MacG, First I'd like to thank you for your contribution to the gun owning public for this thread. I only discovered the thread a couple of weeks ago, and since I plan to travel with my two Glocks to Front Sight this June (Lord willing), this topic has taken on a greater relevance to me.
I visited Continental Airlines guidance for traveling with firearms. Their write up seems to imply you must travel with a hard-shelled, outer luggage. I pasted the bullet statements below. What confuses me is the way they seem to refer to "hard-sided luggage" twice in separate bullet statements as if in the first they're referring to the actual pistol container (the ones you describ as being locked with pad locks) and in the second bullet they are referring to the outer luggage we'd lock with a TSA lock. How'd you interpret this:
**The firearm must be packaged in a hard-sided container capable of being locked. The container must be locked and the key or combination must remain in the customer's possession. If a hard-sided container is needed, see the container section of this site.
**Handguns must be packed in hard-side lockable luggage. Baggage containing handguns must be locked at the time of acceptance by Continental Airlines and the key or combination retained in the passenger's custody.
What's your read? Do you have personal experience with thsi carrier? Do you think soft-sided luggage is exceptable to this carrier the way it reads?