USCCA EXPO

So I talked to one of the employees of the team that we may have a Conceal Carry Expo in Fort Worth Texas, in November.

I’d highly like to go. But I’m all the way from North West Ohio. I never been on a plane, I do have my driver license, I get I renewed this year so I can get the Federal ID.

What are some things I need to think about, from getting to the airport, TSA, how I’m going to get a ride from the airport to a hotel, how to book a hotel and make sure it’s right, and what kind of risks I’m taking, when planning all of this and what are things I may not be aware of that I should be?

Just some thoughts! I’d like to go this year!

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I have never been on an airplane either @Forensic_Wow. When I went to the expo last year, I drove from Alabama. I cannot give tips on what to do once you land in Texas, but here is a link to a guide that will give you tips on flying with firearms, if you choose to take a firearm.

https://assets.cdn.usconcealedcarry.com/pdf/guides/USCCA_Know_Your_Rights_10_Crucial_Tips_for_Flying_With_Firearms.pdf?_gl=112ep9u0_gaODgzNTQ5OTI0LjE2NDMwNDc1NTQ._ga_MFZ3H4HBX9*MTY0MzE1NzI4Mi44LjEuMTY0MzE1NzM5Mi4zMw…&_ga=2.258769737.2128608211.1643047554-883549924.1643047554

I definitely hope you can make it out this year.

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Thank you Calvin! It’s a pleasure having you here.

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If you can do you security check beforehand online, that may save you a bunch of time. I haven’t flown for about 3 years now, but was fairly frequent when my son was in the Corps. and decided to enlist on the other coast :laughing:, as well as seeing my parents a few times…had my clearance done beforehand, and got waved through a number of places.
Not sure we’re you’d be taking off from, but sounds like your destination is DFW, which is a long darn airport. They have a tram that’s a lot quicker than walking when, just saying, your airline changes you from terminal 5 to terminal 115…then back to terminal 6 :smirk: (gawd I hate AA).
Trying to remember my favorite site for booking planes, cars and rooms, but it shouldn’t be 2 hard to find one that may even prompt you regarding getting everything booked. Try to be flexible on flight days, the difference in cost can be huge. I found myself flying on Thanksgiving and Christmas days 3 or 4 years in a row. I was happiest with Jet Blue as you can pick and are guaranteed a seat, and any delays were comped and snacks/soft drinks provided during any delays.
I loved planning trips, as mentioned the travel sites are great,just remembered I used Kayak a bunch.
Get to the airport early, 2 hours early recommended, realize there may be delays, try to get a direct flight as the more flights the more potential for delays.
Realizing this is your first trip, but if you get a rental car “club card” that can save a lot of time or aggravation as well. Watch out for bait and switch tactics from the rental places, let them know you’ll take that Taurus SE even though you reserved a Fiesta…but you’re paying the price for the Fiesta.
Fast forward…no longer fly, bought a motorhome…ahhhhhh…(except traffic jams :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:)

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First of all “Chill Dude”.
Traveling can be a lot of fun. You’ll find that when you travel all of those things like hotel reservations, ground transportation, meals etc. are all pretty simple and readily available with one catch, they all take money.

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Set some tabs to watch flights and their prices and buy when the prices are low. It’s early enough, if you start watching now, you’ll figure out what low is in plenty of time. As long as you get tickets, let’s call it 2 months ahead, plenty of extra time.

Drive to the airport and park there. Or have a friend or family member drop you off and then pick you up. When you land, depending on how long you’ll be there and if you try to do some other things too, rent a cheap car. Or call a rideshare like uber or lyft if you have to. Might even be a bus line you can take, if you really dig into it.

Get to the airport 2 hours before if checking a firearm. Checking a firearm is pretty easy. Traveling By Domestic Commercial Air | USCCA Resources

Basically lock it in a small hard sided case, unloaded, go to your airline’s extra assistance line/longest line where you talk to an employee at the counter, tell them you have an unloaded firearm to declare, sign the orange paper, maybe walk it to oversize baggage counter. I’ve checked a gun or two at dozens of airports. Not difficult. Do check your specific airline’s policy, the TSA will allow loaded magazines in the same locked hard sided case as the firearm, some airlines will not.

Years ago I flew AirTran (like, 15 years ago?) and almost got screwed because they literally wouldn’t let me have ammo in the same piece of luggage as the gun. Like, even though the gun was unloaded and in a locked case, and was a 9mm, I couldn’t have 12 gauge shotgun slugs in factory boxes in the same suitcase. Crazy

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I have yet to travel by air with firearms, so I can’t give any advice on that, other than what was already stated, go to the TSA and the site for the airline you are using.

For air travel, start on Orbitz and Travelocity, find the flight you like, then go directly to the airline site. As @mattm stated, get a free rental car membership, it does speed the process, and typically you will get slightly better prices. With the membership and pre-paid, Hertz lets you just go to the lot and pick what you want from a selection of vehicles. In the larger airports, there is always an employee at the entrance to the lot to help you. Otherwise, if you have questions, you can just ask the clerk at the rental counter.

I have found that all-inclusive, air, rental car, and room, are not always a good deal. Finding hotels is very easy using one of the sites I mentioned. After finding what I want, I will then go directly to the hotel site. Get a free membership there, too. Frequently members get lower prices.

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…and, if you get hooked on the travel thing, getting a credit card from the hotel chain, airline, and/or rental car company can be pretty advantageous if they’re 1) free and 2) offer points up front. I have the JetBlue blue sky American Express card, and got a few free flights because of that, and the Marriott rewards card was off the hook, getting me 3 or 4 free nights upon sign up, which was about $1k in savings, for a card that cost nothing.

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Yes, I have gotten flights for accumulated points, and the sign-up bonuses have gotten us to Hawaii and the UK.

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@Forensic_Wow The Concealed Carry and Home Defense Expo will be at the Fort Worth Convention Center from November 11th to the 13th, 2022. We would love to have you join us and look forward to meeting you in person!

I was fortunate enough to be at the Expo in 2021 and would be happy to offer some tips for the event.

The easiest way to get from the Airport to your hotel would be using Uber or Lyft. I used Uber and the drivers were extremely friendly and helpful all weekend long.

When booking a hotel, it really depends on how far you would like to travel from your hotel to the convention center. We will be getting the USCCA Expo website updated in the coming weeks, and that will have some hotel resources there for you. There are 2 hotels right near the Expo that I can tell you offhand to look into and they are the “Hilton Fort Worth” and “Fairfield Marriott”. I will link them both below.

TSA Precheck is a great option and helps you get through security quickly. Would you be planning on bringing your firearm with you?

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Thank you Tim for being a big help.

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I just secured my flight! Got it as cheap as I could get!

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That is great. It’s gonna be an awesome time.

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