on paintball guns". Buddy packed the AEG back up, making a mess of the box in the process, which was sort of upsetting but hey what can you do. I arrived in Toronto and got my AEG from oversized baggage and went on my way.
So, there is now at least 4 educated baggage security guys and a WestJet supervisor and a customs officer who now know what airsoft guns are at Regina Airport. And, anyone who says you can't take an AEG on a plane (check it mind you), is wrong. It can and is done. YMMV, and be prepared to supply explanations and be patient.